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Rosemary focaccia

Focaccia in Italy is enjoyed at any time of day, from a savoury breakfast to dinner. Every well-made aperitif buffet should include focaccia, accompanied by cold meats and cheeses, to be complete.

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: medium

Method: 20'

Cooking: 25'

Rest: 90'

Difficulty: medium

Method: 20'

Cooking: 25'

Rest: 90'

Chef Danilo Angè

Difficulty: medium

Method: 20'

Cooking: 25'

Rest: 90'

Difficulty: medium

Method: 20'

Cooking: 25'

Rest: 90'

Method

  1. 01 / Prepare the dough (with the planetary mixer)

    Put the flour in the planetary mixer

    Add the crumbled yeast, water, sugar, and extra virgin olive oil

    Turn the mixer on low speed

    Add salt when the dough starts to form gluten

    Increase the speed of the planetary mixer, it must be medium

    When the dough is well formed, remove it from the machine

    Put the dough on the worktop and finish the process

    You should obtain a compact and homogeneous dough

    Place the dough in a bowl to leaven covered with cling film

    Let it leaven until it has doubled in volume

  2. 02 / If making the dough by hand

    Put the flour in the bowl

    Add the crumbled yeast, water, sugar, and extra virgin olive oi

    Start working with your fingers

    Add salt when the dough starts to form

    Increase the kneading force

    Transfer the dough to the work surface when it is formed

    Finish kneading by using your hands vigorously and twisting the dough in all directions

    Place the dough on the worktop and finish kneading

    The dough should be compact, homogeneous, and not sticky, if necessary, add a little flour

    Place the dough in a bowl to leaven covered with cling film (if possible, at 25°/28° C)

    Let it leaven until it has doubled in volume

  3. 03 / Roll out the dough

    Flour your hands

    Flour the worktop

    Place the dough on the worktop and lightly flour the surface

    Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 3-5 mm with a rolling pin, working it in all directions

    Shape the dough as closely as possible to the baking tray you will be using

    Grease the baking tray with extra virgin olive oil

    Roll out the dough, adapting it to the shape of the tray with your fingers

  4. 04 / Prepare the emulsion

    Add the water and extra virgin olive oil in a bowl

    Work vigorously with a whisk to form an emulsion (or with the help of a blender)

  5. 05 / Finish preparing the focaccia

    Press the dough with your fingers

    Wet the dough with the water and oil emulsion using a brush

    Press the dough again with your fingers

    Let it leaven for another 30 minutes (if possible, at 25/28°C)

    Make the traditional holes and leave to leaven for another 15/30 minutes (if possible, at 25/28°C)

  6. 06 / Bake the focaccia

    Season the focaccia with fresh rosemary needles

    Bake the focaccia in the oven at 220°C for about 15/25 minutes

    The focaccia is cooked when it is easy to lift it from the bottom of the baking tray with a spatula

    Remove it from the oven

    Sprinkle the surface with salt crystals before serving

Wine pairing

Focaccia is a very versatile food, and can be served on any occasion either as a substitute for bread or as an accompaniment to cold cuts or cheese. The pairing depends on how you serve it.

If you are serving it as an aperitif, pair it with a fresh and fragrant Mediterranean white wine, like Vermentino from Liguria or Sardinia, or with the freshness of the bubbles of a Prosecco from Valdobbiadene.

You can make the focaccia dough a few hours in advance and let it leaven first in the bowl covered with food cling film in the refrigerator: leavening will be very slow because of the cold temperature. When taking it out of the refrigerator, proceed as indicated in the recipe, allowing it to complete its leavening until doubling in volume at a temperature of 25°-28°C.

You can also prepare the dough the day before and keep it in the fridge as indicated above. In this case, reduce the amount of yeast: 5/7 g of fresh brewer’s yeast will suffice.

Flour is very important: do not use a weak flour, poor in protein, but a medium-strong one, with 12-13 g of protein per kg of flour. This type of flour absorbs enough water to prevent the dough from becoming sticky and to allow it leaven well.

Pay attention to the temperatures: yeasts work well at temperatures between 25° and 28°C. Therefore, do not use hot water, but the warmer the room temperature, the cooler the water must be. Do not allow your dough to leaven in an environment where the temperature is above 28°C. Cold also inhibits leavening: if you have no alternative, turn on the oven and then turn it off to obtain a temperature between 25° and 28°C, then place your dough to leaven, closing the door to prevent heat loss.

Do not let your dough near drafts: a crust will form on the surface preventing it from leavening.

Do not add the water and extra virgin olive oil all at once, but in small doses, always waiting for the dough to absorb the dose inserted before pouring the next one.

Salt inhibits the action of the yeast: do not add it immediately to the other ingredients, but when the dough starts to form.

Do not skip the leavening phases as this would compromise the focaccia!

Do not forget to press the focaccia with your fingers when adding the emulsion: the emulsion enters the “eyes” that form in such a way as to create the right contrast between crunchiness and softness when baking.

If you have leftover focaccia you can keep it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. All you need to do before using it is let it cool at room temperature.

You can freeze the focaccia, even cut into slices so you have ready-made portions. Then defrost it in the fridge and, before eating, let it cool to room temperature.

Choose a “medium-strong” flour, rich in protein: check the label of the product you are buying, the amount of protein should be 12-13 g per kg.

You can also use dry brewer’s yeast, calculating that 1 gram of dry yeast corresponds to 3.5 g of fresh yeast.

Focaccia in Italy is enjoyed at any time of day, from a savoury breakfast to dinner. Every well-made aperitif buffet should include focaccia, accompanied by cold meats and cheeses, to be complete. You can also stuff your focaccia, cutting it in half and enriching it with prosciutto or whatever you wish. The stuffing can also be added while cooking, as in the case of focaccia with onions.

Ingredients for 4 people

1 kg “0” flour

20 g fresh brewer’s yeast

550 ml water

Add the extra virgin olive oil

10 g fine salt

10 g sugar

Fresh rosemary

Crystal salt

For the emulsion

50 ml water

50 g oil

Wine pairing

Focaccia is a very versatile food, and can be served on any occasion either as a substitute for bread or as an accompaniment to cold cuts or cheese. The pairing depends on how you serve it.

If you are serving it as an aperitif, pair it with a fresh and fragrant Mediterranean white wine, like Vermentino from Liguria or Sardinia, or with the freshness of the bubbles of a Prosecco from Valdobbiadene.

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