What is focaccia? If you love Italian food you may have heard of this delicious flatbread.
This bread is crispy, and fluffy has endless flavor possibilities, and is becoming very popular around the world.
But what exactly is focaccia bread, and how can you make the most of it?
In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of focaccia bread, from its origins and varieties to how to cut, store, and serve it.
Whether you're a seasoned bread baker or a curious foodie, read on to discover everything you need to know about this classic Italian flatbread.
What Is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia is an Italian flatbread that can be served warm or at room temperature, with or without toppings like herbs, olives, onions, tomatoes, cheese, and meats.
This simple bread is made with flour, water, yeast, salt, and olive oil and has a soft and chewy texture.
Focaccia (pronounced as fo-kah-cha) originated in Genoa, the capital city of Liguria, hundreds of years ago.
It is often used as a base for sandwiches, pizzas, and other dishes after being cut into slices or wedges and can be a side or main dish for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Types of Focaccia
You won't find a standard recipe for focaccia because every region in Italy has its version based on local flavors, and ingredients, and each household will have its variations. For example:
In Genoa, where it originated, you will find that focaccia is crispy on the outside and is light and fluffy on the inside and topped with sea salt, rosemary, and olive oil.
In Puglia, focaccia is thicker than other versions and has cherry tomatoes, oregano, and olives, topping, and can sometimes be filled with vegetables like onions and bell peppers.
In Recco, a region near Genoa, focaccia is made with a melty cheese called stracchino and is called focaccia con Formaggio (focaccia with cheese) which can be served as a snack or appetizer.
In Tuscany, you can find focaccia topped with grapes, onions, or pumpkin seeds, and is served as a dessert or snack. This sweet focaccia variation is called schiacciata.
Also, in Tuscany, focaccia is usually thinner than most and is topped with tomatoes, herbs, and garlic and can be served as a side dish or with a charcuterie board.
How To Cut
Cutting focaccia is easy, but you should take care when slicing to keep it light and fluffy because if you are heavy-handed the bread will squash and become dense.
Always use a sharp serrated bread knife and a sawing action when cutting through bread rather than a straight-edged knife.
Because the small teeth on a serrated knife will catch the bread and break it to make clean cuts as you cut through it.
And a straight-edged knife will compress the bread as you cut it down into the loaf.
If the focaccia is round like a pizza, cut it into wedges, and if it was baked into a rectangle or square shape, slice it into rectangular or square pieces.
How To Store
Focaccia bread is best eaten fresh on the day made. However, depending on the toppings baked onto it, you could store it a room temperature or in the fridge for a day or two.
If the bread has wet toppings like tomatoes, it is best to store it in the fridge because moisture can make it go moldy if the conditions are hot and humid.
If the bread has simple dryish toppings like olive oil and herbs, it can be stored in a sealed container in a cool, dry area at room temperature for a day or two.
Can You Freeze Focaccia Bread?
Yes, you can freeze focaccia bread, and freezing it is a great way to store it for an extended period.
To freeze, allow the bread to cool completely, then tightly wrap it in plastic food wrap and place it into a ziplock back with the air squeezed out.
Focaccia can be stored like this in the freezer for up to three months.
When you want to serve the focaccia, remove it from the freezer and allow it to thaw for several hours before serving.
It can be served at room temperature or reheated for about 5-10 minutes in a preheated 180°C (350°F), loosely covered in foil.
How to Serve Focaccia
There are many different things that you can serve with focaccia, and it can be eaten just like other types of bread.
Here are some ideas of what to serve with focaccia bread:
- Serve it alongside a dipping oil like this Italian bread dipping oil for an easy appetizer.
- It can be included as part of a Charcuterie board with slices of cured meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, and other snacks.
- It is perfect for dipping into soup like this roasted tomato and red pepper soup or for mopping up juices from stews like slow cooker beef and pork ragu.
- Leftover and slightly stale focaccia and be sliced and baked crisp like this baguette crostini and used as a base to make bruschetta.
- Serve it as a side to roast vegetables or dishes like Fasolakia a filling Greek beans and potatoes dish.
- Use it to make an open sandwich with hummus, slices of cucumber, and tomatoes for a healthy snack.
- Use focaccia bread as a base for pizza instead of making pizza dough.
If you want a fuss-free focaccia recipe, make our easy recipe for no-knead focaccia.
You might want to use the topping ideas suggested on the recipe page or one of the focaccia topping ideas below:
Traditional Topping Ideas
- Rosemary and sea salt
- Siced or whole cherry tomatoes and sliced olives
- Thinly sliced onion and grated cheese
- Paper thin slices of raw potato and rosemary
- Spread over minced garlic and fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil.
Non Traditional Toppings
- Caramelized onions and figs
- Roasted vegetables like capsicum (bell peppers), zucchini, eggplant, and crumbled feta
- Bacon and blue cheese
- Apple and cheddar cheese
- Proscuitto and arugula
Different Recipes For Focaccia Bread
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Focaccia Bread Recipes
- Choose your favorite recipe from the list above.
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Follow the recipe directions and bake some delicious focaccia bread.
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