Focaccia Genoese

Recipe by COOKGIRl
READY IN: 1hr 25mins
YIELD: 1 loaf




  • Note: I used a KitchenAid stand up mixer to prepare this recipe.
  • Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a large mixing bowl, stir it in and set aside until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in the flour and beat until smooth. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until puffy and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
  • To the sponge in the large bowl, add the water, wine and 1/3 cup olive oil, and stir to combine.
  • If mixing by hand, whisk in 1 cup of flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then beat in the rest of the flour until you have a dough that is very soft and very sticky.
  • Knead on a lightly floured board with the help of a dough scraper and 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour until the dough comes together nicely and is silky and shiny, 6 to 8 minutes; it should remain soft but not wet.
  • If mixing with a mixer, using the *paddle attachment* beat together the water, wine, 1/3 cup olive oil and sponge.
  • Add the flour and 2 teaspoons salt and mix until the dough comes together (it will be very soft).
  • Change to the *dough hook* and knead for 3 minutes at medium speed, stopping once or twice to press the dough into a ball to aid in the kneading.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead by hand using the 1 to 2 additional tablespoons of flour to finish, 6 to 8 turns at most. It should remain soft but not wet.
  • Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled container, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and set aside until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • The dough should be soft and full of air bubbles and should stretch easily.
  • Press it into a well-oiled (17-by-12-inch) jelly roll pan (I used parchment paper-fyi), dimple it well with your fingertips or knuckles (I used the end of a wooden spoon), cover with a tea towel and let rise until puffy and doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • If the dough springs back before it is completely stretched, set it aside to “relax” the dough for a few minutes, then stretch again; the dough will stretch more easily after it is rested.
  • At least 30 minutes before you plan to bake, heat the oven to 425 degrees with a baking stone inside on the lowest shelf.
  • Once again, dimple the top of the dough with your fingertips or knuckles, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil so it pools in the little indentations and sprinkle with the remaining salt.
  • Place the pan directly on the stone and immediately reduce the temperature to 400 degrees. Place a shallow metal container of water on the floor of the oven to make steam.
  • Bake until the focaccia is golden (lift the bread to check underneath as well), 25 to 30 minutes (25 minutes for my loaf).
  • Immediately remove from the oven and cool briefly on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.