Flour, yeast, salt, water, and olive oil are all you need to make this light and airy dough that works perfectly for a Tuscan Focaccia with red onion and green olive. It's a delicious bite of traditional Italian bread that my family requests again and again.
This focaccia uses this Master Pizza Dough recipe:
Why this master dough works. It uses the traditional ingredients of a Tuscan Focaccia and is prepared similarly, although it uses slightly less olive oil. The dough rests overnight, which is essential for that light and airy fermentation for traditional focaccia. This results in a crispy crust and top and a light, airy, and creamy interior. It's got a fantastic chew and a texture that absorbs all the robust flavors of the toppings.
Red onion and green olive in this recipe:
A match made in heaven. I like to thinly slice our homegrown red onions and place them on the focaccia in sections so each slice will get a nice amount. As the onions bake, they takes on sweetness as the sugars are released. Combined with the briny and sharp flavor of the green olives they create a delicious contrast. They go together really, really well.
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Tuscan focaccia recipe snapshot:
- For the dough: in a large bowl, mix flour (all-purpose flour, bread flour, or 00 flour) with active dry yeast, salt, water, and extra virgin olive oil.
- Mix by hand or use a stand mixer to make it even easier.
- Pour out a little olive oil onto the counter and turn out the dough to stretch it a few times.
- Then, place it back in the bowl and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day:
- Or, up to 3 days later, stretch the dough into an oiled baking sheet and set it in a warm place to rise.
- When it's doubled, just preheat the oven, dimple the dough with your fingers, and drizzle some olive oil on top.
- Place some slices of red onion and green olive in sections across the focaccia, so each piece gets a bite.
- Sprinkle across some parmesan, then bake until golden brown. It takes only 20 minutes to bake and can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature.
Panning the focaccia dough:
- I use about ½ of the master dough recipe for one 9x13" focaccia. A quarter sheet pan with a 1 to 1 ½" rim allows for enough room for the dough to rise, though a cake pan will work well, too.
- Spread the dough in the pan as far as it will go without ripping, then allow it to rest and relax. Come back to it in 5 to 10 minutes, stretching it further. It will take 3 or 4 sessions for it to fully stretch into the corners without ripping. This is called 'panning' the dough.
- Then, cover and allow to double in size. In my kitchen, about 75 degrees ambient room temperature, it takes about 2 hours.
- One the dough has risen, it's time to dimple it, top it, and bake!
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Try a pizza steel for this focaccia bread recipe, other pizzas, pies, roasted veggies:
One of the tricks for a wonderfully crispy focaccia bottom is baking on a pizza steel. An upside down cookie sheet, or a pizza stone, or baking tiles will also work great! If you're looking for a baking steel, this is one that I use:Artisan Steel - High Performance Pizza Steel Made in the USA - 16" x 14.25" (.25" Thick)
This dough works for more than this focaccia bread recipe - what about pizza?
Tuscan Focaccia with Red Onion and Green Olive Recipe
For the Focaccia
- ½ batch of Master Pizza Dough
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for the pan
For the toppings
- 1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
- ½ cup green olives, sliced
- 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese or more if you prefer
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- flaked sea salt to taste
For the dough
- Make one recipe of the Master Pizza Dough and use half of it for this 9x13" focaccia. Save the other ½ for a 2nd focaccia or use it for pizza.
- Coat a sheet pan lightly with 3 tablespoons olive oil. Turn dough into pan and press gently into a rough rectangular shape using your fingers, pressing out air bubbles. Stretch the dough into the pan without breaking it and allowing it to rest in between stretches. When the dough fits the pan, cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel and allow to proof until doubled.
- When the dough has risen and doubled in size, dimple the dough all over the surface.
For the toppings
- While the dough is rising in the sheet pan, prepare your toppings.Peel and thinly slice a red onion. Drain the brine away from the green olives.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (245 degrees C).
- Top the dimpled focaccia dough with the red onion and green olives. Then, drizzle a bit of olive oil over each section of onion and olive. (about 2 tablespoons total)Sprinkle with sea salt and parmesan. ( I opt for a bit of freshly ground pepper, as well)
- Bake in the preheated oven until focaccia loaf is lightly golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. At 10 minutes, check for color and even baking. Bake until the bottom is crispy and the onions are nicely cooked through. Tent with foil if needed to prevent over-browning, then remove from the oven. If desired, brush 1 last tablespoon olive oil onto the bread, especially around the edges. Transfer to a rack and let cool before cutting.
- On a large cutting board and with a sharp knife, slice into segments and plate. Lightly sprinkle on additional parmesan cheese.