Today you can not go to the store for bread, because we are going to bake for dinner delicious focaccia - lush, soft, aromatic Italian bread! In the autumn evening the recipe for focaccia from sunny, warm Italy will be very helpful: the house will be filled with warmth and aroma of fresh pastries! Focaccia - focaccia - the predecessor of pizza, the Italians have been preparing it for more than one hundred years. The name of the dish comes from the Latin words “panis focacius”, meaning “bread baked in the hearth”.
Previously, focaccia was baked in the oven, putting the cake on a shovel. And its difference from pizza lies in the fact that in pizza on a thin layer of dough there is a generous portion of the filling, while focaccia has the opposite - lush dough, but there are very few fillings.
The simplest, classic version - Genoa focaccia - is prepared with olive oil, salt and onion. In each region of Italy, focaccia is baked in different variations: potatoes are added to the dough; prepare the stuffing of cheese, sausage, cottage cheese. And in the city of Bari, focaccia is baked with fresh tomatoes, as in this recipe. You can enrich the recipe and other tasty ideas: add garlic, sprinkle the cake with fragrant dried herbs.
With all the variety of recipes, focaccia is easily recognizable by its characteristic features: its surfaces have nice “dimples” that are formed when the cake is formed when you press the dough with your fingers. It is interesting to know that these dimples are needed not only for beauty - oil is collected in them, protecting the crust from drying out, and the bread is soft.
Focaccia oil, of course, is better to take olive oil, the first cold-pressed - it will be so useful, and fragrant, and authentic, that is, truly in Italian! And tomatoes can be taken both fresh and dried. With fresh, in my opinion, juicier and more beautiful. Just choose the smallest, perfect cherry tomatoes.
Focaccia Ingredients with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
- Fresh pressed yeast - 15g;
- Sugar - 0, 5 tbsp. l .;
- Salt - 1 tsp;
- Warm water - 220 ml;
- Olive oil - 75 ml;
- Butter - 25 g;
- Wheat flour - 430-450 g.
For the filling:
- Cherry Tomatoes - 15-20 pcs .;
- Olive oil - 1 tbsp. l .;
- Dry Italian herbs - 1-2 tbsp. l .;
- Fresh or dried basil.
Ingredients are indicated for a mold with a diameter of 30 cm.
You can make your own focaccia blend of fragrant herbs by mixing your favorite spices. For example, dried oregano, thyme, basil, on a pinch of paprika, turmeric, ground black and red pepper are perfectly combined to taste. It turns out a rich flavor and aromatic combination, and the colorfulness of the spices looks very elegant.
Focaccia with cherry tomatoes and basil
Make a brew. Crumbled yeast in a bowl and rub with a spoon of sugar to a liquid state.
Then add water (half of the above) - about 110 ml, stir. Yeast like warm water. Hot or cold is not suitable: for the opara to rise well, the optimum temperature is about 37 ºC. Try water with your finger: if not hot, but very warm - this is what you need.
Now add a little flour to the dough - about 100g, and stir to a smooth, thin mass. Flour is preferably sifted to saturate it with oxygen, which is necessary for yeast for active fermentation. With flour flour dough is more lush.
Put the brew in a warm place for 20 minutes. I make a water bath by placing a bowl with brew on top of another bowl, a larger one, in which warm water is poured.
Here the opara doubled in volume and bubbled - it's time to knead the focaccia dough!
Sift the flour into the brew and stir in the rest of the water. If the water has cooled (and it has cooled in 20 minutes), heat it up a little, add olive oil and softened butter, at room temperature.
Stir and begin gradually to pour the flour, kneading at first with a spoon, and then, when the dough becomes not so sticky, with your hands. You should not increase the amount of flour, even if it seems to you that the dough sticks strongly to the hands: when there is too much flour, the focaccia may turn out to be too dense. And we need a lush and gentle. Therefore, better lubricate your hands and the table with vegetable oil.
And still - try and how you should knead the dough for 10-15 minutes. With prolonged kneading, gluten is formed in the dough, so you will notice that it sticks less and less, and baking from well-kneaded dough turns out to be airy.
After smearing the bowl with vegetable oil, put the dough in it, cover it with a clean towel and put the focaccia on again. If your home is warm, the dough can rise faster - 40 minutes, and if it's not hot, it will take about 1 hour.
While the focaccia dough rises, let's do the preparation of the tomatoes. Rinse the cherry, cut them into halves, and if large ones - into quarters.
Also prepare the form - focaccia is convenient to bake in a round shape with low sides. Suitable and detachable. Lubricate the bottom and walls with vegetable oil, you can cover the form with oiled parchment. When the dough will increase 2-2, 5 times, straight out of the bowl, not crushing, gently shake it into the form. And we will distribute the forms over the whole area, gently crushing with your fingers, and that’s what turned out to be the most appetizing “dimples”.
Now we take halves of tomatoes and press them into the dough.
Sprinkle focaccia with spices, chopped basil, sprinkle with olive oil.
Turn on the oven so that it warms up to 200 ° C, put a mold or a water pan on the bottom so that the bottom crust of the bread is soft. Put the focaccia in the oven and bake at 200 ºC for about 25 minutes - until the ruddy top, when the wooden skewer for the sample of the dough is dry and clean.
Taking the focaccia out of the oven, cover it with a slightly damp towel for 10 minutes. Now the upper crust will be soft, tender!
Finally, you can taste the warm, fluffy focaccia with tomatoes and seasonings, the aroma of which has long been lured to the kitchen of all home! A chunk of fragrant Italian bread to a bowl of soup is delicious ... And also, it's great to eat spicy focaccia with sweet tea. Try it!