Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread that is made with yeast, flour, warm water, olive oil, and salt. Traditionally, it is a flat, round, oven-baked bread that is typically served as an accompaniment to Italian dishes. Focaccia is widely enjoyed throughout Italy, but can also be found in other parts of the world.
The origins of focaccia are not known for certain. Some believe that it dates back to ancient Rome, although the earliest written evidence of focaccia dates from the 13th century. The name “focaccia” itself comes from the dialect of Liguria, a region of north-west Italy. The original focus was a simple flat yeast dough that was flavoured with herbs, onions and cheese and cooked on a hot stone.
Today focaccia is typically made with flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. This mixture is kneaded and then left to rise before being flattened, topped with ingredients such as herbs, vegetables, or cheese and baked in a hot oven. The result is a beautifully golden-brown, crusty flatbread that is full of flavor. Focaccia can be served as an accompaniment to meals, as a snack on its own or as the base for toppings like pizza.
One of the most popular types of focaccia is rosemary focaccia. It gets its characteristic flavor from the addition of fresh or dried rosemary and sea salt. Rosemary focaccia is often topped with a light sprinkling of coarse sea salt, as well as olives, onions and other toppings. It pairs well with soups and salads, as well as an accompaniment to artisanal cheeses and charcuterie.
Another type of focaccia is olive focaccia. This variation is made by adding a generous amount of chopped olives to the dough before it is kneaded and flattened. It is usually topped with more olives, coarse sea salt, and herbs before being baked in a hot oven. Olive focaccia makes an excellent appetizer when sliced and served with olive oil dip.
Focaccia can also be flavoured with tomato. In this version, tomato puree or sun-dried tomatoes are added to the dough for extra flavor. Tomato focaccia is often topped with basil or oregano, as well as sometimes feta cheese or olives. It can be served as an appetizer with a dip or enjoyed with an evening meal.
Finally, there is garlic focaccia. Just like rosemary focaccia, garlic focaccia is traditionally made with the addition of fresh or dried rosemary and sea salt. The difference is that garlic focaccia is made with garlic powder or fresh garlic cloves. It has a bold, garlicky flavor that is sure to please garlic lovers.
Focaccia can be enjoyed as a main dish, side dish, snack, or as the base of a pizza. It is also a versatile food, as it can be flavoured with different herbs, spices, and vegetables. To add extra flavour, try toasting your focaccia before serving or topping it with olive oil, coarse salt, and herbs. Enjoy it on its own or as part of a meal. No matter how you serve it, focaccia is sure to become a staple in your kitchen.