How to Bake a Focaccia

Learn how to prepare, shape, and bake delicious focaccias using True Pizza's dough. From defrosting to baking, we've got you covered with step-by-step instructions and our personal tips.

You can create soft, fluffy focaccias using our ready-made doughs: Rosemary DoughClassic Pizza Dough or Beetroot Dough. With this guide we’ve prepared, you’ll be making delicious focaccias in no time!

close up of a golden-brown crispy focaccia crust

Focaccia is on our menu at home several times per week, and we love to make them in different styles, from the very puffed, soft focaccia, to its thinner cousin, crunchy schiacciata. We love them plain, but we also enjoy playing with different toppings, flavour and texture combinations.

How We Make the Dough

As you probably know, our dough is prepared fresh in our bakery using premium quality ingredients and tried and tested processes. Everything is carefully selected and made to achieve the best possible results. After kneading all the ingredients and the initial development of gluten, the dough is rested for hours (usually about 24) in cool temperatures, slowing down the fermentation process so that structure and flavors can develop in a more controlled way.

When the fermentation and maturation process is completed, we create the dough balls and after some additional proofing, we flash freeze them. This way, the dough arrives to you with all the freshness and the quality locked in, ready to create amazing pizzas, focaccias or a variety of recipes in your own oven. Check out our shop for our full range of dough and toppings.

In this guide we explain how to prepare and shape the dough, what to use, and how to set up your oven to create an italian specialty – the amazing Focaccia!

Step 1: Defrosting the Dough

A ball of dough resting on a wooden plank

First thing to do is to defrost the dough ball. The best thing to do is to remove the dough from the freezer and place it in the fridge for about 12 hours, still in the bag it arrived in. Alternatively, leave it at room temperature for about 4-6 hours until it thaws completely.

If you need to defrost the dough in a hurry, you can place it in some lukewarm water. It should thaw in about an hour. This method does not provide the best results, so best to stick with the slower methods. Detailed descriptions of all defrosting methods can be found in our Defrosting the Pizza Dough Guide.

When it comes to dough, it is all about time and temperature. Given enough time and a cosy room temperature, you will get amazing results from your dough.

Step 2: Reaching the right temperature

Once thawed, your dough will need a few hours at room temperature to rest and relax (don’t we all?). Remove the dough from the bag, place it in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth. It will take about an hour for the dough to be ready for baking, but given more time, the end product will be even better. We go for about 2 hours of resting.

Tip: Our dough is made in standard 220 gram portions, but if you want to make a bigger focaccia, just use more dough balls together in this step. While proofing, they will stick to each other forming a single mass of dough.

Once you notice the dough has risen, and it is nice and relaxed, it is ready to go. How do you know when the dough is relaxed, you ask? Do the poke-test – poke the dough with your finger, and if the dough springs right back, it’s not yet ready. If it springs back slowly, leaving a small indent where you poked it, it’s good to go!

Step 3: Shaping the Focaccia

Now we’re getting to the fun part and what is the first step in shaping your focaccia. This is when you want to turn on your oven (set it to 220˚ C), so it heats up by the time your focaccia is ready to bake.

Place the dough in an oiled baking pan and start gently pressing it out with your fingers. Use the bottom side of the tips of your fingers, and press down and out at the same time, spreading the dough to fill-in your whole baking tin.

Tip: For a nice, tall focaccia use a well fitting baking tin. For one portion (220g) of our dough, use a tin that is about 10 – 15 cm in diameter. If your baking tin is around 20 x 20 cm, you will want to use two portions of dough.

Once shaped, let it rest for another 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how risen you want your focaccia to be. In the meantime, prepare your oil emulsion that you’ll use to finish the focaccia. Equal parts of extra virgin olive oil and water, mixing it until you achieve a uniform emulsion. Best done in a small jar with a lid.

How to make a bigger focaccia?

Our dough is pre-portioned into 220 gram dough balls, and that would serve one person. But if you want to sale it up, maybe make a nice big focaccia of the whole family, here’s what you need to do:

When defrosting the dough, place several dough balls in the same container, one on top of the other. This way, the dough balls will thaw and proof together, making a single larger ball of dough. After that, just follow the rest of the instructions on this page.

Step 4: Baking the Focaccia

close up view of a rosemary focaccia with cloves of garlic on a brown baking paper

Your dough is now rested and ready to bake. It is time for your fingers to get busy again. Cover the focaccia generously with your oil emulsion, this will make the top of the focaccia nice and crusty, simply delicious! Use your fingers to create those characteristic dimples in the focaccia – just press down, allowing the oil emulsions to fill in the indentations left by your fingers.

Sprinkle with some salt flakes, bits of fresh rosemary, and transfer it to you pre-heated oven. It will take about 15 minutes for your focaccia to be fully baked on 220˚ C, again, depending on its thickness.

ENJOY! Your focaccia is baked! You don’t need instructions for what’s next 🙂 Please share your creations using hashtag #truepizza

Toppings and Serving Ideas For Your Focaccia

The beauty of a focaccia is in its versatility – it will go great as a standalone snack, served as a side or just as bread, to be used as a base for a bruschetta, a sandwich… Here are some ideas, but feel free to make it your own, there’s no going wrong with a focaccia.

Bari-style Focaccia – topped with crushes cherry tomatoes (get rid of the watery contents), olives, oregano and ample extra virgin olive oil.

mortadella and pistachio sandwich made in a focaccia

Schiacciata – This Tuscan focaccia style is often used for sandwiches, made very popular worldwide by the Instagram-famous All’Antico Vinaio bakery in Florence.

Sfincione palermitano – Covered in tomato sauce, anchovies, cheese (caciocavallo), onions and breadcrumbs.

People Also Ask

How do I know when the focaccia is fully baked?

Focaccia is quite think compared to other types of bread, and it doesn’t need as much time in the oven. Best way to know if your focaccia is fully baked is to look at the color on the bottom – it should be uniformly golden-brown. If the center is still pale, give it a few more minutes.

Can I reheat leftover focaccia?

Oh, you most definitely can and should! What we often do is to use leftover focaccia to make bruschetta. Just slice your focaccia sideways, drizzle some oil (butter is also highly recommended), and place it in a hot oven, under the broiler.

If you want to reheat a whole focaccia, heat up your oven to 220 degrees Celsius, and once the oven is hot, place the focaccia on the wire rack. If the focaccia is very dry and the cust is hard, it helps to run it under water before baking.

Can I use True Pizza's dough to make sweet focaccias?

Absolutely! Just use any type of sweet topping in place of the savoury one. We often make a sweet focaccia topped with crushed walnuts, sliced apple and a light caramel sauce.

Are there any special techniques for creating a crispy crust on the focaccia?

To get that crispy crust on your focaccia you need to use an oil and water emulsion, salt being optional.

Use a jar wit a lid. For a 20×20 cm focaccia you’ll need 1dcl of water, 1dcl of extra virgin olive oil, and a couple of pinches of sea salt. Cover and mix vigorously until the emulsion forms – the liquid should be milky, the oil and water completely mixed. Cover your focaccia with the emulsion just before baking.

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