Did I really need another focaccia recipe? Probably not, but by now you know, I never believe a recipe is ever really “finished”. I love tinkering with my recipes. It’s not always because I think they need improvement, but because I enjoy experimenting.
This recipe is a combination of the No-Knead Overnight Focaccia and the Focaccia Genovese recipes, both in the cookbook. I wanted the fluffier interior texture of the Genovese, but with a little more crustiness on the exterior and the well-developed flavor of the Overnight Focaccia. The perfect crumb and flavor of this focaccia is achieved by refrigerating a very highly hydrated dough for 12-24 hours. Allowing the dough to rest in the frig slows down the activity of the yeast. The slow rise fills the dough with gas cells which give structure and incredible flavor to the bread. The focaccia will emerge from the oven pillowy and golden with a crisp outside and a soft, airy inside. The process is very straightforward, and once the dough is mixed, time and your refrigerator will do the work for you. A no-frills, delicious version of a much-loved classic that will definitely impress your friends and family.
Overnight Focaccia, Genovese Style
- 4 cups Tipo “00” flour (AP flour is an ok substitute, but the texture will not be as airy)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- 1¾ cups lukewarm water
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- Olive oil for drizzling over top
- Finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Flaky sea salt for finishing
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Combine the water and wine. Add to the dry ingredients along with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using a rubber spatula, mix until liquid is absorbed and ingredients form a sticky dough ball.
- Slick the surface of the dough with olive oil; then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. This is an important step to prevent the dough from drying out and forming a crust over the top. Refrigerate 12-24 hours or up to 72 hours. The dough will not have risen much and will be quite loose and wet looking.
- Using a spatula, fold the dough over itself 8-10 times, rotating the bowl quarter turns.
- Cover tightly and let rise in a warm, draft free place until doubled and full of bubbles. This could take up to 4 hours or more.
- Butter (or grease with shortening) a 9×13” pan or a 10” round cake pan, depending on how thick you like your focaccia. Even if your pan is non-stick, this is important. Line the bottom with parchment paper. You really must line the pan if you want to take the focaccia out of it. This dough will stick to most pans. Pour 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan over the parchment paper
- Spray a spatula or plastic dough scraper with non-stick cooking spray and fold the dough over itself 3 or 4 times, rotating the bowl quarter turns. Do not over-deflate. You want to keep some gas bubbles.
- Drop the dough in the middle of the prepared pan. Turn the dough over so it is covered in oil and press lightly to flatten into the pan. It does not have to fit perfectly to the edge of the pan. It will raise to fill the pan.
- Leave the pan on the counter, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425° convection.
- Drizzle another tablespoon of oil over the focaccia. Using all of your fingers, press straight down to create deep dimples and push the dough to the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with rosemary and flaky sea salt. Bake immediately.
- Bake about 20 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Remove from pan and transfer to cooling rack.