THE FORGIVING FOCACCIA- a Baking Beginner’s Delight
The first bread I ever baked! And it remains my favourite to date 😀
‘Mom, it smells like an Italian kitchen in here!!’, yelled my 13 year old in abandoned joy.
And I felt like joining him because I was baking my first bread-ever!!
The first prove and the second prove were periods of anxiety.Have I the right yeast! Am I doing it the right way!
(If those sound like alien terms, don’t you worry- they were strangers to me till a month back!)
Eventually, when we bit into it, it was the best focaccia we’d ever had,soft inside, a hint of crunch on the outside.And I was a happy Mamma (Mia)!!
I call it ‘The Forgiving Focaccia’ as it is almost impossible to go wrong with it! A perfect start for your baking journey as it was for mine 🙂
Here is the super-simple recipe. The recipe is inspired and simplified from my friend Priyanka Chakraborty’s recipe here
For the focaccia dough
2 cups – All purpose flour (Maida)
1 ¼ tsp dry yeast or ½ teaspoon Instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup buttermilk/chhas/taak (at room temperature)
¼ cup just-warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil
For the topping
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed herbs – oregano,basil,rosemary and garlic powder
¼ tsp salt
4-5 cherry tomatoes halved or a large tomato, sliced
A few leaves of fresh basil
Prove the yeast – (Now what does that mean? Here you go) Add the sugar to ¼ cup of warm water. Mix well. The water has to be just the right temperature- not too hot because that will kill the yeast not too cool because the yeast won’t prove. Drop some on the back of your wrist and it should feel warm there. Add the yeast and rest covered for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should froth like soapy bubbles. If it doesn’t, throw the mix and start afresh. Proper proving of the yeast is vital to good bread!
In a big bowl, take the flour and salt. Mix well.
Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the flour and knead the dough with the buttermilk. It will be sticky and it is meant to be like that.
Add the Olive oil and knead for another 10-12 minutes. You will have a soft and manageable dough now.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough should double up. The time actually depends on the weather conditions-if very hot, it doubles sooner than the 1 ½ hours. This is the first prove.
Remove from the bowl once the dough is doubled and gently knock out the air.
Roll it out into a large recrtange,square or circle as desired and place on to a greased baking dish.
Cover with cling film or a kitchen towel taking care that they do not touch the top of the bread. Leave to rise again for about 30 minutes. This is the second prove.
When there are 20 minutes to go, pre-heat the oven at 200C.
Make dimples on the surface of the bread, gently with your fingertip, so that you don’t deflate it. Drizzle olive oil generously, filling up the dimples made over the surface of the focaccia.
Sprinkle some dry herb mixture and garlic powder (or a tsp of garlic crushed fine) Brush with oil all over the surface with gentle hands.Stick the cherry tomatoes into the bread.
Bake for 20 minutes at 180 C, till the top changes colour slighty. If doing in an oven with two elements, please keep both on.
Remove from over, sprinkle some shredded basil leaves and bake for another 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven, cool on a wire rack for 8-10 minutes, slice and serve fresh out of the oven.
- This dough keeps well in the refrigerator too. I cling filmed it tight and put it in last night. This morning, removed, got it back to room temperature and baked. Works well 🙂
- Baked bread can be sliced , wrapped in paper towels and frozen in ziplock bags. Before using, thaw and put into a hot oven for 10 odd minutes and it is as good as fresh 🙂
A look at the lovely crumb. The crust is nice and crunchy and the insides, very soft!
And since I made this, I am totally and absolutely bitten by the baking bug and am baking almost thrice a week!
More madness to follow!
Cheers and Happy Baking! 😀
84 thoughts on “A simple focaccia- my first bread ever!”
Cheers to u too..for the lovely focaccia post…and thanks for the recipe dear 🙂
Thanks a lot Pragya! ❤
lovely!hope mine comes out as nice as urs 🙂
I am sure it will ❤
Gorgeous looking handsome focaccia G! Well done with steps pictures too.
Thank a bunch Sonal. Focaccia is loved a lot here..I make hearty portions 🙂
Nice… I like… 🙂
Thanks Raj 🙂
NIce!! Thnx for the step by step pics…. 🙂
Thanks for dropping by Swayam 🙂
Nice, simple and still an eye full!
Love the easy to steps.
Thanks a lot dream for dropping by and for the lovely words 🙂
Wonderful post Garima…. Thanks for the mention and here’s to many more Focaccias!
Thanks a lot Priyanka. To Focaccias! Cheers!!
Simple easy to follow instructions, as is usual with all your recipes. ☺
Ankita, thank you so much for a lovely comment 🙂
Whistle whistle! Yum!
Thanks Rieby darling ❤
Very detailed post and will help a lot of us who are still learning to bake..Excellent 🙂
Thanks a lot Priya. I know from my experience, the number of doubts that cloud the mind when one is a learner, specially at the time of the first bake. Have tried to incorporate all that I learned at the beginning of my journey 🙂
I always loved a focacia but never tried baking it myself. You do make it sound easy for beginners 🙂
This one’s really simple. Do give it a go! Will love to hear back on how it went for you.
Happy Baking 🙂
Wow garima….thats so easy to follow n make….I was wondering since 3 weeks after joining cal how to start with my baking journey(havnt tried my hands on baking)…bt wid dis recipe m sort out…will surely try it out once I go bak home….thanku soooo much…!!
Shweta, thank you so much! This is actually super simple and perfect for a first bread! Go for it and do let me know how it turned out. Happy Baking 🙂
Bt garima ji….I hav a query…I hav convection microwave. ..which bakeware shud b used in it….aluminium tins or d one which hav black coating over dem..?
Sorry Shweta I have no idea about Microwave baking. I bake in the OTG.
Hi garima…..if im using dry instant yeast ..what should be the yeast quantity
½ teaspoon Instant yeast
1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
Here is a link in case you are looking for exact conversion
Happy baking 🙂
Please donor use aluminium tins as I have a microwave with convection.
Hi garima….thanks for step by step illustrations. .hv one query in mind…as you mentioned in your post that we can make 2 focaccia out of this dough. So can we make them simultaneously or first wehv to do with half for 20 min and then again with rest for 20 mins. Please suggest.
You can make two simultaneously if your oven is large enough. Else bake one and then the other. That’s what I do as I have a small OTG.
Thanks for dropping by.
Which brand yeast should i use
I used Gloripan Instant Yeast. 🙂
Ve tried baking the bread .. But the dough is too sticky.. Will post u the pic of the outcome..,
The dough starts with being sticky and gets smooth as you knead. If unmanageably sticky, you can sprinkle a tsp of flour and proceed. 🙂
Thx a ton…
Bread was yummy
Am planning to make more for the get together over the weekend
Yeyy and yeyy!! Thanks so much for writing in. Happy Baking over the weekend 😀
Wow. .its lovely ..thank u G for such a detailed step by step illustration. .wl definitely try it n let u kno hw it turned out:)
Thank you so much Shilpa for visiting. Hope it turns out well for you. Happy Baking-:-)
Thanks for the wonderfull step by step illustration of the recipe. I used yeast for the first time and focaccia came out amazing with your recipe. 🙂 I had posted in cal but wasn’t able to tag you there.
Thank a lot for writing in! I am so happy the focaccia came out well. Try posting it on my FB page 🙂
wow delish! will cook soon
Thanks Komal 🙂 Happy Baking 🙂
Hello …. I tried ur rasgulla recipe n focaccia bread recipe.both turned out awesome.thanks for the recipes. :)-
One question…..for how much time the dough can be kept outside refrigerator after the second proving???
After the second prove, you need to bake immediately.
Hope that helps 🙂
Thank you for such a detailed recipe, its akin to a boon for people like me are doing it for the first time.
I had a doubt…When you say that we can store the dough in the refrigerator….should we cling wrap the dough itself or put the dough in a vessel and then cling wrap the vessel….and does this matter?
Thank you so much!!
Thank you so much.
I cling film the dough itself. The basic idea is to keep it airtight and also give it room to expand 🙂
Tried my hands on bread baking for the first time yesterday.. and followed this recipe step by step..
And the bread turned out to be the yummiest thing!
Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe, will surely try other breads mentioned in your blog 🙂 🙂
That’s lovely to hear Rashmi..thanks for the wonderful words. Happy Baking 🙂
OMG!! OMG!! i finally did it… I Made this as you had directed and came out so flavourful.. I don’t have an oven ..so i did this on a gas Top. But still the it came our crunchy on back and soft and yummy throughout. I substituted with Semolina and had added flavours like basil, paprika, tomato and corn. …Thank you so much for this !!!
Woo hoo!! That’s super Sejal! And on stove top..wow 😀
The flavours sound delish!!
Thank you … I have made a system called Dutch Oven.. where i use a bog vessel with a lid.. I make all my tandoori dishes in this Dutch oven. I was very worried to try breads in this.. and kept such a watchful eye… but finally in half the time it takes in an oven … my bread was out in 12 mins 🙂
This sounds real interesting! Looks like something I’d love to make Tandoori on. 🙂
You Bet !! Though Electricity is not expensive in Jakarta… Gas is relatively cheaper … Wish could attach a snap to show you my Contraption…
Ah! Lemme find you on FB 🙂 then we can connect better!
I have already sent you a message on FB… Maybe its in your Others Folder.. Thank you for your kind words
Found it 😀
Hi Garima! I gave it a try. Infact I am writing this post while I kept it covered in a bowl. It’s been 20 mins and it’s summer time but it’s not rising. Thing is I got the yeast from a place where you get all baking items in Kolkata. It’s called best active dry yeast and doesn’t need proving. Calls for direct use. As I didn’t get any other I was left with no other option. Rest I followed all your steps. But it’s not yielding any result. What to be done next time?
I always prove the yeast in warm water and sugar no matter what the pack says. That cannot harm. Currently I’m using instant yeast from Gloripan which ideally needn’t be proved. But I do it to save the wastage later.
I suggest you prove before you proceed next time. I did a pictorial for proving in my Pav post. See that if it helps you 🙂
Hi can you tell me how to make butter milk? ..with milk or vinegar? Or the one. I get readymade masala chaas ?
Buttermilk can be made in three ways
1. Simply thin down one third cup of yogurt/dahi with 2/3 cup of water and whisk
2. In a cup of milk, add a tsp and a half of vinegar. Let it stand for a few minutes till the milk splits. Mix and use
3. If you’ve extract butter at home from malai, the liquid left behind is buttermilk.
If using store bought, go for plain not masala chanas.
Hi tried this bread .. It turned out bit sour .. Although butter milk wasnot sour . And yeast was olso as oer recipe. The texture was good . Proofing was same as per recipe too .. Kindly guide were i went wrong thanx
Was it too hot and maybe the dough got over proofed? I haven’t had a sour tasting bread ever and this is one recipe I make on a regular basis.
As soon as the dough doubles, one can proceed with the next step. Need not wait out the hour. That’s the only reason I can think of really. 🙂
Yes may be amd thays y the sides of bread became hard as well . I supppose . Well thax wilgive second try soon
Hi Garima! My foccacia didn’t turn brown even though I tried 200 c for 5 mins. The middle is soft but the sides are hard. What could have gone wrong?
Sorry but I have no idea about microwave baking . I guess you need to use the grill option in the last few minutes for browning. You will also need to check the temperature as per the microwave .
To add for your convenience I baked it in microwave in convection mode as I don’t have an otg
Great Sutupa 😀
Garima your recipes re a blessing to me I take coking classes and your recipes re a hit in my classes because of you and your recipes I doing very gud thank you garima waiting for more
Thanks a bunch Anu 😀 I am so glad they work for you ❤
Hello Garima aunty!
Just going to try your Focaccia bread..
Can 6 our please tell me what is the measure of your 1 cup in gm?
Fluff up the flour, scoop into the cup and level off the top with a knife. You get 125-130 grams. Mine is a 250 ml cup
can i use baking tray also, as i have a small tin for otg.
Yeah you can 🙂
I do try most of your recipes and thank you so much they are awesome ….I followed your recipe for focaccia but when came to rolling it was very difficult since the dough was still a bit sticky. I just pressed it with my palms …. Was I wrong somewhere?
Thanks for trying my recipes 🙂
Looks like you may have added more liquid then required while kneading the dough.
Hi Garima, i made this and it turned out awesome. however i have one query… should i put water too when i used instant yeast since in instant yeast i put directly in the flour so the water that is used in dry yeast should it be added here. also when i keep dough in the freezer , should it be after the second proofing
Add instant yeast starlight to the flour and add water slowly to get a soft and pliable dough.
You can keep the dough in the fridge after the first rise 🙂
Its a no fail receipe…love it everytime i make 👍