Tag Archives: Focaccia

Genoese Sage Focaccia! (more a tutorial than a recipe)

This focaccia alla salvia, a typical Genoese focaccia, is very aromatic, wonderful served with cheese, soups and cold cuts. To make this focaccia you follow the focaccia recipe method and then you add the fresh sage at the end. You have to chop the sage really finely, in order to blend it nicely with the dough. The focaccia dough also needs to rise for several hours, so we are going to make a starter that you can make in advance, in order to make the preparation method a little more manageable.

The longer the dough rises, the better the focaccia will become, so don’t rush it! This is why in the traditional method we repeat the leavening process a few times…However you can shorten the process by skipping the second leavening (step 3) and mixing all the flour together straight away, if you don’t have much time.


I suggest you make the focaccia during the weekends (or in your spare time), as it needs to be looked after during the preparation method…It is a long process but it’s worth it!!!

Note. To make the starter there are two options: you can use normal yeast or you can use sourdough.

All you need (for the entire method).
250-300 g plain flour (depending if you use sourdough or yeast)
250 g durum wheat semolina flour
12 g yeast (or 50 g of sourdough)
a big bunch of fresh sage, very finally chopped
fine sea salt
lots of extra virgin olive oil
a little sugar
baking sheet
a baking tray (24 cm x 28 cm)
a bowl
cling film

Note. I am going to divide the ingredients and the preparation method into 4 main steps.



Step 1. Make the starter

For the starter with yeast


100 g plain flour

12 g yeast


a little sugar

Method with yeast.

Mix the yeast with a few spoons of warm water, a little flour and a little sugar. When it forms some bubbles add the rest of the flour, more water and work it until you get a small dough (keep it quite moist). Put the dough into a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight at room temperature.

For the starter with sourdough (natural yeast).


50 g plain flour

50 g sourdough


a little sugar

Method with sourdough.

Mix the flour, a pinch of sugar and the sourdough with some water, until you get a soft and moist dough. Place in a small bowl, then cover it with cling film and let rise overnight.



Step 2. The first leavening.


the starter we prepared earlier (with yeast or sourdough)

100 g of plain flour

100 g of durum wheat semolina flour


a little sugar (to help the leavening process)


In the morning, mix the starter with 100 g of plain flour, 100 g of durum wheat semolina flour and a little sugar, then add enough water to make a soft dough. Work well, then place the dough in a bowl, cover it with a cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.



Step 3. The second leavening.


the dough we prepared earlier

100 g plain flour

100 g durum wheat semolina four


a little sugar


Take the dough and add the flour with a little sugar, then mix with enough water and work well. Cover with cling film and let rise until it doubles in volume.


Step 4. Adding all the ingredients and baking.


the dough we prepared earlier

50 g of durum wheat semolina flour

a big bunch of fresh sage, very finely chopped

fine sea salt

50 ml extra virgin olive oil (and you’ll need some more to drizzle before baking)

100 ml of water




1. This is the final step! Take the dough and mix it with 50 g durum wheat semolina flour, finally chopped fresh sage leaves, some fine sea salt (but we are going to add more later) and mix just enough to blend the ingredients. Add 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, previously mixed with 100 ml of water. Mix everything (just enough, don’t overwork it or you’ll lose the leavening strength of the dough).


2. Take a baking tray, line with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and place the dough so that it covers the tray. Let rise for about an hour.


3. Once it has risen, press the dough with the tip of your fingers in order to create wells. Drizzle with more olive oil mixed with water, season with plenty of salt and bake at 200° C (392 °F) for 30-35 minutes.





Traditional Recipe: La Farinata Genovese (Genoese Socca)

Basically made from 3 ingredients (chickpea flour, olive oil and water), la farinata, or socca (as it is called in Nice), is a kind of chickpea focaccia, which doesn’t contain gluten and is dairy free.  It is quite easy to prepare and it’s perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets, because it is a good source of proteins.


Before getting the method and recipe right it might take a few tries, especially when it comes to finding the right balance between the ingredients. It might requires a lot of olive oil in order to become crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside, as it should be.
The farinata is traditionally only a few millimetres thin (see the pictures).

A few tips.
The ideal cooking method would also require a high temperature oven, like a wood stove, however, a good oven will do. Remember to use non-stick baking trays or baking paper.
The farinata has to be served quite hot, freshly made, otherwise it will become elastic and not very nice to eat. If you have leftovers, you can reheat the farinata in the oven the day after.

The farinata can also be enriched adding different ingredients; amongst the local most popular variations, you’ll find the onion and the artichoke farinata, also quite easy to make.


Farinata could be a delicious starter or aperitif, but it is also a wonderful meal when served with a nice big salad on the side.

La farinata di ceci (Genoese socca)


for 3 rounded backing trays (28 cm in diameter)

1,5 litre of water

500 g chickpea flour

200 ml extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste


1. In a large bowl, vigorously whisk 1,5 litre of water with 500 g. of chickpea flour, 100 ml olive oil and some salt. Once all the ingredients are mixed well, let sit for at least 5 hours (but 10 hours would be better, so the flour can absorb the water well).


2. After the resting time, remove the froth formed on the surface of the mixture with a spoon.


3. Pour some extra virgin oil on a non-stick baking tray, then with a ladle add 1/3 of the mixture and season with salt and pepper.



4. Bake the farinata at 220°C / 428°F (or higher) until golden, then turn on the grill and cook for a little longer, in order to get a nice crispy crust on top. Remove from the oven and serve hot.




Also see Chickpea flour bread recipe

La farinata di ceci.


Per 3 teglie rotonde di 28 cm di diametro

1,5 l d’ acqua

500 g di farina di ceci

sale e pepe q.b.

200 ml di olio extra vergine d’oliva


1. In una ciotola grande, mescolate energicamente con una frusta 1, 5 l di acqua, 500 g. di farina di ceci, 100 ml di olio e un po’ di sale. Una volta amalgamati bene gli ingredienti, lasciate riposare per almeno 5 ore (sarebbe meglio 10 ore, per far assorbire bene l’acqua).

2. Passato il tempo necessario, togliete con un cucchiaio la schiuma formata in superficie.

3. Versate un po’ d’olio su una teglia antiaderente, poi con un mestolo aggiungete il composto liquido (non troppo perché deve restare sottile) e condite con sale e pepe.

4. Infornate a 220° C per una decina di minuti, poi accendete il grill e lasciate che si formi una crosta croccante. Sfornate e servite!



Vedi anche la ricetta del Pane con farina di ceci e semi di zucca

Focaccia Rustica Alle Cipolle (Rustic Onion Focaccia)

This is another popular version of the Focaccia Alla Genovese. This onion focaccia comes from a traditional recipe, but here I am making my own adaptation, using different flours and not just plain flour (we use plain flour in the traditional recipe).

In fact, for this recipe I am preparing a dough mixing plain flour, semolina flour and spelt flour in equal parts.  It is quite a rustic focaccia, with the addition of the onions that keep the focaccia nicely moist and sweet. It is definitely something to try…


Focaccia rustica con le cipolle (onion focaccia).


for a medium sized oven tray

150 g plain unbleached flour

150 g whole spelt flour

150 g semolina (durum wheat) flour

14 g yeast

8 g salt (and a pinch of salt to put on top)

extra virgin olive oil

1/2 a glass of water (a small glass!!)

1 large onion, finely sliced


1. Mix the yeast with some warm water, than add two tablespoons of spelt flour (take two tablespoons from the 150 g of spelt flour mentioned in the ingredient list). Create a starter and let it rise until it doubles in volume.

Note. You can use yeast or make a starter using 50 g of semisolid sourdough (I used plain flour sourdough), a pinch of barley malt, a little bit of water and 100 g of spelt flour). If you are going to use sourdough, let the starter rise over night and then follow the recipe, starting from step 2.

2. Mix the remaining flour, arrange it on a working board (or a table) and create a well in the centre. Add 8 g of salt with a little bit of warm water and combine the ingredients to create a soft dough. Add the starter and work well.

3. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume.

4. Roll out the dough on a baking tray,previously greased with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and let rise for an hour. When the dough has risen, pressed with your fingers to create regular indents on the surface.


5. Top with the onion slices, add a little bit of salt and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.


6. Bake at 200° C (392°F) until the focaccia is slightly golden. Remove the focaccia from the oven and pour half a glass of water on the surface. Bake again until golden-brown and crisp.





also see the focaccia alla genovese recipe.

Focaccia rustica con le cipolle.


per una teglia da forno di media grandezza

150 g di farina 00

150 g di farina di farro integrale

150g di semola rimacinata di grano duro

14 g di lievito di birra

8 g di sale fino (e un pizzico di sale in più, da aggiungere alla fine)

olio extra vergine di oliva q.b.

Mezzo bicchiere d’acqua (un bicchiere piccolo!)

1 cipolla grande, tagliata a fettine sottili


1. Sciogliete il lievito di birra in poca acqua (tiepida) e aggiungete due cucchiai di farina di farro (prendete i due cucchiai di farina di farro dai 150 g indicati negli ingredienti). Create un panetto e lasciate raddoppiare di volume.

Nota. In questa ricetta è possibile utilizzare il lievito di birra oppure il lievito madre. Se utilizzate il lievito madre, fate un lievitino con 50 g di pasta madre semisolida (io ho usato lievito madre a base di farina 00), un pizzico di malto d’orzo, un po’ d’acqua e 100 g di farina integrale di farro). Lasciare lievitare tutta la notte e poi seguite la ricetta, a partire dal secondo passaggio.

2. Mischiate bene le farine rimaste e disponetele su una spianatoia (oppure su un tavolo). Aggiungete 8 g di sale con un po’ d’acqua tiepida e lavorate fino a creare un impasto morbido. Aggiungete anche il panetto di lievito e lavorate bene.

3. Lasciate lievitare in un luogo riparato, fino a quando l’impasto sarà raddoppiato di volume.

4. Stendete la pasta su una teglia (precedentemente unta con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva) e lasciate lievitare per un’oretta. Quando la pasta sarà nuovamente lievitata, pressate con le dita la superficie per creare delle fossette.

5. Ricoprite la focaccia con le fette di cipolla, aggiungete ancora un po’ di sale e irrorate con abbondante olio extra vergine d’oliva.

6. Infornate a 200°, fino a quando la focaccia sarà leggermente dorata. Togliete la focaccia dal forno e versate mezzo bicchiere d’acqua sulla parte superiore, poi infornate nuovamente, fino ad ottenere una focaccia ben dorata e croccante.

Da vedere anche la ricetta della focaccia alla genovese 

Traditional Recipe: Focaccia al Formaggio di Recco


This focaccia al formaggio di Recco (Cheese Focaccia from Recco), is one of the most appreciated dishes we have in Liguria. Many bakeries and pizza places make this amazing focaccia, but only a few really excel in this recipe.

This focaccia is basically made with two almost transparent sheets of pastry, made with flour, olive oil, salt and no yeast. The cheese is then arranged and sealed between the pastry layers. The result should’t be either too oily or dry, the pastry should be crunchy on top and the cheese should be very fresh and creamy in the middle. Sometimes I add milk to the cheese to make it a little extra creamy. But you really have to use only fresh crescenza or stracchino, because no other cheese will taste as good as these cheeses in this recipe!


The preparation method will requires some care, especially when you roll out the dough to make it thin. Yes, to make a thin layer might be tricky the first few times, however after some practice it will get easier and the pastry thinner.

Focaccia al formaggio di Recco.


For 6 servings

250 g (8.8 oz) plain flour

500 g (17.6 oz) of Italian soft cheese crescenza or stracchino (but you can double this amount, if you want more cheese inside the focaccia)

extra virgin olive oil

freshly ground sea salt

flour for dusting



1. On a work surface or a table, place the flour, then add the salt, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and enough water to make a soft and smooth dough. Knead well.




2. Dust the work surface with some flour and roll out the pastry using a rolling pin. Stretch the pastry further with your hands, until you get two almost see-through sheets (careful not to break them).




3. Place a sheet of pastry on a large baking tray, greased with extra virgin olive oil.  Arrange the cheese (cut into pieces) on top of the pastry, then cover everything with the other sheet of pastry.



4. Seal the edges of the pastry together, so that the cheese will stay inside when it melts.



5. Slightly pierce the pastry (only pierce the top layer, not the base). Bake at 200 ° C (392° F) until the pastry is golden and crispy. Salt and serve straight away.





Focaccia al formaggio di Recco.


Per 6 persone

250 g di farina 00

500 g di crescenza o stracchino (potete raddoppiare la dose di formaggio, se volete più formaggio dentro la vostra focaccia)

olio extra vergine d’oliva


farina per infarinare la spianatoia

acqua q. b.


1. Su una spianatoia, disponete la farina a fontana e aggiungete il sale, 2 cucchiai d’olio e l’acqua necessaria per ottenere un impasto omogeneo. Impastate bene tutto.

2. Infarinate la spianatoia e stendete l’impasto con il matterello. Tendete ulteriormente l’impasto con le mani, per ottenere due sfoglie il più sottile possibile (senza romperle).

3. Stendete una sfoglia su una teglia grande, precedentemente unta con 2 cucchiai d’olio. Disponete il formaggio fresco (tagliato a pezzi) sulla sfoglia e ricoprite tutto con la seconda sfoglia.

4. Pressate insieme i bordi delle sfoglie, in modo da sigillare la pasta e non far uscire il formaggio.

5. Bucate leggermente la superficie della pasta, facendo attenzione a non bucare la base della focaccia. Infornate a 200°C, fino ad ottenere una focaccia croccante. Salate e servite subito.


Spring onion stuffed focaccia bread.

My grandmother used to prepare this recipe for family dinners and celebrations. I remember eating a lot of this focaccia bread at every dinner we had. Of course, as usual, I made my own version using wholemeal flour and less anchovies and olives than in the original recipe. Anyway, it’s delicious and quite a versatile dish that you can have as a main vegan or vegetarian dish, or as a side dish with other courses. 
I am very happy to share this recipe here, its flavour takes me back to some good memories.


500 g (17.6 oz) of well risen pizza dough (I made mine with 1/3 wholemeal flour, 1/3 wholemeal spelt flour, 1/3 sourdough, water and salt) . Also see the post on how to make pizza dough with yeast for the recipe.

500 g ( 17.6 oz) spring onions

4-5 anchovies in oil

50 g (1.76 oz) pitted green olives 

extra virgin olive oil 

salt to taste

1. Divide the dough into two equal parts. Take one part and shape a disk slightly larger than 30 cm in diameter.

2. Take an oven pan (28 cm in diameter), grease with plenty of olive oil and roll out the dough.

3. Peel and slice the spring onions, including the tender green part. Fry the onions with plenty of olive oil over low heat, until they are tender.



4. Cut the olives, chop the anchovies and place all the ingredients evenly on the dough.


5. Make another disk with the remaining dough, in order to cover and seal the focaccia, then let it rise for an hour.


6. Season with some salt and a little bit of oil, then bake at 200 ° C (392° F) for 20 minutes.


Focaccia integrale ripiena con cipollotti e olive.

500 g di pasta da pane ben lievitata (ho fatto la mia usando 1/3 di farina integrale, 1/3 di farina di farro, 1/3 di pasta madre, acqua e sale)

500 g di cipollotti

4-5 acciughe sott’olio

50 g di olive verdi snocciolate

olio extra vergine d’oliva e sale qb

1. Dividete la pasta in due parti uguali. Prendete una parte dell’impasto e formate un disco leggermente più grande di 30 cm di diametro.

2. Prendete una teglia da forno (di 28 cm di diametro), ungete con abbondante olio d’oliva e stendere la pasta.

3. Sbucciare e affettare i cipollotti, compresa la parte verde più tenera. Fate soffriggere con abbondante olio d’oliva a fuoco basso.

4. Tagliare le olive e tritate le acciughe. Stendete tutti gli ingredienti in modo uniforme sulla pasta.

5. Formate un disco con la pasta rimasta per coprire e sigillare la focaccia. Lasciate lievitare per circa un’ora.

6. Condite con un po’ di sale e olio, quindi infornare a 200 ° C per 20 minuti.

How to make perfect bread.

Focaccia bread with rosemary and whole sesame seeds.



300 g (10.5 oz) wholemeal flour ( organic is better)

200 g (7 oz) plain flour, (organic is better)

167 g (5.8 oz) sourdough (or 16 g yeast)

10 g salt (for the dough) and some more to add over the focaccia bread

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

10 g sesame seeds (1 tablespoon)

half a teaspoon honey olive oil and water as needed

Bread dough.

To prepare a good homemade bread you need to choose the ingredients carefully.

There are many different flours to choose from, and not all necessarily reflect what labels say. Most wholemeal flour you find in shops, for example, is often nothing more than plain flour with added bran, therefore it’s always best to get informed and buy good quality products, possibly organic, to have good cooking results.

Making a good bread dough is essential, it is very versatile and it can be used in many recipes to add fragrance and flavour to your dishes. I often use good quality wholemeal flour in my dough, as it is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals and contains fewer calories than plain flour dough.

Starter dough.


The best way to strengthen and optimize the leavening and fermentation activity in bread dough is to create a starter dough ( or bread starter). We begin by adding the sourdough (167 g) to some flour (1/4 of the dose indicated in the recipe, 125 g, 4.4 oz), just a little bit of honey, and enough water to create a moist and soft dough. Cover and set the dough in a warm place to rise, until it has doubled in volume.This process will make your bread dough rise perfectly, after adding all the ingredients.

It’s also possible to make a starter dough using yeast, but time and dosage differ slightly. Use 16 g of yeast ( following the doses indicated in the recipe above) plus 2 tablespoons flour, very little honey, then cover and let it rise for 1 hour.

How to make sourdough from the start : https://foodfulife.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/how-to-make-na…east-sourdough/

Making the dough.

Mix the two flours in a large bowl. Pour the flour on a working surface (or use a large bowl) and make a well in the centre. Add salt and water to the flour mixture. Mix everything and add the starter dough.


Form a soft dough, adding water or extra flour if needed. The dough should be smooth and elastic. Shape into a round ball and slash the surface in a cross pattern.


Place the dough to rise in a warm place (rising time may vary depending on the ingredients you use). If you use natural yeast, your dough might take 3-6 hours to rise, or maybe less if you made a starter dough , my advice, however, is to always wait for the dough to double in volume.


Once risen, you can shape your dough into the desired form, and use it in many recipes.

Focaccia bread with rosemary and whole sesame seeds.


With the help of a rolling pin, roll out the bread dough until you have a thick layer and place it on a lightly greased rectangular baking tray (mine is a 28cm x 24 cm ).Stretch the dough layer to cover completely the baking tray. With your fingers, press lightly on the surface of the dough to create little wells, taking care not to break it.


Place in a warm place and let rise for 20 minutes. Brush your bread with olive oil and water,then sprinkle evenly with fresh rosemary leaves, sesame seeds and salt.


Bake at 180° C (356 °F) for 20 to 30 minutes. Cut and serve.


Focaccia integrale con rosmarino e semi di sesamo.


300 g di farina integrale

200 g di farina 00 biologica

167 g di lievito madre (oppure 16 g di lievito di birra)

10 g di sale (per l’impasto) e un po’ in più da aggiungere sopra la focaccia

Qualche rametto di rosmarino fresco

10 g di semi di sesamo (un cucchiaio)

mezzo cucchiaino di miele

olio d’oliva e acqua q b

Pasta da pane: impasto base.

Per preparare un ottimo pane fatto in casa è necessario scegliere gli ingredienti con cura. Esistono svariate farine e non tutte rispecchiano necessariamente ciò che indicano le etichette. La farina integrale che trovate in commercio, per esempio, spesso non è altro che farina bianca con dell’aggiunta di crusca, quindi e’ sempre meglio informarsi e comprare prodotti possibilmente biologici e di buona qualità, per avere buoni risultati in cucina.

Un buon impasto per il pane è importante perché può essere utilizzato in molte ricette, arricchendo i piatti con gusto e fragranza.  L’impasto integrale, in particolare, è ricco di fibra, un po’ meno calorico e contiene più vitamine e minerali di quello fatto con la farina bianca.

Qualche link utile sulla farina integrale:



Il lievitino, o panetto di lievito.

Il modo migliore per rinforzare e ottimizzare la lievitazione e la fermentazione nell’impasto, è quello di creare un lievitino, o panetto di lievito. Si procede aggiungendo al lievito madre (in questo caso 167 g) una parte della farina (1/4 della dose indicata nella ricetta) ,pochissimo miele (o zucchero, che useremo per nutrire il lievito), e acqua necessaria per creare un panetto umido e morbido. Coprite e mettete il panetto in un posto caldo finché non sarà raddoppiato di volume. Questa operazione farà lievitare perfettamente il vostro impasto, una volta aggiunti tutti gli ingredienti.

Naturalmente il lievitino si fa anche con il lievito di birra, ma le dosi e i tempi variano leggermente. A 16 g di lievito di birra, sbriciolato e sciolto in un po’ d’acqua (seguendo sempre le dosi indicate sopra), si aggiungono 2 cucchiai di farina, poco miele e si lascia riposare per 1 oretta circa al caldo. A questo link troverete tutto il procedimento per fare il lievito madre: https://foodfulife.wordpress.com/2013/01/02/how-to-make-na…east-sourdough/

Impasto e procedura.

Unite le farine e disponetele a fontana su un piano da lavoro (o in una ciotola grande), aggiungete il sale e l’acqua tiepida necessaria ad amalgamare il tutto, senza bagnarlo troppo. A questo punto aggiungete il panetto di lievito e lavorate energicamente fino a creare un impasto liscio e omogeneo. Formate una palla e incidete una croce sulla superficie. L’impasto ora è pronto per essere coperto e messo in un luogo caldo a lievitare. I tempi di lievitazione variano a seconda degli ingredienti usati. La lievitazione con il lievito madre può variare dalle 3 alle 6 ore, magari meno se usate il lievitino, il mio consiglio, comunque, è di aspettare sempre che l’impasto sia raddoppiato di volume prima di utilizzarlo. Una volta lievitato, potete dare al vostro impasto le forme desiderate o sbizzarrirvi con le vostre ricette.

Preparazione della focaccia integrale con rosmarino e semi di sesamo.

Aiutandovi con il matterello, stendete la pasta da pane fino ad ottenere una sfoglia spessa più o meno un dito e  ponetela in una teglia rettangolare leggermente unta (io ne uso una delle dimensioni di 28cm x 24 cm). Stendetela ulteriormente, in modo da ricoprire perfettamente la superficie della teglia. Con le dita premete leggermente sull’impasto per creare delle rientranze, facendo attenzione però a non romperlo. Lasciate lievitare per 20 minuti. A questo punto, spargete uniformemente le foglie di rosmarino fresco con i semi di sesamo e il sale sulla focaccia. Spennellate con un po’ di olio d’oliva e un po’ d’acqua, e infornate a 180° per 20- 30 minuti. Tagliate e servite.