[caption id="attachment_5559" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Focaccia"][/caption]
Focaccia is an excellent flat oven baked Italian bread which is deliciously sprinkled with rosemary and topped with tomatoes and olives. Facaccia comes in large, flat loafs or smaller loaves suitable for sandwiches and may contain rosemary or other herbs and spices.
Focaccia is an Italian classic dish made by forming yeast dough into a large, flat round then liberally brushing it with olive oil and sprinkling with salt. Herbs especially rosemary one of the main ingredient is stuffed into the dough before baking. It is slightly similar to pizza but not considered to be the same. This dish is very popular all through Italy and can be seasoned with any variations using onions, cheese, and meat or flavored with variety of vegetables. Generally eaten as a snack in Italy and is often liked by the school children who purchase them during their break time.
It is said that in the late 19th century an Italian immigrant to the United Kingdom created a version of focaccia with a unique English twist. The local baker to Kings Clipstone, Nottinghamshire developed his version, known locally as Italian Lard Bread, using that staple ingredient of every Englishman's diet at that time in history, lard. Lard is sometimes added to the dough for giving the focaccia a softer and slightly flakier texture. Focaccia doughs are similar in style and texture to pizza doughs, consisting of high-gluten flour, oil, water, salt and yeast. It is typically rolled out or pressed by hand into a thick layer of dough and then baked in a stone-bottom or hearth oven and is often punctured by bakers with a knife to relieve bubbling on the surface of the bread.
Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals, as a base for pizza, or as sandwich bread. Focaccia word is derived from the Latin focus meaning “centre” and also “fireplace” – the fireplace being in the centre of the house. In American-English, it is sometimes referred to as focaccia bread. As the tradition spread, the different dialects and diverse local ingredients resulted in a large variety of bread (some may even be considered cake). The basic recipe of focaccia is thought to have originated with the Etruscans or ancient Greeks but today it is widely associated with Ligurian cuisine.
Liguria is the only Italian region that borders with the sea to the south, the Alps to the north and the Apennines to the east. This cuisine has created a unique gastronomy that harmonizes the products of the sea, the garden and the woods. Basil is one of the most popular ingredients of Liguria and Genoa that has graciously combined with garlic, parmesan cheese, pine-seeds and pure Ligurian extra virgin oil to create one of the best known products of the Genoa and Liguria, the Pesto.
To prepare the popular Italian flat Focaccia, firstly add yeast, flour, salt, vegetable oil and water in the order suggested by your bread machine manual and process on the dough cycle according to the manufacturer’s directions. At the end of the dough cycle, remove the dough from the machine.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the dough in half. Press out each half into a circle of about 9 inches in diameter. Transfer to a pizza tray or cookie sheet dusted with the cornmeal. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 5 minutes. Press fingers into dough to create dimples. (You can also make one large Focaccia that will cover a whole 11 by 16 inch pan). Drizzle half the olive oil over on each focaccia and sprinkle half the salt and half the rosemary on each. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden in color.
The most extreme example is the specialty "focaccia col formaggio" (focaccia with cheese) which is made in Recco, near Genoa. Other than the name, this Recco version bears no resemblance to other focaccia varieties, having a caillé and cheese filling sandwiched between two layers of paper-thin dough. Regional variations also exist, such as focaccia dolce (sweet focaccia), popular in some parts of north-western Italy, consisting of a basic focaccia base and sprinkled lightly with sugar, or including raisins, honey, or other sweet ingredients.
So by this you can also create your own variations and try making different focaccia as per you choice. For that you first need to click on the below link for the detailed recipe of preparing focaccia. So why delay more, go ahead and click at: