The Best No Knead Focaccia

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THE most popular recipe on MissMollyMakes. Check out what all the fuss is about!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proofing Time (optional) 14 hours
Total Time 15 hours
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The Best No Knead Focaccia

Why this recipe is amazing

Flavour & texture: A rich and complex bread flavour which is created by the long slow fermentation in the fridge. The added olive oil gives a fruity, peppery flavour.

Difficulty: 2/5. This recipe is really simple just mix, proof, dump into a tray and bake. Seriously, its criminally easy!

Time: 14-24 hours. I know it seems like a long time but TRUST me, it’s worth it!

Versatility: Very! This recipe can either make 1 thick focaccia or two Detroit style pizza bases. The toppings are mix-ins are endless too. Try olives, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and herbs.

What ingredients are needed:

Bread or plain flour: Bread flour is recommended due to its higher protein (more gluten) levels which leads to a stronger structure and chewier texture. Plain flour is certainly okay for this recipe but your focaccia will be significantly lighter and missing the characteristic chewy texture.

Instant yeast: Only a small amount needed as that yeast will then feed on the honey and starches in the flour to keep it alive. Instant yeast is stronger, faster and more stable than dry yeast but you can substitute with what you have. You can also use around 50-100gm sourdough starter (reduce the water slightly) but I will be realising a specific sourdough focaccia soon.

Warm Water: This is a high percentage of water in this recipe, 83%. Water helps create a light, airy, pillowy dough and work to activate the yeast initially before the focaccia is refrigerated. A temperature of around 41-46°C/110-115°F is ideal but cooler water is okay just ensure that it is not above the aforementioned temperature as it risks killing the yeast.

Honey: The main reason sugar (like honey) is added to many foods, like bread, is to improve a variety of factors such as shelf life, texture, browning, and taste. Sugar, just the same as salt, acts as a preservative against mould and also helps bread keep its moisture. While the honey does not add much sweetness, it provides energy for the yeast to multiple and grow.

Salt: A huge part of bread baking but all cooking needs SALT! While enhancing the flavour of all ingredients in the recipe and giving the focaccia the ‘bready’ flavour we all love, it helps to tighten the gluten structure. That strengthening allows the dough to trap and hold more carbon dioxide more efficiently.

Olive oil: A huge secret to adding amazing flavour to focaccia is using a great-tasting olive oil. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but find a good quality extra-virgin oil. Extra virgin oil is the least processed, it retains more vitamins and minerals and has a fruity, peppery flavour. There is a reason why Italians live and love harder than others. They love their oil!

Salt flakes: This is a nicety more than a necessity. Flaked salt tastes amazing, looks fancy and gives a nice little crunch.

Food Science fun

  • How is gluten formed? On a a microscopic level, Flour is made up of mainly starch and proteins. When flour comes into contact with water, the main proteins glutenin and gliadin get together and form Gluten. Kneading causes the proteins to rub against each other, causing them to untangle, join together and trap carbon dioxide.
  • What is No Knead dough? No-knead bread is a bread making technique that uses a a long fermentation (rising) time instead of kneading to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture and chewiness. Because there is no ‘rubbing’ action to untangle the proteins, we rely on enzymes to break down the long proteins and create shorter ones. Shorter proteins are then easier to untangle and join together to create gluten.
    • This process is lengthy, therefore recipes that are ‘no-knead’ need a long proof time and a lower level of yeast to ensure that the web-like structure is strong enough to eventually hold the carbon dioxide. If it were to proof too quickly, there would not be enough gluten to trap the air and it would be dense.

How to make Focaccia

  • Activate the yeast: In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve. Sit for a few minutes to ensure it is active.
  • Mix it all together: Add in the oil, flour and salt. Stir well and scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Add rosemary & garlic if you’d like now.
  • Quick or slow ferment
    • Long Ferment:
      • Leave out at room temperature or place in fridge to ferment for 14 to 24 hours or until at least doubled in volume. This will develop flavours and give a delicious texture.
    • Want to use it now?
      • You’ll have to lightly knead or stretch the dough to help build the gluten structure. The result wont be exactly the same as long ferment but you can have focaccia today! Place onto clean bench top and use oil to help keep dough from sticking. Yes, it will be very wet, use more oil. Knead for 3-5 minutes until it comes together. Place back into large bowl with a little oil, cover with cling film. Set aside in warm area until doubles in size (roughly 1 hr).
  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 220°C/440°F. Spread 2 to 3 tbsp oil evenly onto a deep, high sided baking tray (roughly 33cmx45cm/13x18inch). Use 2 trays if your making pizza as it will be too thick.
  • Transfer: Remove the dough from the bowl and place in the pan. Pour an additional 2 tbsp of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough usin750g your fingers to gently dimple and stretch outwards. The dough may stretch inwards, so wait roughly 5 minutes before repeating enough times until the dough covers size of the pan. Cover & set aside for 45-60 minutes in a nice warm place to rise a little.
  • Dimple: Use fingers and create dimples in the dough. Sprinkle heavily with salt and extra oil as desired.
  • Bake: Bake for 20-30 minutes or until top is brown and bottom is crisp.

Setting you up for success – Tips, Tricks & FAQs

  • Note that this is a high hydration dough that is designed to be proofed at a low temperature for longer period of time. The slow proof allows a lovely chewier texture and flavour.
  • Want a quicker version without the slow proof? 
    • Be aware that the final product will not be as chewy and soft, but it will still be light, airy, and delicious.
    • Let the mixed dough rise at room temperature until it has almost double in size, around 1 to 2 hours (depending on your room temp). Then continue with the next steps of the recipe.

FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my focaccia dense and tough?

Not kneading the dough long enough or allowing the focaccia to sit more enough time in the fridge will prevent enough gluten from being former. This causes flat and dense focaccia once baked. Kneading process develops the gluten structure. It will make the dough more soft and elastic.
Your yeast could be dead. If you finish step 1 and after 10 minutes there is no bubbles present, your yeast is dead or the water may have been too hot. Try again with a new batch of yeast.

Why don’t I have to knead the long ferment version?

The awesome thing about baking is the Science! I’ve written a little section Food Science Fun

I’ve tried to activate my yeast and there is no bubbles:

The yeast could be dead. If you finish step 1 and after 10 minutes there is no bubbles present, your yeast is dead or the water may have been too hot. Try again with a new batch of yeast.

How do I store Focaccia?

Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Can I make other flavoured focaccia?

Of course! The toppings and mix-ins are endless. Try olives, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and herbs.

Can you freeze focaccia?:

Certainly! You can freeze semi-baked and fully baked focaccia. Place in an airtight freezer bag or wrap in cling film and store for up to 3 months.

Did you make this recipe?

Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at twitch.tv/missmollymakes.com

The Best Focaccia Recipe

A long, slow proofed focaccia that is deliciously crunchy yet soft and pillowy in the interior. Allowing the dough to rest 14 to 24 hours is the secret to the best focaccia recipe!
Makes 1 thick focaccia or 2 Detroit style pizzas.
Servings 1 Focaccia
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Proofing Time (optional) 14 hrs
Total Time 15 hrs

Equipment

  • large bowl
  • 33cmx45cm/13x18inch sheet tray

Ingredients
 

  • 625 g ( cups) water warmed
  • 10 g (1 tbsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 750 g (5½-6 cups) bread or plain flour
  • 11g (¾ tbsp) salt
  • 57+ g ( cups) olive oil
  • salt flakes

Optional

  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve. Sit for a few minutes to ensure it is active.
  • Add in the oil, flour and salt. Stir well and scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Add rosemary & garlic if you'd like now.

Quick or slow ferment

  • Long Ferment:
    Leave out at room temperature or place in fridge to ferment for 14 to 24 hours or until at least doubled in volume. This will develop flavours and give a delicious texture.
    Use Now:
    You'll have to lightly knead or stretch the dough to help build the gluten structure. The result wont be exactly the same as long ferment but you can have focaccia today!
    Place onto clean bench top and use oil to help keep dough from sticking. Yes, it will be very wet, use more oil. Knead for 3-5 minutes until it comes together. Place back into large bowl with a little oil, cover with cling film. Set aside in warm area until doubles in size (roughly 1 hr).
  • Preheat oven to 220°C/440°F
  • Spread 2 to 3 tbsp oil evenly onto a deep, high sided baking tray (roughly 33cmx45cm/13x18inch). Use 2 trays if your making pizza as it will be too thick.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place in the pan. Pour an additional 2 tbsp of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough using your fingers to gently dimple and stretch outwards. The dough may stretch inwards, so repeat every 5-10 minutes until the dough covers size of the pan. Cover & set aside for 45-60 minutes in a nice warm place to rise a little.
  • Use fingers and create dimples in the dough. Sprinkle heavily with salt and extra oil as desired. Bake straight away for 20-30 minutes or until top is brown and bottom is crisp.
  • Cool for 5 minutes then serve on its own or with cured meats, dukkah or as you wish!

Nutrition

Calories: 3351kcal | Carbohydrates: 576g | Protein: 95g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 43g | Sodium: 4320mg | Potassium: 934mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 8mg

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @missmollymakes on Instagram and hashtag it #missmollymakes.

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  1. 5 stars
    Amazing focaccia, and so easy for a bread novice like myself.

    1. Miss Molly Makes Author says:

      Thankyou for taking the time to comment and the bread was delicious! <3 Molly xx

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