Slices of focaccia bread in a bowl
The Biggest Mistakes People Make When Baking Focaccia
Using All-Purpose Flour
Focaccia is an easy bread for home bakers to make, but there are a few mistakes to avoid, such as only using standard, all-purpose flour.
Instead, try using equal parts all-purpose flour and bread flour, which will give you a more elastic and chewier crumb, or substitute finely ground 00 flour for all-purpose flour.
Too Dry Dough
A common misconception about focaccia is that it’s a low-hydration dough, when in fact it’s quite a wet dough, as the water gives it that chewy texture.
As a good rule of thumb, you should use about 1 1⁄2 cups of water to four cups of flour. For the best texture, let it proof overnight so the gluten can develop.
Forgetting Salt
Salt is an essential ingredient for bread dough as it brings out the flavors of the other ingredients, like herbs, olives, or veggies.
Moreover, the salt helps hold in carbon dioxide as the bread proofs, keeping the dough soft and fluffy. Just don't add the salt directly on top of the yeast, as it can kill it.
Improper Yeast
There are many types of yeast available to the home baker from cake yeast to active dry yeast, but the best choice for focaccia is instant yeast.
Instant yeast is finer than active dry yeast and does not require activation before use. Simply add the yeast right in with the flour and get to work on your dough.
Not Using Poolish
Poolish is a type of fermented dough made of commercial yeast that has been allowed to pre-ferment for 12-24 hours before use, adding more flavor to the bread.
To make poolish, add equal parts of flour and water. Then, add yeast at 0.23 to 0.33% of the weight of the flour for an eight-hour pre-ferment.