I’ve been trying longer cold ferments/rises with all of my bakes now and it seems to work great at creating airier, lighter breads and obvs also helps you fit baking in around a busy schedule. I tried a higher dough hydration level to make this focaccia extra moist, which doesn’t add anything to the difficulty because you hardly handle focaccia dough at all – there’s no kneading! It’s the easiest. The extra moisture means it’ll keeps for longer without drying out which lots of focaccia breads seem to do quickly. It portions away into old takeaway boxes perfectly so makes for fab lunches, or can even be frozen to eat at a later date.
5g instant dry yeast/~15g fresh yeast
520g bread flour
475g water (~29-30°C)
Glug of olive oil
4. The next morning, take the dough out of the fridge. It should have more than doubled in size and it should be covered in bubbles.
5. Using a lightly oiled hand, punch down the dough and fold the sides into the middle a couple of times. Flip the dough over in the bowl.
6. Transfer the dough to the centre of an oiled deep oven tray. Cover and leave to expand for 2 hours at room temperature. It will flatten into more of a foccaccia shape as it expands and fills out the oven tray (remember to oil the sides of the tray to prevent it sticking!).
The oven tray you use will determine the shape of your focaccia. If you instead want a circular bread, try using a standard cake tin. If following this recipe you’ll have to divide the dough into two and do two separate bakes for this, or just halve all ingredients from the start to make one smaller cake-tin sized focaccia. Whatever oven tray or cake tin you use though, make sure it’s a deep one – you don’t want the dough spill out over the sides!
7. After two hours, drizzle over some more olive oil and using oiled fingers, dimple the dough. You’ll see lots of air bubbles popping out as you dimple it 😍
8. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
9. Add any toppings to the dimpled dough. Push the toppings into the focaccia dough slightly.
10. Sprinkle the dough with flaked salt and a final drizzle of olive oil.
11. Cook in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Leave to cool, eat…. 🤤