Focaccia – The classical Italian bread

Focaccia is a flat oven-baked Italian bread, which is quite similar in style and texture to pizza dough. Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals or as sandwich bread.  The word is derived from the Latin focus meaning “hearth, place for baking.” The basic recipe is thought by some to have originated with the Etruscans, but today it is widely associated with Ligurian cuisine. Flour, water, yeast and olive oil are the essential ingredients. Focaccia can then be topped with coarse salt, rosemary, cherry tomatoes, onion or other vegetables and is considered to be a pizza prototype.

Focaccia al rosmarino is a popular style of flatbread in Italian cuisine prepared using focaccia dough, rosemary, olive oil and salt, sea salt or kosher salt. Whole or sliced fresh rosemary leaves may be used, as can dried rosemary. It may be garnished with sprigs of fresh rosemary after baking and sprinkled with salt.Focaccia al rosmarino may have a moist texture, and the ingredients used in its preparation and the shape it is formed in varies in different regions. It may be prepared as a savory or sweet dish. The dish is typically baked, although it is sometimes fried in oil.Additional ingredients such as garlic, or basil may be used.A very similar style is focaccia alla salvia (focaccia with sage), which is prepared by simply substituting sage for the rosemary. Pizza bianca is another similar style, which is prepared using pizza dough, olive oil, chopped rosemary and salt. The term “pizza bianca” refers to focaccia in some areas of Italy.

Click here to read more about the regional varieties of Focaccia

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