This approach to making focaccia came to me in the night as I was dreaming about experimental holiday bread: A simple recipe for delicious real bread that you can make at home with almost no work so you can enjoy the holidays as much as everyone else. And impress your friends and family. The approach is a no knead focaccia – a faux-caccia! I crack myself up every time I think about it. But then, I am a simple soul…
Without further ado or looking for applause and praise for my incredible word smithing, I present to you the simple faux-caccia recipe.
For this recipe I used a non stick 13 x 9 inch roasting tin (2 inches deep). If your tin is bigger, simply increase the amount of dough you make. If your tin in smaller, simply decrease it. You will see how easy this is below. If your tin is NOT non stick, line the bottom of the tin with non stick baking parchment in order to bake your faux-caccia.
The night before you want your fauxcaccia measure the following into a bowl:
500 grams of white wheat flour
500 grams of cold water (that is NOT a typo – I really mean 500 grams – same amount as the flour)
10 g salt (this is 2% of the amount of flour)
10 g fresh yeast (this is the same weight as the salt) (or 5 g dry yeast (half the amount of fresh yeast) or 2.5 g instant yeast (half the amount of the dry yeast)
Stir everything really well so that you evenly distribute the salt and the yeast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and pop it in the fridge. That’s it. Part one over. NO KNEADING!
A few hours before you want to eat the faux-caccia remove the dough from the fridge. It does not matter if it is in the fridge for 12 hours or 24 hours. A minimum amount of time is probably 8 hours. So over night, or all day or more.
Pour a liberal amount of good quality olive oil in the bottom of your roasting tin. You need enough to cover the bottom completely. Pour and then scrape the dough into the tin. Oil your hands, get them under the dough and gently stretch it out to the sides and corners of the tin. Try not to tear holes in the dough but if you do, don’t worry – just kind of pinch the dough together to patch up the holes.
Cover the tin with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let it sit for 2-4 hours (remember, it’s cold and needs to warm up and then do it’s rise).
Pre heat the oven to 230 degrees C.
Scatter whatever you would like on your faux-caccia (rosemary, thyme, sage, slivered shallots, olives, etc.) sprinkle a little salt on the top and drizzle more olive oil over the dough.
Wet your fingers (so you don’t stick to the dough) and plunge them over and over into your dough to dimple it down completely.
Pop the dough in the oven and bake it for 20 -25 minutes until it is golden brown on top.
Remove it from the oven and immediately remove your faux-caccia from the roasting tin by inverting it onto a cooling rack (carefully, don’t splatter any hot oil on yourself). Let it cool and then serve it to gasps of admiration from your friends and family.
No knead faux-caccia. It really does not get easier than that!
If you would like to explore more about baking bread, click here to take a bread course with us. If you are struggling to find the perfect holiday gift for someone you know, click here to buy a gift voucher for a baking course. In addition to basic bread and sourdough bread (and lots of others) we have an Italian bread course. Click here to search for courses by bread type! Just type “Italian” into the search box and you will find the Italian bread courses.
We look forward to welcoming you!
Top Tip – did you know it is easier to cut focaccia with a very sharp “normal” knife. Bread knives, even the best ones, tend to tear focaccia.