Since you’re here, you probably already know that Samin Nosrat is the genius behind Netflix’s Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. She recently did a video with Brad from Bon Appétit, where she showed us how to make this brilliant Ligurian Focaccia. Side note – love that fermentation series – check it out here – It’s Alive!
Now the interesting thing about Samin Nosrat’s Focaccia recipe is that she uses this brine over the focaccia dough, right before it goes into the oven. It’s something I’ve never seen before, but hearing her describe how the brine affects the final flavour of the focaccia, instantly made me want to make it!
The salt in the brine, just goes all the way through the dough during the bake, and makes the focaccia INCREDIBLY delicious with flavour, in every single bite.
Samin’s recipe called for a pan nearly double the size (in area) of the largest pan I had at home, so I halved the recipe (I cut all the ingredients by half), and it worked out great!
Heading into the Oven
This was literally all that was left after the husband and I got into it. #NoRegrets
Note 1 – One of the best things about this recipe, is that it has been developed to use pantry ingredients. You don’t need anything fancy to make incredible focaccia, besides what’s already in your home.
Note 2 – The recipe is fairly forgiving. I forgot to add the olive oil when I was adding the yeasted water to the dough. I mixed the entire dough without olive oil, and only realised after the dough was fully formed. After a fair amount of self-berating, I added the olive oil, and gently tried to incorporate it into the dough, hoping for some kind of a miracle. And it worked!
Note 3 – This recipe has been adapted from Samin’s original recipe – https://www.saltfatacidheat.com/fat/ligurian-focaccia.
Note 4 – I knew that my pan was half the size of Samin’s, by calculating the area of her pan vs mine. If you’re looking for a handy guide on how to calculate the area of your pan, (square, or round) check out this quick guide by Food52 – https://food52.com/blog/13239-how-to-make-your-baking-recipe-fit-your-pan-size
Samin Nosrat’s Ligurian Focaccia Recipe – Halved
Samin Nosrat’s Ligurian Focaccia
For the dough:
- 300 grams lukewarm water
- 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 7.5 grams honey
- 400 grams all-purpose flour
- 9 grams Diamond Crystal Kosher salt or fine sea salt
- 25 grams extra-virgin olive oil Keep bottle around for pan and finishing
- Flaky salt for finishing
For the brine:
- 2.5 grams Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt any salt will do
- 40 grams lukewarm water
- 9 PM - In a medium bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve.
- In a very large bowl, whisk flour and salt together to combine and then add yeast mixture and olive oil.
- Stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated, then scrape the sides of the bowl clean. Add a little olive oil to the bottom and top of the dough - just enough to cover it entirely, so that the dough doesn't dry out during rising, and can rise evenly. Cover with plastic wrap.
- Proof 1 - Leave out at room temperature to ferment for 12 to 14 hours until at least doubled in volume.
- 10:00 AM - Spread about 2 tablespoons oil evenly onto a 12-by-9.5 inch rimmed baking sheet.
- When dough is ready, use a spatula or your hand to release it from the sides of the bowl and fold it onto itself gently, then pour out onto pan.
- Pour an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath and pulling outward.
- The dough will shrink a bit; so repeat stretching once or twice over the course of 30 minutes (Proof 2) to ensure dough remains stretched.
- 10:40 AM - Dimple the dough by pressing the pads of your first three fingers in at an angle.
- Make the brine by stirring together salt and water until salt is dissolved. This brine is the most magical part of the focaccia flavour. Well… the brine, and the olive oil.
- Pour the brine over the dough to fill dimples. Pouring the brine onto the dough will feel weird, but just be brave and do it.
- Toppings – On my first bake, I added Olives and Rosemary, and on the second, I added sundried tomatoes and spicy feta, but anything else you have at home will work. The toppings’ options are just endless with focaccia.
- 10:45 AM - Proof 3 - Proof focaccia for 45 minutes until the dough is light and bubbly.
- 11:15 AM - Oven - Thirty minutes into this final proof, adjust rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F (235°C). Invert another sturdy baking sheet and place on rack. Allow to preheat with the oven until very hot, before proceeding with baking.
- 11:30 AM - Sprinkle focaccia with flaky salt.
- 11:30 AM - Bake - Bake for 15 minutes directly on top of stone or inverted pan until bottom crust is crisp and golden brown when checked with a metal spatula.
- 11:45 AM - To finish browning top crust, place focaccia on upper rack and bake for 3 to 4 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and brush or douse with 1-1.5 tablespoons oil over the whole surface (don’t worry if the olive pools in pockets, it will absorb as it sits). Let cool for 5 minutes, then release focaccia from pan with metal spatula and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- 12:00 PM - Serve warm or at room temperature.
I truly hope you enjoy this incredible recipe just as I did.