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Sep 2, 2011 07:58 AM

Advice needed: using pizza dough to make focaccia

As I was picking up groceries for the weekend, I passed by the bags of pizza dough that my grocer carries from a local Italian bakery. I thought, "ooh, I could bake focaccia with that!"

Well, lovely plan, except for the fact that I am not a bread maker and have no idea what temp and for how long. I did some quick research and here's my plan:

- bring dough to room temp
- shape into a low, flat loaf
- punch down a few indentations in the dough
- brush with olive oil, sprinkle with thyme, sea salt and roasted garlic
- pre-heat my pizza stone in the oven to 450
- slide dough onto stone and bake for... 30 minutes? 40 minutes? ...until golden brown

Does this sound about right? Anything I should change or fix? Should I not use the pizza stone? Should I put a bowl of water in the oven? Should I spritz the dough with water as its baking?

Any advice would be very welcome!

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  1. Sounds pretty good to me. You may find that your roasted garlic burns--maybe fold it in as you are shaping the loaf? One thing I have found with foccaccia is to use more oil than I think I should.

    The spritz of water, or water in a bowl, will make the crust crustier--if that is what you want, go for it. If you want softer crust, skip it.

    1. The pizza crust has a chewier texture than what's ideal in a focaccia, so the hydration of the dough should be raised. Course, the problem is that you don't know the starting level. So... Experiment away! I'd take some small chunks, weigh them, add varying amounts of water and bake. Pick out the one you like the most and adjust the big dough accordingly.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ediblover

        Are you saying to mix water into the finished dough?

      2. Sounds right to me. I'd probably go at 450 for 10-15 minutes and then finish it at 350 (so you have a little more of a grace-zone since you're not sure about the dough / cooking temp).

        As suggested above, lots of olive oil. More than you think you need. I tend to do mine with rosemary and olives which I find both hold up really well in the oven. As long as you keep an eye on it, focaccia is pretty hard to mess up.

        1. Depends on the dough your baker sells, and also what result you're after. There's more than one focaccia, just as there's more than one pizza. Luckily, they're all great!

          In any case, if your baker's dough already has some oil inside and is a relatively moist dough, I think you'll be fine. If you have a stand mixer, you could incorporate some more oil, I suppose. (I don't have a stand mixer, so I don't know for sure.)

          I suggest that you do a double rise. Let it rise in a covered bowl or even flattened a bit, then roll it out or flatten it into the shape you want to bake, and let it rise again. Consider using a sheet pan. Focaccia crusts don't typically need the heavy evaporation that people crave from pizza on a stone. You can put in the indentations into the dough shortly before dressing for baking.

          I would expect that 10 minutes would be a good bake time if so barely dressed as you describe and on a well-preheated stone, maybe more like 18-20 minutes if you were to go more pizza-like and coat it with sauce or cheese.

          1. I think the purchased dough will be just fine... Don't worry about the fine points if you're not an experienced bread maker. You'll be delighted with whatever you make at home.

            Like Bada Bing alrady said, your proposed bake time is probably too long, I'd be checking a flat bread like that after a few minutes. It's impossible to give an exact time, just watch the brownness as you mentioned.