Apr 8, 2014

Focaccia quasi genovese w/whole spelt

Made by Gabriele Bonci (and then me), a very handsome Italian pizza/focaccia expert whom I can regularly see on RaiUno, in La Prova del Cuoco TV show. He is tall and big and his hands are like two loaves of bread and his fingers are three times bigger than mine.

Focaccia genovese, one of the best Italian breads, is always the one with deep dimples and wrinkles on top. Imagine how dimples by Gabriele look like!

The dough is denser than in a typical focaccia so dimples remain.

"Focaccia QUASI genovese" because the original one (without "quasi"), although similar in texture and taste, it contains lard which I never seem to have around.

So this one, Signore Bonci, came in very handy. Grazie!

Recipe adapted from La Prova del Cuoco
time: 15 min preparation + 4 hours inactive + 15 min baking

3 1/3 cups (800 ml) flour; I used: 1 cup (150 g) regular flour + 2 1/3 cups ( 280 g) whole spelt flour
3/4 teaspoon (3.5 g) dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon (7 g) sugar
1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
1 cup + 2 Tablespoons (275 ml) tepid water
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
5 oz (150 g) fresh mozzarella 

Cover with extra oil (2 - 3 Tablespoons) a 30x40cm (12x16inch), half-size, baking sheet. In a bowl of your standing mixer equipped with a needle attachment sift in flour and yeast. Mix it up (with your hands). Add sugar and water. Turn the mixer on "stir" (lowest speed) for 20 seconds. Add salt. Mix it up some more (20 seconds). Pour in oil and kneed the dough for 10 minutes. With your hands, form a smooth shape.

Transfer the dough onto your oily baking sheet, move it (and flip it) around so it's all covered in oil, cover it loosely with a plastic wrap and set it in a warm place (oven turned off) for 2 hours.

Remove the wrap, turn the dough upside down. Working with your finger tips, make indention to stretch the dough to fit the form. Drop chunks of mozzarella on top. Cover the dough again with a plastic wrap, set it in a warm place for another 2 hours.

Toward the end, preheat the oven to 220C/430F (fan forced function, bottom grill only in my case). Place focaccia in the oven for about 15 minutes till lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the heat, transfer it onto a wooden board and serve.

  • not often that I bake with dry yeast, but Gabriele recommended so I followed;
  • during the inactive time, the dough got looser but it didn't grow much at all;
  • this focaccia came out more chewy and more substantial, less dry and airy, that's why it's usually topping-free;
  • but seeing the chef ripping that mozzarella into pieces...inspiring;
  • salty and sweet were perfectly in balance; it tasted good just by itself but a splash of olive oil and some olives on the side weren't a bad idea after all;
  • ah, the cat...no idea how she got there.


  1. I love focaccia! It is definitely my bread of choice. I love it with sandwiches. Thanks for sharing!

  2. That's one good-looking focaccia, Ela. Great job!

    1. Que buena focaccia espero que tu gato me deje un resto ...te ha quedado golosa,abrazos

  3. I love eating focaccia bread, it goes with everything IMO. Nice recipe and really is quite simple to prepare. Yours looks perfect!

  4. Love focaccia Ela and this look amazing!

  5. This sounds so good, something I've always wanted to try.

  6. I love focaccia and this looks wonderful!

  7. This sounds fantastic… I prefer to have focaccia bread anytime...

  8. That focaccia would be happy at my house but I'm in love with the cat. :)

  9. What a wonderful focaccia! Dipping in olive oil and eating with olives would be an ideal meal!!!

  10. Love this Italian classic! I haven't baked focaccia with spelt. Love it!

  11. Love focaccia! Have you tried the one with grapes embedded in it, Ela?

    1. No, I haven't but now I want to. Thanks, Liz :)

  12. Oh gosh, focaccia is one of my fav breads. I had one with jalapeƱos in it and it was amazing. I'd love to make this and add that in!

  13. I loveeee focaccia! I would love to make it at home! It looks delicious!

  14. I love focaccia but don't make it very often. I always use dry yeast as if I buy fresh yeast I tend to forget about it and it ends up going mouldy :)

  15. I have yet to try making any kind of focaccia at home! Which is sad because I love it! This looks so so so good. Homemade bread is seriously the best.

  16. Hi Ela, I love focaccia it is one of my favorite dipping breads. I've made it twice and have always used dried yeast. I like the fact that you added a second type of flour to it, bet it is amazing!

  17. Oooo yes I love focaccia! This looks so good!