Bread is comforting, and I believe it’s one of the reasons we saw an unprecedented rise in bread-making during the pandemic. The smell of baking bread is the antithesis to the chaos of the outside world.
My bread-less quarantine was not for a lack of trying; at grocery stores the flour shelves lay almost bare. To some, it was doomsday prepping. To others, a TikTok trend to piggyback on. With so many stores and restaurants closed, I suspected that some crafty people put together a side hustle. But rather than shop around, I just shrugged and grabbed a baguette.
I was a little intimidated by the yeast situation anyway. The mixing and the waiting for it to rise. It seemed bizarre. Sure, it’s got a hint of science experiment to it, but why should I assume it’s too difficult for me? Baking is a very delicate balance of science and art, but maybe I was too worried about optics. Even a baking mistake, texture or height-wise, will likely not take away the deliciousness of the outcome.
Lately I have been thinking about foccacia. Specifically, a foccacia bun on a fast food burger on the West Coast. I know what you’re thinking. Fast food foccacia? Readers, trust me. There was something about this limited edition menu item that opened me up to this type of bread. The chewy texture, the fluffy air pockets – it was sublime. Since then, I’ve been better able to appreciate this Italian bread. I like the way it glistens with high-quality olive oil, and it tasted a lot like holy bread. Holy bread is delicious, and not just because it was the only morsel of food we got all morning after sitting through a long sermon.
Normally I share a recipe, and while I did bake and enjoy the focaccia for this story, I’m still on my journey to find the best one. When I’m blown away, you’ll know about it.
Why you should be baking focaccia
- It’s egg-free, so if you’re vegan – voila.
- It’s delicious.
- It’s special – loaves are baked with olive oil and it comes out glistening and airy.
- It’s versatile – There are endless ways to dress up your focaccia before baking, as listed below.
The best toppings to bake into focaccia
- Goat cheese
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Pine nuts
Like me, you should join the hunt for the perfect recipe and explore with the endless toppings. Though I lean toward a more savory bread, many Italians bake fruit into their focaccia! I’m not just talking about the usual suspects; they use grapes. Grapes! Whatever toppings tickle your fancy, be sure to find a recipe that sees your focaccia filled with airy bubbles, a chewy texture, and always use a high-quality olive oil.
And if you’ve found the perfect focaccia recipe, sharing is caring!