What is a Focaccia and How Do I Use It?
Don’t worry, you’re not the first to ask this question! When enjoying a delicious and perfectly baked focaccia at a restaurant or friend’s house you may want to recreate the moment at home and find yourself slightly overwhelmed when it comes times to selecting just the right loaf in the grocery store. The good news is that ACE Bakery® has you covered with ‘Focaccia 101’ plus some delicious ways to enjoy your focaccia for any meal of the day.
For the uninitiated, focaccia (pronounced fo-kah-cha) is an Italian flatbread made from a base similar to pizza dough that can be either sweet or savoury. The dough of focaccia is flavoured with olive oil and sometimes topped with herbs, vegetables and other ingredients like raisins or olives. In Italy, the Liguria region, with its capital Genoa, is the area best known for focaccia. An early prototype of modern pizza, it’s thought to have originated with the Etruscans or Ancient Greeks. . . .
But wait . . . more importantly . . . did we mention, it’s heavenly delicious?
THE MANY WAYS TO ENJOY DELICIOUS FOCACCIA
Sensationally fragrant, warm, moist, slightly chewy and satisfying, focaccia brings the breadbasket to the next level of deliciousness, and can be used in all kinds of recipes to create gourmet family meals and for entertaining a crowd, who are sure to give you rave reviews!
Just like pizza dough, ACE Bakery® focaccia is made with flour, oil, water, yeast and salt. But, focaccia is made with more yeast than pizza dough, which allows it to rise more and become a fluffier and more bread-like loaf. Focaccias are also usually punctured before baking, which preserves more moisture.
Today in Italy, focaccia is one of the great street foods, perfect when eaten freshly baked, either plain or stuffed with vegetables, sausage or cheeses, depending on the regional version. In Genoa, focaccia is called fugàssa and sold in slices, either plain or with onions, shining with fragrant olive oil, tender and with a crisp crust—a perfect appetizer to be enjoyed at midday or as a snack.
At ACE Bakery®, focaccia is a specialty loaf that contains simple quality ingredients. Prepared with care, we bake them using traditional recipes. The result is a selection of savoury and sweet focaccias that will elevate breakfast, lunch and dinner . . . to deliciously heavenly heights.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Focaccia can be eaten as it is, warmed up, toasted or in other recipes. It can be cut into a variety of shapes, including squares, long skinny rectangles or triangles. It can be sliced in half and used for making sandwiches and is also a tasty addition to a bread basket or an accompaniment to a bowl of soup or a salad. A sweet version of focaccia can be served as a tasty dessert after lunch or dinner. For breakfast, it’s a fragrant, slightly decadent replacement for toast.
Served alongside dinner, savoury focaccias can elevate the meal into something extra-special. Or do like they do in Italy, and also enjoy it as a satisfying snack!
Looking for some inspiration? Start the day with a delicious breakfast treat with these ACE Bakery® recipes featuring our variety of Focaccias.
Cranberry Raisin Focaccia is lightly sweet and filled with succulent cranberries and raisins, then topped with crunchy turbinado sugar. It’s wonderful on its own or spread with sweet butter. You can try using it for French toast for a decadent treat!
Rosemary Focaccia can be used to make a delicious strata: an Italian savoury bread pudding assembled in layers.
Check out the recipe for Rosemary Focaccia Strata with Cheddar and Bacon. This brunch favourite is easily tossed together and can be assembled the night before and baked in the morning, which makes it a great choice for entertaining. It’s delicious served with a salad of arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Another breakfast or brunch option is this Celebration Eggs Benny with Béarnaise Sauce—an indulgent and unique take on a timeless classic. It features toasted slices of ACE® Potato Focaccia for some added heartiness and topped with tangy béarnaise sauce for the perfect elevated brunch.
When stumped for lunch ideas at home or to take with you to work, a Focaccia loaf or triangle can take your sandwich to a whole new level of yum!
Rosemary Focaccia Triangles are an incredible base for any sandwich. Light and airy, topped with fragrant rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and crunchy sea salt, these triangular-shaped rolls pair beautifully with many kinds of cheese, and bring extra flavour to lunchtime.
For an alternative to classic grilled cheese, try this Brie and Green Apple Grilled Cheese on ACE® Cranberry Raisin Focaccia. The combination of brie, crisp green apples, and slices of ACE® Cranberry Raisin Focaccia make this grilled cheese the perfect way to elevate your everyday lunch!
It’s hard to go wrong when Focaccia is on the dinner menu!
To elevate your bread basket . . .
Potato Chive Focaccia uses whole roasted potatoes incorporated into the dough and topped off with large slices of potatoes and chives. Finished with a sprinkling of cracked black pepper and crunchy sea salt, it’s a wonderfully hearty loaf enjoyed on its own or paired with dinner.
A perennial favourite, Rosemary Focaccia is light and airy, topped with rosemary, extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. It has a slightly crisp crust and deeply delicious and moist centre. It’s perfect with grilled meats, fish and vegetables.
Red Pepper & Aged Cheddar Focaccia is a light, Tuscan-style focaccia topped with roasted red peppers, earthy dried rosemary and fragrant sharp cheddar. Slice and voilà —gourmet breadsticks!
For some stunning focaccia-based recipes . . .
Looking for a special appetizer? Try Giant Garlic and Bacon Rosemary Focaccia Croutons with Artichoke Dip. These roasted garlic and bacon flavoured croutons, made with our ACE® Rosemary Focaccia, are paired with a scrumptious artichoke dip to create the perfect app to elevate your next family dinner or to serve to a casual gathering of friends.
Our frozen Focaccia with rosemary and sea salt is a family favourite—and is ready in your freezer for when you need it! Rosemary Focaccia Pull-Apart has a unique bouquet shape, moist interior, and a delectable aroma of earthy rosemary. It’s prepared with love and partially baked in the ACE® Bakery kitchen. Just pop it in the oven and serve it warm to fully enjoy its taste and aroma. Serve it on its own, or make it truly special by adding honey and halloumi cheese. This Rosemary Focaccia Pull-Apart with Baked Halloumi and Spiced Honey recipe is a bread lover’s fav. Serve it at your next get-together, date night, or as an easy family dinner appetizer.
Storing and Using Leftover Focaccia
When it comes to focaccia, the fresher the better! But, because of the high olive oil content in the dough, it won’t go stale as quickly as other types of bread. It can be kept for a couple of days if you wrap it up in a bread bag or sealed zip-top bag. Large pieces of focaccia can also be wrapped in foil and frozen. Just defrost and reheat!
Smaller pieces of leftover focaccia can be toasted in an oven to make tasty croutons or crushed in a blender or food processor to make homemade breadcrumbs.
For more inspiring recipes using focaccia and other ACEBakery® loaves, visit acebakery.com.