Focaccia Genovese Recipe, Classic Italian Bread

There are many focaccia variants around Italy. It is a very regional bread.

Genovese focaccia is a simple yet delicious one. It is not as thick as others and it does not have any toppings besides some olive oil and sea salt. Although the topping is simple, there is an interesting aspect about it. Oil and water are whisked to an emulsion and then poured over the dough. This mix gives the crust a crispiness as well as chewiness. A generous pinch of sea salt on the surface will make it crunch between your teeth as you take a bite.

This version does not use a preferment, so it is quite simple and relatively quick to make.


For the dough

350g (12.3oz) strong white bread flour

7g (0.25oz) salt

3g (0.1oz) dry yeast or 3x the amount of fresh yeast

10g (0.35oz) honey or malt syrup

30g (1oz) olive oil

200g (7oz) cold water

To learn more about dough temperature control click here.


For the topping –

30g (1oz) olive oil

30g (1oz) water

Pinch of sea salt


  1. In a bowl combine the water, honey, oil, salt & yeast. Mix well to dissolve any large salt crystals and hydrate the yeast.
  2. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
  3. Tip it out on your table and knead for around 6 minutes. Desired dough temperature 26C (79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
  4. Cover and ferment for 1 hour.
  5. Fold #1.
  6. Ferment for 1 hour.
  7. Fold #2.
  8. Ferment for 1 hour.
  9. Whish the water and oil. Pour half of it around the dough. Release it from the bowl and roll it around in the oil mix to cover the whole surface. Place the dough on a non-stick tray. Stretch it out gently using your fingertips.
  10. Cover and ferment for 1 hour. During the final fermentation preheat your oven to 200C (390F) with the fan on.
  11. Pour the remaining oil mix over the dough and finish stretching it out. Dimple the surface with your fingertips. Sprinkle generously with sea salt.
  12. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until golden brown all over.

Watch the video here

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