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Focaccia toppings are as varied as your imagination and your taste buds. In fact the choice is limitless!
You can choose a simple olive oil topping or combine your favorite flavors. Here are more than 27 focaccia topping ideas you’ll love!!
Why you’ll love this recipe
Having the choice of lots of different focaccia toppings is exactly what you’ll love about this recipe! You can mix and match to suit your tastes and what is available in your area to make a topping that’s perfect for you!
This wonderful Italian flatbread is easy to make. There are a couple recipes that you can refer to like my classic Ligurian Focaccia and my olive and onion topped Focaccia Genovese which give you extra tips for baking this delicious bread.
Whether you’re looking for something to dunk into your soup or stew, or something to pair with prosciutto and cheese, you’ll find a focaccia topping that is the ideal match.
Did you know that this Italian flatbread doesn’t have to be savory? That’s right. Toppings like grapes, figs, plums and even nuts are excellent with a fantastic sweet-salty taste.
For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card bottom of the page.
You’ll need to make a yeasted dough. Here I’ve used my Focaccia Genovese dough because it’s a little faster. However my overnight Ligurian Focaccia dough is superb if you have the time. For the focaccia toppings used in this recipe you’ll need:-
- Sweet peppers (or capsicum) – use any color you like or a combination.
- Capers – I use capers in vinegar but you can use salted capers which have been rinsed well.
- Tomatoes – Choose the best quality you can afford and be sure that the tomatoes are really ripe. Be sure to follow my instructions and crush the tomatoes with your hands for an authentic result.
- Black Olives – For the best flavor, buy whole olives and pit them yourself.
- Dried Oregano – This is a herb that is perfect in the dried version so don’t sub with fresh.
- Garlic – There is quite a bit of garlic in the zucchini version but it is delicious. The garlic softens, cooks and sweetens in the dough and enhances and compliments the zucchini perfectly.
- Pecorino Romano Cheese – As I always say, buy a block and finely grate it yourself for optimum results.
- Zucchini – Small zucchini is best in this case. Large zucchini tend to be watery.
What toppings can you put on focaccia? There are so many toppings you can choose from! The best idea is to choose just two or three ingredients that go well together. In this recipe, we’ve used three different toppings so that we have multiple flavors in the one pan.
As well as the three toppings in the recipe card, here are another 24 focaccia toppings. But don’t limit yourself to just these. Mix the toppings up to suit your tastes.
Be sure to sprinkle with salt and use plenty of extra virgin olive oil. Salt will bring out the flavor and taste while the olive oil keeps the dough soft and buttery.
- Mixed olives and rosemary
- Finely sliced white onion and rosemary
- Fried eggplant and ricotta
- Zucchini and mozzarella
- Pancetta and Parmesan cheese
- Prosciutto and burrata
- Marina (tomato) sauce, mozzarella and basil
- Semi dried tomatoes, black olives, anchovies and capers
- Pesto and mozzarella
- Rosemary, olive oil and garlic
- Speck (or cooked bacon) mushroom and Parmesan cheese
- Caramelized onions, black olives and anchovies
- Lemon slices and thyme
- Very thinly sliced, raw potato, olive oil and rosemary
- Marinated artichokes, dried mint and garlic
- Gorgonzola cheese, pears and walnuts
- Steamed spinach, tomato and mozzarella
- Salami and thinly sliced red peppers
- Ricotta, sliced leeks, thyme and a drizzle of honey after baking
- Mushrooms, feta cheese and thyme
- Orange zest, fennel seeds in the dough and topped with feta
- Fig and hazelnuts
- Assorted berries, salt and a drizzle of honey
- Grapes and rosemary
Instructions for the dough
Have ready a well oiled 15in x 10in (38cm x 25cm) baking pan.
- Combine the warm water, yeast and honey and allow to stand for 10 minutes until frothy.
- Stir in the flour then let it stand for 5 minutes before adding the oil and salt. Knead well either with an electric mixer or by hand.
- Let the dough rise until doubled.
- Spread the dough on a well oiled baking sheet.
Instructions for the toppings
Preheat the oven to 450°F (235°C).
- Peel and slice the garlic.
- Cut pepper in half, remove the seeds and slice into thin strips.
- Slice the zucchini thinly.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters then crush with your hands into a bowl catching all the juices.
- Arrange toppings over uncooked dough. Then carefully pour the brine over the whole lot. Allow to rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake until cooked through and browned. When done, remove immediately from the pan and onto a wire rack so that the bottom stays crispy.
Tips for success and FAQ’s
To make the best focaccia toppings, think about what ingredients go well together and be sure to use plenty of good olive oil. Add olive oil at every touch of the dough – think of it as feeding the dough, it will make all the difference.
If using raw ingredients such as peppers or onion, slice very thinly so that the vegetables are cooked when the dough is. And be abundant with toppings because as they cook ingredients will shrink. It will look as though you have too much topping but that’s perfect!
Add the cheese under other toppings or else it will burn. Alternatively, add cheese as soon as the bread comes out of the oven and is still hot – yum!
Two final important words – oil and salt! Don’t be stingy with either. Purchase good quality olive oil – cheap oil will make the bread taste oily. And season the ingredients well – salt brings out all the natural flavors.
After the first rise, spread the dough onto a well oiled baking pan. Top the dough with ingredients before the final rise.
Sometimes fresh ingredients such as arugula, herbs or cheese are put on after baking.
Lightly coat all the toppings such as vegetables or herbs with a little extra virgin olive oil to prevent from burning. Also if you follow my recipe, the brine will moisten the ingredients and prevent them from burning.
This Italian flatbread makes a wonderful as a starter with thinly sliced Italian cured meats such as salami and prosciutto but also great sliced through the middle and filled to make a delicious sandwich. Have a chunk with soup or stews – it’s perfect for dunking!
Focaccia is really best eaten hot or at least warm. Leftovers can be reheated the next day in the oven. Don’t reheat in the microwave – that really doesn’t work!
Regardless of what focaccia toppings you use, you might be wondering what goes well with focaccia. Here’s a few suggestions.
Cheese like this Baked Ricotta make a perfect starter.
Dunk a piece into this Minestrone Soup for a fantastic winter warmer.
Serve alongside my Chicken Sorrentino for a complete Italian feast.
Excellent with these Tomatoes stuffed with Rice in the late summer sun.
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Focaccia Toppings Recipe
- 1 ¼ cups (300 millilitres) warm water
- 2 teaspoons active dried yeast
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3¼ cups (400 grams) all purpose (plain) flour
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon flaked salt for sprinkling on top
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil for drizzling after focaccia has baked
Sweet Pepper and Caper Topping
- 1 red or yellow sweet pepper (capsicum) or ½ red and ½ yellow
- 1 tablespoon capers
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Tomato and Black OliveTopping
- 4 medium tomatoes ripe
- ⅓ cup black olives
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
Zucchini, Garlic and Pecorino Romano Topping
- 2 small zucchini
- ⅓ cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, dried active yeast and honey. Allow to stand approximately 10 minutes until frothy.
- Using the dough hook on the stand mixer (or use your hands), add flour to the water/yeast mixture and combine until mixture comes together. Stand 5 minutes.
- Add oil and salt and continue to mix for 5 minutes (or 7 minutes by hand) until smooth and elastic.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rise for 45 minutes in a warm place or until doubled in size. If the temperature of the room is too cool, the dough will take longer to double in size.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil onto a baking pan with sides.
- Tip the dough gently onto the oiled, 15in x 10in (38cm x 25cm) baking pan.
- Use some of the oil that’s in the baking pan to oil the top of the dough. Gently stretch and press the dough to fit the pan. If the dough wants to shrink back, let it rest for 15 minutes or so before pressing and stretching it again.
- Make indentations with your fingers into the dough.
- Arrange sliced peppers over one third of the dough. It will seem like a lot but it will cook down. Scatter evenly with capers.
- On the middle third, pile crushed tomatoes into one third of the dough. You may not need all the juices but use most of it. Arrange black olives cut side down over tomatoes then sprinkle with dried oregano.
- Press garlic slices into the final third of the dough. Sprinkle on the pecorino romano cheese then arrange zucchini slices over the cheese. Zucchini will overlap but that’s perfect.
- Mix together brine ingredients until salt is dissolved. Pour carefully over toppings. Allow to proof for 30 minutes until puffy and bubbly.
- In the meantime preheat oven to 450°F (235°C).
- Before baking, sprinkle the toppings with flaked salt and bake on the centre rack for 20 minutes. Then move to the upper rack and bake for another 5 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and immediately turn onto a wire rack. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the baked focaccia.
- Allow to cool a little before cutting into portions if serving warm.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the toppings.
- For the tomato and olive topping, cut tomatoes in quarters and remove the core. Using your hands, squash the tomato quarters into a bowl ensuring that you catch the tomato juices in the bowl. Pit the olives by crushing the olives with the blade of a knife then cut in half and remove the pit. Set aside
- For the zucchini, pecorino romano cheese and garlic, slice the zucchinis very thinly and toss in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Combine well. Peel the garlic and slice thinly. Set aside.
- For the sweet peppers and capers topping, slice the peppers into thin strips lengthwise, toss in a bowl with extra virgin olive oil. Set aside
- Use plenty of good quality olive oil.
- Slice raw ingredients thinly and lightly coat with oil to avoid burning.
- Use more toppings than you think because they’ll cook down.
- Use cheese under the toppings to avoid burning or add sprinkle a little cheese on after cooking.
- Be sure to salt the ingredients well.
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