Fluffy, plush focaccia with the crispiest of crusts, no kneading required—yes, it’s possible, and it all happens in two bowls and one pan. It starts with a simple base of flour, yeast, salt, and a little sugar, which gets combined into a shaggy dough and then rests in the fridge overnight. The next day, all you have to do is fold it a few times—a no-knead technique I learned from Uri Scheft, author of Breaking Breads. Then transfer it to a high-heat, oven-proof pan, like All-Clad’s D3® Stainless 3- or 4-Quart Sauté Pan, slicked with a generous amount of olive oil and let it rise in a warm place.
Once the dough doubles in size and fills the pan, crank the oven up to 500°F, dimple the dough, top with a little more olive oil and plenty of flaky salt, and bake until puffed and golden-crisp. All-Clad’s D3® Stainless pans heat up in a matter of minutes, which in turn heats up the olive oil in the bottom of the pan. The result? That almost fried, highly crunchable, crispy crust. This focaccia is a welcome addition to brunches, picnics, BBQs, and all manner of warm-weather festivities. —Asha Loupy
Test Kitchen Notes
- Prep time 12 hours
- Cook time 30 minutes
- Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 teaspoons
(5 grams) active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons
(6 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 cups
(350 milliliters) lukewarm water
(420 grams) all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons
(9 grams) Diamond kosher salt
(14 grams) mixed tender green herbs, such as dill, chervil, tarragon or parsley (optional)
extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Flaky sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon
- Combine the yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a medium bowl and set aside until the mixture starts to look a little foamy on the surface (this means the yeast is alive!), about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the flour, salt and chopped herbs, if using, to the yeast mixture and stir until all the flour is incorporated and a shaggy dough forms. Using lightly oiled hands, knead the dough a couple times and then transfer it to a larger bowl. Drizzle 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil over the dough and flip to coat the dough in the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 hours to overnight.
- Add 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil to the All-Clad 4-Quart Sauté Pan, or a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, making sure the oil coats the bottom of the pan evenly. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly oil your hands and take one quarter of the dough and fold it towards the center, turn the bowl slightly and repeat with the second quarter, folding it inward towards the center. Continue the process a quarter at a time for 3 full turns of the bowl, about 12 folds total. Transfer the dough to the sauté pan or skillet, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ to 3 hours, depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Gently stretch the dough so it covers the bottom of the sauté pan or skillet. Dimple the focaccia with your fingers (this will create those air bubbles in the finished bread). If you’re using any additional toppings, now is the time to add them, gently pressing them into the dough. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil over the top and sprinkle liberally with flaky sea salt. Bake until puffed and deep golden-brown, about 25 to 28 minutes. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes, transfer to a cutting board, then slice and serve!