Focaccia is a flat bread cooked on an open hearth or on a flat stone under a layer of ashes. From Latin word for “hearth,” focaccia was originally made by the Etruscans or Ancient Greeks with just flour, salt and water (no leavening). Most recipes today are leavened with yeast and are baked on a flat sheet pan. Although some versions are sweetened with honey, most have savory additions such as onion, cheese and olives.
If focaccias look and taste familiar, it’s because they’re made from the same dough used for pizza. They are generally thicker than pizzas, and instead of being covered with an assortment of toppings, they are usually seasoned with herbs while extra ingredients are mixed into the dough.
Our Onion Focaccia is made with two kinds of salt—kosher for the batter and fleur de sel for the top. The kosher salt dissolves in the batter and gives the bread flavor. Fleur de sel, from the coast of France, is sprinkled over the dough before it goes into the oven. The coarse crystals retain their shape during baking and, like sugar sprinkled on cookies, add another dimension to the taste.
—By Jean Kressy, a food writer in Ashburnham, Mass.