BREAD WEEK #5: Whatever the focaccia want it to be…

I am on a savoury kick, and I thought I would end this learning project with a bread I absolutely love but literally have zero idea how to make: FOCACCIA.

Literally no idea.

do not know schitts creek GIF by CBC

After all of the Great British Bake Off seasons I’ve crushed, I’m not sure I’ve seen a lot of focaccia made. I know Mamma Val has never made it (at least that I remember). But, I was determined to kill it.

Time to channel my inner Paul Hollywood because he’s the GOAT of bread.

Paul Hollywood's white bread recipe - BBC Food

The GOAT of bread (credit:

I spent this week reading articles like this one and this one, and watching videos like this one about how to make this glorious bread. I learned that there are many different types of focaccia with many different toppings, and depending on the region you visit in Italy, focaccia will likely not look or taste the same. For example,  there’s  “Foccacia ligure or genovese is about 2 cm thick and is soft inside, sprinkled with salt and brushed with olive oil.  Recco focaccia (also from Liguria) consists of two thin layers and soft fresh cheese in between.  Sardenaira originates in Sanremo, and it is focaccia with anchovies or sardines” (“What is Italian Focaccia and their regional differences?“).

My favourite video was this one with Jamie Oliver and his pal, Genarro.  They’re both so cool.  Honestly, I was really hoping Larry would have made a video about focaccia, but he did not. If you’re not sure who Larry is, head back to my week one bread post. Larry is the bomb. While reading and listening to all the tips and tricks about focaccia, there were a couple of repeat suggestions like keeping the dough hydrated with olive oil and to get artistic by following your heart’s desires for toppings. Ohhhhhh, that’s right up my alley (Mamma Val’s, too). I made notes on that and dialed in.

I felt ready and made the decision to follow Jaime Oliver’s YouTube video recipe. He had great comments about how easy it was to follow and how tasty the bread was.  So off I went. Here’s some pics of the process:


Flava Flav.

The rising action.

Welcome to flavortown.


Here’s my review of Jaime Oliver’s recipe.  It was so easy to follow.  Nothing was overcomplicated.  I had to pause and rewind it a couple times just to make sure I heard properly and saw it correctly.  This didn’t add any extra *thyme* (see what I did there?) at all.

I loved Jaime’s suggestions for letting the dough rise: simply flip the bowl upside down over the dough to create some humidity for a proper rise. Simple. No need to put anywhere warm. Just leave it alone. I’m curious if this little trick will work for all types of dough?

I love that he offered different options for toppings, but, ultimately, it was whatever I felt would go together. Thanks to Mamma Val’s teachings on cooking growing up, I am fairly confident in my ability to pair flavors.  Rosemary, thyme, and garlic? PERFECTION. Jaime’s tip to put some oil on the herbs before adding it to the top was a solid tip.  He says that if you put herbs on dry, they will taste of nothing. This was such a great tip and will carry this on in the future whenever I use herbs. I can only imagine the flavors I could add for toppings when I make this in the near future. I’m really feeling a basil, tomato, and kalamata vibe.

I also really liked the reminder to “feed the focaccia” with a good oil after it comes out of the oven. Beautiful. Glorious. *Chef’s Kiss*.

The bread was light, fluffy, flavorful, and overall INCREDIBLE.  I would go so far as to think this would get a handshake from the GOAT: Paul Hollywood. I’m that confident.

great british baking show GIF by PBS

Not me getting a handshake from Paul Hollywood.

Also, please note, even my kids, who seem to have an aversion to green toppings, gobbled it up. I was shocked.

This bread was THAT GOOD. 

Honestly, I feel like I saved the best for last. Of all the recipes I’ve followed, Jaime was the best in not only showing how to do things, but the why behind it. I found it helpful and really appreciated that. I found the both of them fun and engaging mainly because they didn’t take their baking too seriously. I wasn’t even annoyed that I have to let it rise for 40 minutes. That’s how much fun I had baking this bread.

In the end, I would give this an astounding 6 doughballs/5. Ya ya ya. I can do that. It’s my rating scale. It was so good that it deserves an extra one. I said what I said.

fresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw doughfresh raw dough


Here’s the video. Go make it. Now.


  1. Jacquie Ehrmantraut

    This is amazing! I wish there was smell-o-vision for things like this. You seem to have learned how to “fold in the cheese” throughout this learning project, and that must be rewarding. Your family probably isn’t too upset with this learning project focus either! I love your plot chart simulation of photos from the process of this bread – nice touch with ‘rising action’. Is there a bread that you might try to make that you didn’t quite get to during this learning project? Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Laura Gaboury

      FOLD IN THE CHEESE! Hahaha. I laughed out loud. I love a good Schitt’s Creek reference. Thanks for the plot chart reference – I love when people recognize the ELA sprinklings. Nope – I did everything I wanted to do. I’m not quite sure I’m ready for the sourdough yet. I think I want to work on my flavors and textures. Thanks for asking. Wanna come over for some bread?

  2. Brenda Schmidt

    “Slow Clap”……Well done Laura! I have LOVED reading all your weekly posts on your bread making. You have inspired me to want to learn how to make bread. I will be texting you this summer for support! LOL I am with Jacquie, I wish we could have some sort of smell-o-vision as all of your creations simply looked AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!!!!!!

    • Laura Gaboury

      Thanks, B. I hope you try out some of the recipes. Your house, too, can smell incredible!

  3. Raegyn Fulmek

    WOW! You are crushing it! Now I am hungry!!! I look the step by step process that you share with us, I think this is very valuable in your own learning and mine as well. Who knows when I will be ready to make bread next? What have been your biggest challenges throughout this journey so far?

    • Laura Gaboury

      Ah, Raegyn. There have been so many challenges, but so many successes. I think that my biggest challenge is time. I don’t have a lot of extra time right now. That said, now that I’m done my masters, my mental load has lessened and a lot of time has been freed up. Perhaps I will start practicing more with the recipes I really connected with and build up my confidence. Thanks for asking.

  4. Sarah

    Hey Laura,
    I hope it’s okay, I tagged you in my post because I really wanted to use a similar rating system for my photography! It was such a creative way to give feedback!

    Since the last time I checked out your blog, it looks like you have been very busy in the kitchen! What a successful learning journey!!

    • Laura Gaboury

      Oh, goodness, Sarah! You didn’t need to tag me in anything, but I appreciate you giving me a shout out. I love that you used little cameras as your rating. Whoop whoop! I hope you keep posting those gorgeous photos. Girl, you nailed it!

  5. Mama Val

    Alas, my anticipation of reading about your next bake has ended. Have to say that I was flattered with your “ mama Val” references. I do believe you saved the best recipe for the last. Focaccia is a sharing bread and a most appropriate one to end your journey into baking. Thanks for sharing your blog. I loved it. You are a story teller at heart. ❤️

    • Laura Gaboury

      You’re the best, Mamma. Love you.

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