Tuscan focaccia

Tuscan focaccia


1 large schiacciata
Lauren Bamford

This recipe makes a fluffy schiacciata (a Tuscan focaccia) with a crunchy, golden, oiled top. One of its best features is the dimples created by the baker’s fingers as the dough is flattened before baking. They become wonderful pockets for the olive oil and salt, sploshed and scattered liberally over the top of the bread as it goes into the oven. Appropriately, schiacciata means ‘squashed’ or ‘flattened’.

A slice of schiacciata is a favourite after-school snack, often eaten straight out of the white, waxy paper bag, perhaps after a fight over who gets the cantuccino (crust). It is also a popular bread for making panini, which are made on the spot and filled with freshly sliced salumi in good bakeries around Florence.


Quantity Ingredient
20g fresh yeast
or 7g active dry yeast
140ml lukewarm water
140ml milk, warmed
500g plain flour
2 teaspoons salt flakes
90ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to serve
40g lard or butter, at room temperature


  1. Stir or crumble the yeast into the water and milk in a mixing bowl and let it sit for 10 minutes to soften. Sift the flour into a wide bowl with 1 teaspoon of the salt and add the yeast and water mixture, 60 ml of the olive oil and the lard (or butter). Combine to create a dough. Knead on a lightly floured work surface for about 8–10 minutes until elastic and no longer sticky.
  2. Place the ball of dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a damp dish towel or plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place free from draughts, until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  4. Roll or gently stretch the dough out to a rough rectangle. My ideal thickness is 2–3 cm, but you can vary the thickness if you prefer a thicker or thinner bread. Line a baking tray with baking paper and place the schiacciata on top. Dimple the top of the dough with your fingers. Drizzle and/or brush the top with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with the rest of the salt flakes.
  5. Bake in the oven on the bottom shelf for 20 minutes or until golden. If you like, drizzle with more olive oil before serving.


  • You can make this schiacciata using just water to replace the milk – for a total of 280 ml water – and butter to replace the lard. Don’t be afraid of using lard. It not only gives a more traditional flavour but imparts a wonderful and characteristic crunchiness to the top of the schiacciata.
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