What to eat with Focaccia: 7 Best Sides
Focaccia is a versatile flatbread that originated in Italy and has gained popularity around the world for its simplicity and delicious flavor. Its crisp exterior and fluffy interior make it the perfect accompaniment to a variety of side dishes. In this article, we will explore the best side dishes to serve with focaccia and offer some tips and tricks for getting the most out of this delicious bread.
The origins of focaccia
Focaccia, often referred to as basic pizza bread, was invented in Italy. Unlike other types of bread, focaccia doesn’t require a pre-fermentation or starter. It is made from simple ingredients such as flour, water, salt and yeast. The dough is mixed, allowed to rise, and then baked to perfection.
Traditional focaccia has a spongy interior and a golden brown, crisp exterior. It is typically topped with flaky sea salt, herbs and olive oil. Olive oil plays a crucial role in focaccia, giving it a crunchy texture and enhancing its flavor. Unlike other types of bread, focaccia is baked in a rectangular pan and can be topped with a variety of ingredients.
How to make focaccia
Making focaccia at home is a simple process that requires minimal effort. Here is a basic recipe to get you started:
– 4 cups flour
– 2 teaspoons kosher salt
– 2 teaspoons instant yeast
– 2 cups lukewarm water
– Olive oil (for drizzling)
1. Sift the flour into a bowl and add the salt and yeast. Mix well.
2. Add water to the mixture and mix gently with a spoon until a wet, sticky dough forms.
3. If the dough is too sticky, add a little oil to your fingers and continue mixing until completely incorporated.
4. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, cover with a cloth and refrigerate overnight.
5. The next day, grease a rectangular pan with olive oil and place the dough in the pan.
6. Let the dough rest in the pan for 3-4 hours, allowing it to double in size.
7. Drizzle the top of the dough with olive oil and make dimples by piercing the dough with your fingers.
8. Sprinkle the bread with flaky sea salt and fresh rosemary.
9. Bake at 425°F for 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.
Toppings for Focaccia
Focaccia’s versatility extends to its toppings, making it a great bread choice for a variety of occasions. You can keep it simple with traditional toppings like herbs and flaky salt, or get creative with ingredients like garlic cloves, spices, and even pepperoni. The possibilities are endless!
The 7 Best Sides for Focaccia
When it comes to pairing focaccia with sides, the bread’s neutral flavor allows it to complement a wide variety of dishes. Here are seven excellent sides to pair with focaccia:
1. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are an ideal accompaniment to fresh focaccia. The softness and crispness of the bread is a perfect match for the creamy texture of mashed potatoes. You can spread the potatoes on a slice of focaccia or dip the bread into a bowl of delicious, creamy potatoes. For added flavor, top the focaccia with garlic butter and fresh cilantro.
Focaccia is a fantastic bread for soups and can be paired with any soup or broth recipe you prefer. For a crouton-like flavor, toast the bread before serving. You can also grill or fry slices of focaccia to enhance their flavor and appearance. Dip the fried bread into soup for a heartier meal.
3. Fried eggs
Focaccia and fried eggs are a simple, essential and delicious pairing. The rich flavor and creaminess of the egg yolk complements the mild flavor and spongy texture of the bread. For an extra layer of flavor and color, fry the bread along with the eggs. Place a fried egg on a rectangular slice of focaccia and garnish with flaky salt and pepper for the best experience.
Pairing focaccia with steak is a delicious and satisfying combination. The bread, infused with olive oil, adds a balanced flavor to the steak without overpowering it. To enhance the flavor, sear the focaccia slices on the same pan used to cook the steak. The bread will absorb the juices and catch a tantalizing color. Serve with mashed potatoes on the side for a complete meal.
5. Sautéed Vegetables
The light and airy texture of focaccia pairs beautifully with sautéed vegetables. You can prepare a medley of vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, onions and mushrooms. Sauté in olive oil and season with herbs and spices of your choice. Serve the vegetables on or next to the focaccia for a satisfying and nutritious meal.
6. Creamed Spinach
Creamed Spinach is a rich and creamy side dish that complements the simplicity of focaccia. The creamy texture of the spinach blends well with the fluffy interior of the bread. Spread a generous amount of creamed spinach on a slice of focaccia for a delicious combination of flavors and textures.
Focaccia is an excellent bread to serve with a sauce. Whether it’s a savory beef gravy or a flavorful vegetarian sauce, the bread’s absorbent texture soaks up the delicious sauce, creating a delicious and comforting eating experience. Use the focaccia to dip in the sauce or make a sandwich and stuff it with your favorite meat or vegetable fillings.
Focaccia is a versatile bread that can be paired with a variety of accompaniments to create a satisfying and delicious meal. Its crisp exterior and fluffy interior make it an excellent choice for dipping, spreading toppings or even making sandwiches. Whether you serve it with mashed potatoes, soup, fried eggs, steak, sautéed vegetables, creamed spinach or gravy, focaccia will enhance the flavors and textures of your meal. Get creative with your toppings and enjoy the endless possibilities of this delicious bread.
What is focaccia?
Focaccia is a flatbread that originated in Italy. It has a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior, making it a popular choice for sandwiches, dips and a variety of side dishes.
How is focaccia different from ordinary bread?
Focaccia differs from regular bread in terms of texture and toppings. It has a lighter and airier texture and is typically topped with olive oil, sea salt and herbs. Focaccia is also often baked in a rectangular pan.
What are the best accompaniments to focaccia?
There are several delicious side dishes that pair well with focaccia. Some popular choices include mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, fried eggs, steak, creamed spinach and gravy.
Can I use focaccia to make sandwiches?
Absolutely! Focaccia is an excellent sandwich bread. Its sturdy texture and flavorful toppings make it perfect for holding a variety of fillings, including deli meats, cheeses, and vegetables.
Can I make focaccia at home?
Yes, making focaccia at home is relatively easy. With a few basic ingredients and a little time, you can create a delicious homemade focaccia to enjoy with your favorite toppings.
Is focaccia a good bread choice for vegetarians?
Yes, focaccia is an excellent bread choice for vegetarians. Its versatility allows for endless possibilities when it comes to pairing it with vegetarian sides such as sautéed vegetables, creamed spinach, and hearty soups.