This fluffy pizza dough is transformed and shaped into Focaccia Genovese with extra-virgin olive oil and then sprinkled with flaked sea salt and a generous amount of black pepper.
The most defining difference is the texture of the dough. Some recipes call for bread dough, and others call for pizza dough. It also depends on the dough’s hydration, making it easier to manage and stretch. The dough must be stretched until it’s your desired size and shape. You can bake focaccia in a skillet or on a sheet pan. Pizza is best baked directly on a pizza stone.
Whether you have leftover pizza dough from pizza night that needs to be used up or making our poolish pizza dough and would like to make an appetizer to go with dinner, this Black Pepper Focaccia is it. It’s easy to make, flavorful, soft, fluffy, and has a crispy exterior.
To make this classic Focaccia Genovese, you will need some simple ingredients to make a dough and then lots of olive oil. Check out the different topping ideas if you want to venture out from using black pepper as we do in our recipe.
Here are some of our recommendations/tips with the ingredients for the recipe:
See the recipe card for full ingredient information and quantities.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to focaccia when you use our same day pizza dough recipe (or any bread dough, really), but here are some of our favorite toppings:
To make focaccia, you can use leftover pizza dough or bread dough or make it from scratch following our easy-to-make recipe. Before you know it, you will have a delicious and warm appetizer ready for dinner in no time.
Make the Dough.
Heat water to 90°F and add the yeast on top, and set aside.
In a large bowl, toss flour and salt together.
Add the water and yeast mixture to the bowl and mix with a spatula until incorporated.
Fold the dough.
Wet your working hand and reach underneath the dough, stretch it out and up, and fold it over the top. Repeat with the remaining dough until it is soft and springy. Next, shape the dough into a ball, add olive oil on top, and set the bowl aside in a warm (but not hot) and dark place for up to 8 hours with a towel on top.
Ferment/Rest up to 8 hours.
The dough should have doubled in size, and the top should have bubbles forming.
Divide dough into 2 balls.
Moderately flour a surface and ease the dough out of the bowl. Dust the top of the dough with flour, then cut it into 2 equal doughs. Shape the dough into 2 balls following the same fold method.
Put the dough balls on a lightly floured baking sheet, leaving space between them to allow for expansion. Let the dough sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before making pizza, or transfer it to the fridge for later use.
Shape and dimple the dough.
Start to shape the dough on a floured surface using your hands, and gently stretch the dough to fill a baking pan (9″ x 13″). Add about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Transfer the dough to the pan, stretch it to each side, and press your fingers into the dough to create dimples.
Add Black Pepper and Bake.
Once the dough has been dimpled, add the remaining olive oil and generously sprinkle fresh black pepper.
Transfer the baking sheet to the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden brown.
Remove from oven and immediately slice into pieces and add sea salt on top before serving.
It’s possible your oven was not hot enough before you put the focaccia bread into the oven. We want a very hot, preheated oven before we bake focaccia to ensure even baking.
Extra-virgin olive oil is richer in flavor than regular olive oil. Because a lot of oil is used on focaccia bread because of the dimples, we want to use extra-virgin over regular olive oil to maximize the flavor.
The top should be golden brown, and the bottom should be firm and slightly crispy on the edges. One way to test the doneness is by pulling it out of the oven and slicing through the middle to see if there is any raw dough inside.
This Focaccia Genovese is easy to make, soft and fluffy, and flavored with extra-virgin olive oil, flaked sea salt, and a generous amount of black pepper. It’s the perfect appetizer to serve with Calabrese Pizza or Meatball Pizza. Enjoy! ♡
Did you try our Black Pepper Focaccia Genovese recipe? Please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below. I love hearing from you! ♡
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