The Step You Should Never Miss When Baking Focaccia Bread

The bread-making world takes no prisoners. It requires a type of precision and intuition that other types of cooking and baking don't. Any time you're working with leavening agents like yeast or a dough starter, it's imperative that you know what you're doing. Too long of a rise will leave your bread sour, per eHow. Don't give it long enough of a rise, and your result might become dense and rubbery (via The Fresh Loaf). Even when the specifications are spelled out in the recipe for something as simple as a homemade white bread recipe, these steps can appear intimidating.

If you're feeling daunted by the idea of making your own loaves, focaccia is an ideal variety to begin with, according to Real Simple. You can essentially use any bread dough — pizza dough is a popular choice — as long as you form it to look like a focaccia loaf. After all, focaccia always has a dimpled, oiled surface. There are a few things to keep in mind, though, as with any loaf.

Slow and steady wins the race

When you have your recipe selected, it's important to remember the most important rule for even the most simple focaccia bread recipes.

Regardless of what your dough instructions say, a longer rise is key when making focaccia. If you have room in your fridge, it's ideal to let the dough rest there for 18-48 hours, per Alexandra's Kitchen. That's because the cool temperature and extra time will yield an extra pillowy, fluffy result. It is possible to make focaccia in a pinch, but you may not achieve a 100% successful, perfect finished product. The Washington Post only recommends a two-hour rise at room temperature (or longer) and then a 35-minute rise at room temperature after the loaf is shaped. 

The most delicious, and second-most important, step in making focaccia is selecting your toppings, so don't forget to pick out some herbs or fresh finds to top your loaf.