Saturday, June 16, 2012

Nancy Silverton's Focaccia

 100% Wholemeal Rosemary Focaccia

In my last post I mentioned that my focaccias, following Peter Reinhart's receipes, had a slightly chewy interior and crispy oily base. In comparison, the Gardenia focaccia that my mother has in the past bought is has a dry and dense crumb. No hint of oil at all. Had I done my focaccias wrongly?

Gardenia focaccia
Picture from

Then, revelation.

A Los Angeles Times article featuring Nancy Silverton and focaccia was published just a few days after I had baked the white focaccia. (Nancy Silverton is the founder of La Brea Bakery and Campanile Restaurant, and co-owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzaeria Mozza in Los Angeles.)   In the article, Nancy Silverton described the focaccia she had had in Los Angeles as "those dense cake-like squares of dry, flavorless bread, topped with rosemary if you were lucky..." and remarked that she was not a fan of the bread until she travelled to Matera in southern Italy and tasted their signature tomato and roasted pepper topped focaccia.

I guess this means that Peter Reinhart's receipes were for Italian type of focaccia (or I added too much olive oil so that they became more Italian-type). But no matter which version of focaccia is "authentic", Nancy Silverton's or the Italian-type certainly looks heaps more appetising than dry focaccia don't you think?

Roasted pepper and chile focaccia

Pictures from

I recommend watching her video on making focaccia's as well; it will inspire you try baking one at home. Happy baking!


  1. The best focaccia I had was deeply infused with (olive) oil and herbs. I still remember the greasy feeling it left on my hands and lips, but it was SO springy and holey! I think a good focaccia needs a quite a fair bit of oil, and of course, a good quality extra virgin. That's what makes a focaccia a focaccia right? Those focaccia pictures look almost like pizzas!

  2. Ooh that sure sounds good! Focaccia deeply infused with olive oil and herbs both smells and tastes so good. If it's going to be dry, might as well eat white bread (?). Heh!

    Yeah, I think focaccias with toppings are kind of like cheeseless pizzas. I was Googling around for pictures of focaccias in Italy, and came across these:
    - (focaccias in Manarola)
    - (more focaccias in Manarola)
    - (focaccias in Florence)