Most of us use bread on a daily basis and the regular brown or white loaf can become a little boring. Focaccia is a delicious alternative that your family is sure to love.
Focaccia is a specialty Italian flatbread that looks a lot like pizza in its texture and style. It’s usually less than an inch thick and has indentations on its surface to contain the olive oil used to flavor it.
The dough is similar to white bread dough and is made by kneading together flour, yeast, water, and olive oil. After rising slowly, the leavened dough is stretched into a flattish rectangular or oval shape.
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The fingertips are used to make small indentations and the dough is sprinkled with olive oil, salt flakes, and sometimes various herbs and garlic before being baked in a very hot oven. A pizza oven is often used.
How is focaccia eaten?
Focaccia is a popular street food in Italy and it is eaten plain as it is or stuffed with cold meats or cheeses. What should you do in the unlikely event of having some leftovers?
What to Do With Leftover Focaccia?
How To Store Leftover Focaccia Safely
If your focaccia is a simple one with no meat or cheese filling, you can put it into a plastic bag or container and store it in the bread bin for up to two days. To use, simply reheat it. We will detail ways to use your leftover focaccia below.
If your focaccia has a meat or cheese filling, you will need to store the leftovers in the refrigerator. Put it into a plastic bag or container first, then chill it for up to two days. As before, heat it before reusing it.
1. Panzanella Salad
If you baked or bought this bread a few days ago and it has become somewhat dry, you can turn it into a Tuscan-style bread and salted tomato salad. The salt draws out the tomato juices which get soaked up by the focaccia or bread cubes.
Simply cube the focaccia into bite-sized cubes and stir it together with chopped salted tomatoes and some fresh basil. If you like, add a handful of olives, some crushed garlic, and a few finely chopped shallots.
Some people like to oven-toast the focaccia cubes before adding them to the salad and we recommend this method for the best flavor and texture. Make sure your tomatoes are very ripe.
To finish, sprinkle the salad with a few drops of balsamic vinegar and some extra virgin olive oil. breadcrumbs. This makes a beautiful summer lunch dish.
The second way of using the leftover focaccia is to cut it into bite-sized chunks, sprinkle them with olive oil, garlic, and salt, and toast them in the oven until golden.
Stir them through your pasta and sauce just before serving. This will add a lovely crunchy element to your pasta dish.
Shop-bought frozen pizza or takeout pizza just isn’t the same as a home-baked one! However, it can be a mission to make pizza bases from scratch. Put your leftover focaccia to good use.
Simply take a sharp bread knife and cut through the focaccia horizontally to make two thin “pizza bases”. Put them on an oven tray and preheat the oven to very hot.
Spread the bases with tomato paste or passata and top with your favorite pizza topping. We suggest olives, salami, and mozzarella cheese.
Bake the pizza until the topping is bubbling and the cheese is golden. This should take 8-10 minutes only. Serve the pizzas sliced and hot.
4. Create Croutons
Nothing tastes better than croutons in soups, and it’s extremely convenient to make these croutons if you have some leftover focaccia.
Cut the focaccia into small cubes and saute them in a pan with a little hot olive oil or bacon fat until crisp and golden. Sprinkle them with herbs to match your soup such as garlic, rosemary, thyme, or basil.
Remove them from the pan and put them onto paper towels to remove any excess fat. Once done, the croutons can be added to salads and soups.
Some people find it more convenient to make the croutons in the oven rather than in a frying pan.
Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, toss the focaccia cubes in a bowl with a little oil and herbs, and then spread them in a single layer on a baking tray.
Bake them for five minutes then remove and turn them. Return them to the oven until they are golden and crispy.
5. Bread Pudding
Another way of using the leftover focaccia is to make bread pudding. This will only work if you have a plain focaccia with no added garlic, herbs, or fillings.
Use a traditional bread pudding recipe and substitute the bread with focaccia cubes. Once baked, serve the bread pudding with pouring cream, cinnamon, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar.
Bread pudding makes a comforting family dessert or even a breakfast treat when served with stewed fruit or apricot preserves.
Sandwiches are the ultimate easy lunch or light supper and they can be made with a huge variety of sweet and savory fillings.
Simply cut the focaccia in half horizontally, spread with butter or mayonnaise, and top with things like cold meat, sliced tomatoes and red onions, and grated cheese.
Put the second half of the focaccia on top and press down firmly. Slice the sandwiches into squares and serve them with a smile.
There is nothing more delicious than juicy sandwiches, and focaccia bread can be utilized for making sandwiches. If you prefer, you can toast the sandwiches in a griller.
7. Make Breadcrumbs
Break the focaccia into pieces and put them into a food processor with the steel cutting blade attached. Process until fine crumbs form.
You may now toast and use these crumbs as a topping on savory dishes or as a crumb coating for fried chicken and fish.
As you can see, there are many ways of using up leftover focaccia (or any bread for that matter) so there is no need to waste it. Let us know if you have any more ideas to add!