If you live anywhere around San Francisco, you know about Liguria Bakery. Or maybe you’ve visited our beautiful city by the bay and got to taste their focaccia while you were here.
It is simply the best San Francisco focaccia!
The bakery is located in North Beach and has been family owned for 115 years. They make several types – plain, green onion, pizza, olive and mushroom. They are all equally fantastic, but green onion is my personal favorite. The bakery retail shop is run by the mother and daughter of the family – two wonderful ladies, but I would not try giving them any flack. After you place your order and pay in cash only (very important to remember these days!), they wrap your focaccia in white paper and tie it with string. It’s so special, they treat it like a package. It’s probably a better little package than most of the Christmas presents exchanged this year. If you don’t go early enough in the morning, they will be sold out, so you can’t sleep in and expect to get your hands on this gold.
I live about an hour north of San Francisco, so I can’t get to Liguria bakery very often. I have a pact with friends – if I go, I pick up some for them and they do the same. There is nothing better than getting that text message that your friend picked you up a focaccia that you were not expecting!
I was looking for a recipe the other day and came across the best present ever – I found Liguria’s green onion focaccia recipe in one of my cookbooks. I was thrilled! I made it and will make it from now on. It’s absolutely the best focaccia you will ever have. If you can’t get Liguria’s focaccia easily, please make this recipe and I promise you will be delighted beyond belief. Serve with your first and second glass of wine!
Liguria Bakery Focaccia
1 cup warm water
1 package active dry yeast (2.5 teaspoons)
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup olive oil|
1/3 cup white wine
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 1/4 cups flour plus 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons olive oil (for pan)
1 bunch green onions
1 tablespoon olive oil
scant 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt, lightly crushed
Recipe from Savoring America/Liguria Bakery Focaccia
Make the sponge 1 day before you bake the bread. Put the warm water in a bowl and sprinkle the yeast over the water. Let stand for 2 minutes. Whisk with a fork to dissolve yeast, then add the flour. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth, then scrape down the spoon and the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand in a cool place for 24 hours. Make the dough: Put the sponge in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the water, wine, olive oil, sea salt and 1 cup flour. Mix on low speed, gradually adding the remaining 1 3/4 plus 2 tablespoons flour to make a soft, sticky dough. Knead in the mixer for 5 minutes with the paddle attachment. Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl lightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a cool place until doubled in size, about 1.5 hours. Generously grease a 12 x 17 rimmed baking sheet with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and, with well oiled fingers, pat and prod it to cover the bottom completely. If you have difficulty and the dough bounces back, let it rest for 5 minutes, then pat again. If it still refuses to cover the sheet completely, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and try again. (Mine covers the bottom on the first time, so this may be unnecessary.) Cover the dough loosely with oiled plastic wrap to prevent drying. Let it rise in a cool place until puffy, about 1.5 hours. Meanwhile, make the green onion topping. If they are not slender, cut them in half lengthwise. Then, cut crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Use all the white and pale green parts and about 1/3 of the dark green tops. You should have about 2 cups. In a frying pan over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the green onion and saute briskly until slightly softened, about 1 minute. Cool. Preheat oven to 550 degrees or your oven’s highest setting. Carefully lift the plastic wrap off the dough. Drizzle the surface with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Scatter evenly with the green onions, then sprinkle with sea salt. Dimple the dough vigorously all over with oiled fingertips. Bake until lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 12-14 minutes. Remove from the oven and slide out of the baking sheet onto a rack. Let cool. Use a serrated knife to cut the focaccia into pieces of desired size.