I recently watched the TV show “Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat” on Netflix and was immediately impressed with the quality and substance of the show. Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat explains the fundamentals of cooking while traveling across the world. I am quite picky when it comes to food shows, but this is, by far, one of my favorites. (No this is not an ad, I just loved the show.)
In the first episode, Samin visits Italy to explain foods that deliver fat to a dish. In one segment, she prepares Ligurian focaccia bread, carefully bathing the dough in oil and baking it to a golden brown perfection. I was amazed at how much I was doing wrong! I had to try this authentic Italian method at home. Using my favorite focaccia recipe, I incorporated Samin’s techniques to make one beautiful bread. And then, of course, being me, I went one step further to make an egg in a hole with the focaccia. This is the ultimate breakfast to make you excited about eggs and bread again.
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 5-6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup pizza sauce
- 1 tsp flaky salt
- 6 eggs
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine water, yeast, and sugar to dissolve. Let sit about 5 minutes or until yeast is activated and the mixture becomes foamy.
- In a large bowl, combine flour - Italian seasonings. Add yeast mixture and stir to combine. Knead dough for 8-10 minutes or until smooth. Coat a large bowl with 1 tbsp oil and place dough in the bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm area for 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Spread 2-3 tbsp olive oil on a 9x13 inch sheet pan. Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and gently stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet using your hands. Use your first three fingers to make indentations in the dough.
- Spread pizza sauce evenly on the dough. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on top and sprinkle flaky salt on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
- Cut bread into 3x4 inch pieces for a total of 6 portions. Use 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut out holes in the center of each focaccia. Heat non-stick saute pan over low heat. Add 1 tsp oil and place the bread with the hole in the pan. Crack an egg in the center and cook until egg has slightly set about 1-2 minutes. Finish cooking in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until the desired degree of doneness.
- Remove from oven and finish egg with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
For many, many years, I was making focaccia bread incorrectly. It was too fat, lacked deep indentations and the crust was too soft. After studying how it should properly be made, I am now the master of focaccia bread (okay, maybe not a master but definitely wiser on the subject).
First things first, prepare the dough. This focaccia recipe is actually very similar to my pizza dough recipe except for the higher amount of yeast and oil and the addition of herbs and seasonings.
Mix the ingredients for the dough and knead until smooth. Cover the dough in 1 tbsp of oil and let it proof for 30 minutes.
Spread 2-3 tbsp on a quarter baking sheet and gently stretch the dough to the edge of the sheet. No need for a rolling pin here – just get in there and use your hands!
Gently press your index, middle and ring finger into the dough to make the indentations. You want deep indentations to allow the olive oil to soak into the deep grooves.
Spread the pizza sauce, drizzle more olive oil, sprinkle flaky salt and bake!
About 20 minutes later and behold, beautiful golden brown focaccia. The bottom of the bread is oh so crispy and crunchy while the inside is still soft and moist.
Of course, we can stop there and gorge on this delicious focaccia bread. However, to make it appropriate for breakfast, we’re going to turn it into an egg in a hole.
Cut the bread into 3×4 inch portions. Use a 2 1/2 inch biscuit cutter to cut out the hole in the middle. Lightly oil a nonstick saute pan over low heat and place the bread in the pan. Crack an egg in the middle and let the bread sit for about 1 minute to let the egg set. Once the bottom has set, finish baking in the oven for about 2-3 minutes or until desired doneness.
Now you can do the entire process on the stove top, but to ensure that the bread doesn’t burn on the bottom, I like to finish it in the oven.
Finish with salt, pepper, and red chili flakes. Dip your bread in the center and dig in!
Egg in a hole is such a classic breakfast but this focaccia version is 10x fancier and might I say, much tastier. It’s almost like a pizza with a runny egg! Good thing this recipe makes a large batch because it will run out quick!
Looking for someone to come to your house and prepare these dishes for you? It is possible! If you are in Los Angeles and looking for a private chef, please feel free to contact me. For more information, visit Private Kitchen Los Angeles.