Focaccia Recipe from Liguria

The Ligurian coast, part of the Italian Riviera, has lovely views, picturesque towns, challenging and beautiful walking trails and the best focaccia on earth.

Focaccia from Liguria

The locals often like to start the day with a crusty strip of focaccia genovese dipped into a foamy cappuccino – not to everyone’s taste – and serve focaccia in the bread basket at lunch and dinner.  And when kids come home from school, a snack of focaccia might be waiting.  The hungry hiker on a walking tour in the Cinque Terre will enjoy snacking on focaccia, too.


Ligurian focaccia has a crisp crust anointed with olive oil and salt, and a soft inner crumb.  It’s a flat bread, ideal for those like myself that love the crusty part of bread (and also happen to adore olive oil and salt!)

Some of the best Ligurian focaccia can be found in the city of Genoa, in the towns of Santa Margherita and Rapallo, and while walking through the Cinque Terre towns. This recipe has been adapted from one by our good friend Fausto, known as U Giancu, who makes this fresh daily to be served in his restaurant.


This recipe for Ligurian focaccia is easy to make, but the dough must be left to rise three times in order to get genuine results that echo genovese style focaccia.  Don’t skimp on the rising.  Also, the final step of pouring water and oil over the dough may seem odd, but the moisture from the water is what gives the focaccia its crispy crust, while leaving the surface dents soft and perfectly oily.  While it can be eaten plain, focaccia is also good split open and filled with your favorite sandwich ingredients.

Here is the Italian Connection’s recipe for focaccia from Liguria:

Focaccia Recipe from Liguria


  • 1 (112 gr,, 4 oz.) large boiled potato
  • 435 grams (3 ½ cups) flour
  • 40 grams (3 TB) extra virgin olive oil
  • 13 grams (2 ½ tsp) salt
  • 200 grams (3/4 cup) lukewarm water
  • 25 grams (1 oz) fresh yeast
  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • For the Top:
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt

Cooking Directions

  1. Mix the honey into the milk and add the yeast, then set it aside to proof.
  2. Make a well in the flour on a board, and mash the boiled potato into the flour, working it in with your fingers.
  3. Add the salt, oil, and yeast mixture, and mix lightly.
  4. Gradually add in the water and knead to obtain a smooth dough.
  5. Cover the dough with a cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place until it has doubled in bulk.
  6. Generously oil a sheet pan or cookie sheet with a rim, and sprinkle lightly with fine salt.
  7. Press the risen dough into the sheet pan, then cover and leave it to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  8. Make deep dents in the dough with your fingers, being careful not to make holes in the dough.
  9. Cover the dough and let rise again for another 30 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200° C (425° F).
  11. Sprinkle the dough with salt – you can use either fine or rough salt.
  12. Shake the water and oil for the top in a jar (or mix in a bowl) until it forms an emulsion, then quickly pour it evenly over the top of the focaccia dough.
  13. Bake in the oven at 200° C (425° F) for 20 minutes, until crisp and brown.
  14. Let cool somewhat on rack, then slice into strips or squares.
  15. Pretend you are sitting on a bench overlooking the Ligurian Riviera or the Cinque Terre, and enjoy munching your warm focaccia.


46 thoughts on “Focaccia Recipe from Liguria

  1. Need to correctly detail oil and water
    A. Mixed in dough
    B. used on topping
    How much water is mixed with oil and how much oil

    As shown its confusing

  2. People dipping focaccia in the cappuccino?????
    The locals often like to start the day with a crusty strip of focaccia genovese dipped into a foamy cappuccino??????
    Come on!!! Where have you seen that????? I’ve been so many times to Liguria for holidays and work and I’ve never seen anybody dipping focaccia in the cappuccino, and never heard of such a thing.
    There is no need to exaggerate things when writing a post.

    1. I am not exaggerating, Enrico. I try to be as honest as possible when writing my blog. You may not have seen this practice, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist!

    2. i have see this in liguria ( alassio to be exact. there is always foccacia offered at breakfast and i eat it because i am not a fan of croissants aznd other super sweet breakfast items.

  3. Spent weeks in Genoa in the early ’90’s with a young host family. We event into town every morning to purchase fresh focaccia for breakfast. Then came home and ate it with a large, steaming cup of cappuccino. I can still taste it…

  4. The recipe says to add the oil with the yeast/milk mixture. Your recipe only has oil listed for the topping. How much oil is used for mixing into the dough? Thanks!

  5. You say in step 3 to add in the oil, salt, and yeast mixture, but the only oil listed in the recipe is the 1/3 cup for the topping. How much is supposed to go in the dough?

  6. Ramiro (above) asks about the oil and water, and while your response is fine, at least for the topping, it still does not address the other issue.
    In Step 3, you say ‘Add the salt, oil, and yeast mixture, and mix lightly.” The only OIL listed in the ingredient list is the 1/3 cup that is mixed with water and poured over the top prior to baking.
    One suspects that some amount of oil is also added to the dough itself– but that amount is not given.
    Would be appreciated.

  7. Ramiro asks about the oil needed for the recipe and you note that 1/3 cup is added to water and poured over the dough prior to baking.
    However, STEP 3 says, “Add the salt, oil, and yeast mixture, and mix lightly.”

    How much oil, please.

  8. I am making this now. Two questions. Is the yeast amount correct? 25 g is what I used as you directed – but it surprised me. Also, in the first portion “mixing the dough” what is the quantity of oil to add with the salt and the yeast mixture before adding the lukewarm water. Thank you very much for your clarifications.

    1. Yes, 25 grams of FRESH yeast is correct. If you are using dry yeast, you will need to look up the conversion for the correct amount.

          1. You are correct, Kate, that according to the wesbsite conversion, you would use 2 1/2 tsp of dry yeast in place of teh 25 grams of fresh yeast.

  9. Wow just on looking for focaccia recipe and saw you mentioned u giancu i was living in San masimmo right across from u giancu, just behind via mazzini in rapallo are the best focaccia shops, the best farinata go to bansing on via mazzini

  10. Take it from me I was born in rapallo 1964 and I’ve dipped many a focaccia, bread stick, biscuit in my cafe latte in the morning

  11. I would love recipes for the different toppings on foccacia- we found a wonderful restaurant on the harbour with a huge choice and went back many .This was in Monterrosa.

  12. What type of flour is traditionally used? Tipo 00, bread flour, all purpose flour or other? Thanks for clarifying!

  13. I grew up eating subs from a local pizza shop. The shop was owned by an Italian family. They had the best subs around. The bread they used to make the subs was like no other I have had. It was not a lite Italian sub bun, but rather a heavier bread/type bun shaped like a torpedo.

    I noticed when they made them they rolled out their dough like a pizza and then scored the dough to make the shape. This made me think that the pizza dough and sub recipe were the same, but clearly, they are not. I thought maybe they used this type of bread is it possible for this flatbread to become a raised sub bun?

      1. Using the formula from the website that Carol suggested, you would use 2 1/2 tsp of dry yeast instead of 25 grams of fresh yeast.

  14. I made this recipe and it was certainly the closest I’ve ever been able to get to the focaccia we were served at the counters in Santa Margherita. Delicious!

    As good as this recipe is, you’re still better off letting Anita arrange for you to visit Liguria and try the real thing. After all, you might want to follow it up with some trofie al pesto on a beachside terrace.

    1. Thanks, Eric, so glad to hear that the recipe turned out well for you – I learned how to make Ligurian focaccia from Fausto, a brilliant local cook who got the recipe from his mother. And yes, come join us when we travel in Liguria for lots more culinary delights!

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