Ligurian Pesto Focaccia | Zucchi Recipes
Fluffy focaccia and fresh basil pesto are two of Liguria's most-renowned dishes and here they come together as one.


  • 2 1/2 cups (600 grams), plus 1/3 cup (80 grams) for the brine /

    lukewarm water

  • 1/2 teaspoon /

    dry active yeast

  • 1 tablespoon /

    granulated sugar

  • 5 1/3 cups (800 grams) /

    all-purpose flour, unbleached

  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons for the brine /

    kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup (50 grrams), plus extra for drizzling /

    Zucchi Pesto-Flavored Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • a pinch /

    flaky sea salt

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In a medium sized bowl, add yeast, sugar, and water. Whisk together until the yeast and sugar have dissolved. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add flour and salt. Whisk together until well combined and there are not large clumps of flour.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry. Mix together with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula for a few seconds. Drizzle in extra virgin olive oil and stir to combine, just until the dough comes together and there are no large patches of dry flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

Proof overnight on the counter, for 12-16 hours.

Grease a large 13 x 17 inch baking sheet with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, using your hands to rub it along the entire surface and sides of the pan.

Uncover the dough, which should be puffy and bubbly. Gently dump it out onto the baking sheet, carefully releasing it from the bowl using a spatula or your finger tips to scrape down the edges. Avoid pressing down on the dough, as this will cause it to lose its fluffy air bubbles.

Gently stretch the dough out on the pan, pulling from underneath it. If it is bouncing back, let it rest for a 10 minutes and then try stretching it again. Proof the dough out on the counter for another 45 minutes.

While the dough is in its second proof, preheat the oven to 450°F. Next, prepare the brine by mixing together 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt and 1/3 cup of lukewarm water.

Slowly press your finger tips diagonally down into the dough to create the dimples. Pour the brine over the dough and drizzle it with another tablespoons of the pesto-flavored extra virgin olive oil. Finally, sprinkle the top with flaky sea salt.

Bake in the oven on the middle rack for 25-30 minutes. During the final 5 minutes of baking, transfer the focaccia to the top rack in the oven until the top is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool before slicing. Drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil.

Buon appetito!


Focaccia is best served the day that it's baked. If keeping for longer, wrap it up in tightly sealed container or plastic wrap and lightly reheat in the oven before serving.