Focaccia Party Basics
Are you ready for a fun dinner party? Looking for something great to nibble on while friends come over for a chat? Multi-course meals and cocktail gatherings with hors d’oeuvres are always fun, and if you want to mix things up, why not try a focaccia party? As a different take on the classic pizza party, a focaccia party is a great way to gather friends and family for a relaxed evening of good food and plenty of fun. Take a look at our helpful guide and then go forth and create the focaccia party you’re dreaming of!
What Is Focaccia?
With its unmistakably fluffy texture and crisp edges, focaccia is an Italian bread that’s delightful all on its own. It has a distinguishing shape and appearance because it’s baked in a flat rectangle, resulting in a crusty top and a soft bottom. It’s not tall like a loaf, round like a baguette or flat like a pita or naan. Focaccia has an instantly recognizable dimpled top, which is the result of the baker pressing his or her fingers into the dough before drizzling with olive oil and baking. Most recipes call for a hefty dose of olive oil, which gives it it’s crispy top and decadent taste. (Plus, olive oil is heart-healthy, right?) Focaccia is great served in chunks or large cross-section slices, and it’s typically cut like a sheet cake rather than a loaf because it’s flat.
Why It’s Party Perfect
With its pillowy texture and seasoned, dimpled surface, focaccia looks like a culinary masterpiece. Fortunately, it’s a pretty quick and easy bread to whip up in your own kitchen. You don’t need to be an experienced baker to make amazing focaccia dough, and the toppings can make it shine even more. That’s part of what makes this bread such an amazing choice for a party – it’s simple to make and even easier to eat! Plus, you can make it to suit a range of different culinary preferences, so each guest can customize it with favorite toppings.
How to Serve Your Focaccia
Classic focaccia is usually topped with flaky salt and chopped fresh rosemary, but you can add whatever you like. One fun approach is to treat your focaccia like a thick, square pizza crust, topping it with cheese, tomatoes and basil for a bready twist on the classic margherita pizza that guests can take slice by slice onto their plates. You can also stick with vegan toppings such as thin-sliced eggplant and caramelized onions and fresh thyme – a drizzle of balsamic vinegar won’t hurt either!
Focaccia makes fantastic sandwich bread, and because one recipe typically makes a large loaf, you can make a giant party sandwich cut into bite-size pieces to delight your guests. Consider using thinly sliced Italian cured meats like salami and capocollo with some semi-soft cheese. Give it a kick with zesty pickled onions to make a delicious omnivore’s delight, or stick with fresh veggies and hummus for a vegetarian-friendly party snack. Consider serving your focaccia party sandwiches on a tiered cake stand to show off your hard work.
If you want, you can provide side-dishes and beverages to match. One way to enhance focaccia’s culinary roots is with some bold Italian red wine on the side, but this casual party snack can also pair beautifully with beer. You may also want to provide some sparkling water and a spread of fresh fruit and vegetables on the side. If you plan to serve your focaccia cocktail-style, consider a seasonal crudité of fresh veggies rather than a salad. This way, guests can eat their whole meal with their hands – no silverware required.
How to Make Your Own
Because it’s a wet dough that rises and gets crispy on top, focaccia is great with crispy toppings to match – but softer items pair perfectly too! If you want to use moist, fresh veggies like tomatoes, try slicing them thinly or pre-cooking them in the oven or by pan frying. Feel free to top your entire focaccia with the same ingredients or split the whole thing into zones where you can highlight different ingredients. You can even let guests top their own personal focaccias before baking. Set out platters of ingredients for guests to choose from, then bake and provide finishing toppings like grated Parmesan, salt and minced fresh herbs or cinnamon sugar and dried cherries if someone’s in the mood for something sweet.