How to Make No-Knead Focaccia in Just One Skillet


We’ve teamed up with our friends at All-Clad to bring you Pans With a Plan—a fresh new series sharing smart techniques, tasty recipe ideas, and all sorts of handy tips for cooking novices and seasoned pros alike. Here, food writer and recipe developer Asha Loupy shows us how to make fluffy, golden skillet focaccia (it’s so easy!) using All-Clad’s D3® Stainless 4-Quart Sauté Pan.

Fun fact: When I worked at a bakery in Sacramento as a teenager, my nickname was Asha Focaccia. So, needless to say, I really like focaccia. That pillowy, yet springy bite. Those willy-nilly bubbles from dimpling, leaving little nooks ‘n’ crannies for toppings to nestle into. The crunch of big, flaky salt crystals adorning the top. Be still my carb-loving heart.

Focaccia in any flavor, shape or size is pretty darn swoon-worthy, but my true beloved is skillet focaccia. With the right pan, like one from All-Clad’s D3® Stainless Collection, skillet focaccia is a thing of beauty—not to mention ease. Baked at a high heat (we’re talkin’ 500°F) with a more-than-generous amount of olive oil, the bottom crust turns deeply golden with an almost fried crispness. And what’s more, the dough is no-knead, making this low-effort-high-reward bread perfect for brunches (psst: Mother’s Day is right around the corner), picnics, and all manner of warm-weather, socially distanced gatherings.

Before we get mixing, let’s talk pans.

Pardon me for a moment while I geek out over All-Clad’s D3® Stainless Collection. There is a reason why these pans are so cherished by chefs and home cooks alike. All-Clad’s pans are composed of three layers: two stainless-steel outer layers and an aluminum core.

In cookware, aluminum is prized for its thermal conductivity and fast, even heating, while stainless steel is heralded for its strength and durability. Combine the two and you have a masterful pan that heats up at rapid speed and maintains even heat distribution. Plus, All-Clad’s pans are oven- and broiler-safe up to 600°F (many other ovenproof stainless-steel or aluminum pans are only oven-safe up to 450°F), which means they’re an ideal vessel for high-temperature baking.

When it comes to skillet focaccia, All-Clad’s 3- and 4-Quart Sauté Pans are the ones I reach for. Their straight-rimmed sides give the focaccia the perfect rise and extend that crispy crust around the entire circumference of the bread. My personal favorite is the 4-Quart Sauté Pan because it gives me a larger surface area for toppings. The 3-Quart Sauté Pan has a slightly smaller diameter, which results in a thicker round of focaccia perfect for sandwiches.

Photo by Rocky Luten. Prop Stylist: Veronica Olson. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne.

Ok, it’s time to bake some focaccia.

The hardest part of this no-knead skillet focaccia is the overnight rest and rising time (only because I’m impatient and want my focaccia asap), but the wait is well worth it. Before you go to bed the night before, mix up a simple dough of flour, yeast, sugar, salt, and water, then cover and toss it in the fridge.

After an overnight sleep, give the dough a couple folds and transfer it into the sauté pan greased with an abundant pour of extra-virgin olive oil to rise. (Tip: If it’s cool in your house, make sure to give the dough at least 3 hours to come to temperature and rise.) I like to do this first thing when I wake up; then I’ll make my coffee and go about my morning while the dough does its thing.

Once the dough has doubled in size, it’s time to dimple and salt! (This is when you’d add toppings, too—more on that later.) Slide the whole pan into a screaming-hot 500°F oven and let the skillet focaccia magic begin. All-Clad’s 4-Quart Sauté Pan heats up in a matter of minutes, which in turn heats up the olive oil in the bottom of the pan. The result? That super-crisp, highly crunchable crust. In about 25 minutes, you’ll have perfect focaccia that’s ready to eat.

Focaccia is welcome any time of the day—but, this time of year, it’s an especially welcome addition to leisurely, Vitamin D-filled festivities, from epic brunches to afternoon BBQs that extend into the warm summer evenings. This skillet version is wonderful in both starring and supporting roles. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Make it the centerpiece of the meal, garnished with a few spring toppings (check ‘em out below).
  • Serve slices alongside baked eggs, crispy bacon, and mimosas.
  • Take it outside and pair with a selection of cheeses, charcuterie, a cold bottle of rosé, and lots of sunshine.

Don’t forget the toppings.

Focaccia isn’t meant to be weighed down by toppings. Keep the toppings minimal and flavorful, like marinated artichoke hearts, thinly sliced lemon, or bold, briny olives. A general rule of thumb: Stick to about 1 to 1 1/4 cups toppings total. And, don’t forget that final sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

For heartier toppings like onions and asparagus, sauté them first and allow to cool to room temperature while the dough is having its second rise. Arrange your desired toppings on the dough before dimpling, gently pressing some of the toppings into the dough—this will help prevent them from falling off once the focaccia is baked. Once your toppings are all set, all that’s left to do is bake and enjoy.

Here are four spring-y ideas for topping your focaccia:

  • Thinly sliced, sautéed spring alliums (like spring onions and green onions), seasoned with lemon zest and a spoonful of Calabrian chile paste.
  • Drained, marinated artichoke hearts with whole cloves of roasted garlic and big, chunky pieces of feta.
  • Sautéed asparagus with leeks and cubed ham.
  • Very thinly sliced Meyer lemon and pitted green olives (this one’s my favorite).

What will you be topping your skillet focaccia with? Tell us in the comments!

In partnership with All-Clad we’re bringing you tips, techniques, and lots of delicious recipe ideas for every piece of cookware in your kitchen—from sauté pans to stockpots. Up next: how to make dreamy, drizzly ice cream sauces using All-Clad’s D3® Stainless Sauce Pan.

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