If you have just baked or bought some delicious focaccia bread and cannot eat all of it in one day, then you may be wondering how you can properly store it. You’d want to ensure that it stays fresh for as long as it can so that you have a chance to eat it. Thankfully, there are a lot of options and methods on how to store your bread without compromising its taste or texture.
What Is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia bread is a flat-leavened oven-baked bread from Italy. It is very similar to the base of a pizza in both taste and texture.
The main difference is that focaccia is a lot thicker. It is used as sandwich bread for the most part, although it can be used in a lot of different ways.
What is Focaccia Bread Used For?
Many choose to turn their focaccia bread into a miniature pizza due to the bread being very similar to the base of a pizza. This can be as simple as adding a tomato puree and mozzarella to the bread. Or it can be more extreme and be topped with garlic, spinach, roasted peppers, and shredded meat, such as ham.
Another typical way to use this bread is to use it as sandwich bread. While this may seem obvious, the bread is delicious in sandwiches. The inside is so airy and fluffy which means it is a less heavy sandwich and is easily digestible.
On top of this, it pairs so naturally well with all of the food you would want in a sandwich. If you want a healthy salad-filled sandwich then that will work brilliantly.
You can also opt to throw lots and lots of meat and cheese in the sandwich. It will be equally as good!
Storing Focaccia Bread
There are quite a few ways that you can store focaccia bread. A lot of the methods will be used for longer or shorter storage durations. While the majority of these methods are fine, some of them may slightly decrease the quality or texture of your bread. The dough can also be stored for a while before being baked. This can really help if you do not have the time to bake the dough after making it.
Storing any type of bread, dough, or noodle can be complicated. You have to account for if they are raw, cooked, or toasted in some cases. Items such as pasta, bread, gnocchi, cinnamon rolls, and others similar to these can be difficult to store while simultaneously preserving their quality.
If you have a freshly baked loaf of focaccia bread that you intend to eat in the next 48 hours, then your best bet will be to store it at room temperature. To avoid your bread drying out, you should wrap it in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. This will help keep all of the moisture in the bread so that it does not go dry and feel stale.
While the bread will not keep forever, you should be fine for up to a week. Although the quality of the texture will decrease after the first 24-48 hours.
How To Refrigerate Focaccia Bread
It is preferable to store your focaccia at room temperature. However, if there are perishable toppings on it – such as cheese – then you will want to avoid it from attracting any harmful bacteria. The best way to do this is to store it in the fridge. Less bacteria can grow in the cold climate of your fridge.
To make sure the bread stays fresh for as long as possible, it is advisable to store it in a Ziploc bag or wrap it in plastic wrap. If you store it in a Ziploc bag, then try to push as much of the air out as possible to help prevent your bread from staling.
The bread will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days, although it might seem noticeable harder when you take it out. This is completely normal and can be rectified by reheating the focaccia.
How To Freeze Focaccia Bread
If you want to store your focaccia for a long duration of time then your best bet will be to freeze it.
Freezing focaccia properly is actually preferable to placing it in the fridge. When you thaw and reheat your bread, it can taste and feel as fresh as it initially did. If you have access to something such as a blast freezer, something capable of flash freezing, then your bread will be fine as the quicker it freezes, the fresher it will be afterward.
To properly store your focaccia in the freezer, wait until it is room temperature and cut it into portions. These portions can be placed on a baking tray and frozen for 2 hours. After this time has passed, wrap them tightly in cling wrap and aluminum foil. The process of flash freezing them for 2 hours prevents them from sticking to the wrap or foil. If you properly flash freeze a lot of food, you can store it in closer proximity to other bits of food as the chances of sticking are lower.
Wrapping the bread is important to help prevent freezer burn, which is caused by air. If you decide to use a Ziploc bag, then push as much of the air out as possible beforehand. Tightly wrapping your bread is also critical. It stops any ice crystals from forming as these can make your bread soggy while it is thawing.
Thawing Focaccia Bread
After being frozen, when you decide to eat the focaccia bread is up to you. You will need to plan a few hours in advance though to make sure it is properly thawed by the time you come to eat it.
To thaw it you can either leave it in the fridge overnight or let it sit at room temperature for a few hours. It is best to keep it wrapped tightly during this process so that it can retain moisture.
If you are sure you will be putting your bread in the freezer for any amount of time, you can always partially bake it. This allows for the yeast to work properly. It’ll also allow for you to take it out of the freezer and continue baking it, which will make it seem freshly baked.
The way to do this is to stop baking your bread about halfway through and freeze it. After you decide it is time to use it, you can drizzle it with olive oil and start baking it again. This will take more time than normal as it is being baked from frozen, yet it will be worth it for sure.
How To Reheat Focaccia Bread
If you have stored your focaccia bread in the fridge or freezer then you will definitely want to reheat it before eating it. There are a lot of ways to do this which all vary in terms of convenience, time, and quality.
Reheating Focaccia In The Oven
The oven is easily the best way to reheat focaccia bread. This method will leave it feeling as good as new. The inside will be soft and the exterior will have a nice crisp to it.
To reheat your bread in the oven you will want to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and wait for it to warm up. Prepare your bread by placing it on a baking sheet and sprinkling a few drops, about a tablespoon, of water on it. This will help rehydrate the bread so that it is not all dry when you eat it. This can be baked for 5-10 minutes. Check it often until it is crispy and warmed all the way through.
If your focaccia bread is frozen then it is best to let it defrost and sit at room temperature before placing it in the oven. If this is not a possibility then you will need to wrap it in aluminum foil. The foil will help keep the moisture in the bread while you cook it. But it should be removed a few minutes before the bread is done so that the crust can become crispy.
Reheating Focaccia In The Microwave
Using a microwave is by far the quickest method to reheat something. Although a lot of people avoid this as it tends to dry your food out. This can easily be avoided if you know how to counter it.
When heating up focaccia bread, wrap it in a damp paper towel before heating it for 30 seconds. This will hydrate the bread throughout the heating process so that it is not dry by the end. If it is still not warm enough then you can heat it again for another 20 seconds.
The only issue with using a microwave for this is that the crust and edges will not crisp due to the lack of directed heat. If this is a big issue then you can bake the bread in the oven or use a broiler just until it crisps up.
Reheating Focaccia In The Toaster
If your slices of focaccia are thin enough to fit in your toaster, then it can be a really quick and easy way to reheat them, not to mention it is hassle-free. This can be done both from room temperature and from frozen. Place your slices in the toaster and let it heat for about a minute. The edges should be crisp. If it still isn’t warm enough, you can place it back in and wait a little longer.
Storing Focaccia Dough
Focaccia dough is surprisingly easy to store. Some recipes even call for it to be stored in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the yeast to have enough time to develop and flavor the bread. The term for this is ‘cold proofing’ and is very common with recipes that require a dough.
Storing the dough in the fridge is the best thing to do if you are not going to use it that day. Once you have your dough ready you can place it in a bowl that is big enough to accommodate it at a doubled size. Coat the bowl in olive oil, place your dough in the bowl, and then spread a bit more oil on the top of the dough. Once that is done, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. The olive oil is to prevent the dough from sticking to the bowl or plastic wrap while it grows.
The bowl can then be placed in the fridge for up to 48 hours. The yeast will still work in the fridge, although it will be a lot slower. This allows you 48 hours to store the dough before you risk over fermenting it. Overfermentation causes the bread to taste like alcohol and will ruin its flavor completely. Some people leave their dough in the fridge for a week without it fermenting too much. You will have to use your best judgment to see how long you are comfortable with storing it.
Storing Frozen Focaccia Dough
The yeast is slowed down a lot in the freezer but not entirely stopped. The best time to freeze your dough is after its initial growth has calmed down. You can place your dough on a baking sheet and freeze it for 2 hours to harden it. After this, you can wrap it in plastic wrap and then a second layer of aluminum foil. This will help prevent freezer burn.
When it is time to use the dough, you can leave it in the fridge to gradually thaw. The yeast will still not have fully developed. So you have plenty of time and can leave your dough there for over a day. You will want to transfer it to a bowl after it has thawed a bit. This way it can rise and grow for a second time while the yeast develops.
FAQs On Storing Focaccia Bread
If stored properly, focaccia will be fine the next day. If it will be eaten in under 24 hours then you can even store it at room temperature. Just make sure to wrap it in plastic wrap to limit how much air gets to it.
You can reheat leftover focaccia and eat it as you normally would. However, you can also keep it at room temperature and top it with meat or cheese and eat it like that.