Recipe Review

Anne Burrell’s Focaccia Has Hundreds of 5-Star Reviews. But Is It Worth the Hype?

published May 16, 2021
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Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

I find Anne Burrell to be an incredibly engaging television personality. She always pulls me in with her quirkiness and sense of humor — not to mention her signature spiky blonde locks. Plus, she has a knack for making somewhat daunting recipes feel very approachable.

So when it came time to pick contenders for our focaccia showdown, I naturally thought Anne’s recipe would be a perfect inclusion. Who better to walk me through a somewhat intimidating homemade bread than Anne? Plus, her recipe has a 5-star rating from more than 300 reviews, and includes a video of her making the focaccia. Here’s what happened when I gave it a try.

Get the recipe: Anne Burrell’s Focaccia

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

How to Make Anne Burrell’s Foccacia

You’ll begin by combining warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Let it sit in a warm place until the yeast is bubbling. Then, mix the flour, kosher salt, olive oil, and yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook on low speed. Once the dough has started to form a ball, knead it on medium speed until smooth and soft. If the dough is a bit sticky, add a sprinkle of flour.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it by hand a few times. If the dough still feels too sticky, give it another sprinkle of flour. Lightly coat the inside of the mixing bowl with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Coat a jelly roll pan with a whopping 1/2 cup olive oil and place the dough inside the pan. Turn to coat both sides of the dough in oil, then gently stretch it to fit the size of the pan. As you’re spreading the dough, make small holes with your fingers, which will help create the signature focaccia pattern.

Leave the dough in a warm place until it has doubled in size. When it’s ready, sprinkle the top with coarse sea salt and drizzle more olive oil on top. Bake until the top is golden brown, then remove from the oven and allow it to cool before cutting and serving.

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

My Honest Review of Anne Burrell’s Focaccia

Anne’s focaccia recipe had so many glowing reviews that I couldn’t wait to taste it for myself. I was hopeful it would become my new go-to recipe! Unfortunately, I was not impressed. While it was somewhat soft and had a crispy top, I found it to be way too dry, which I suspect has to do with her ratio of flour to water.

I was also surprised by how bland this focaccia was, especially since there’s 1/2 cup of olive oil in the dough and it gets coated in another 1/2 cup before baking. The salt sprinkled on top helped, but not enough. Ultimately, it didn’t have the taste or texture that I was looking for, and it wasn’t flavorful enough to make up for that.

I will say that I appreciate how quickly this recipe comes together. While many focaccia recipes are incredibly time-consuming (and some need to be started a full day in advance), Anne’s recipe can be made just a few hours before you intend to serve it.

Credit: Nicole Rufus

If You’re Making Anne’s Focaccia Recipe, a Few Tips

  • Add more water. If I were to make this recipe again, I would try adding 1/2 cup more water to the dough. I think this may prevent the focaccia from baking up dry.
  • Add some aromatics. A few comments suggest adding toppings such as garlic, rosemary, or Parmesan cheese, which would definitely help boost the flavor.

Rating: 5/10

Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Brett Regot

Have you tried Anne Burrell’s Focaccia recipe? Let us know in the comments!