When I was making a focaccia earlier today, I realised that I've never been told why we dimple them before baking. A quick Googling didn't reveal anything, so I'm asking here: why do we make dimples in a focaccia before baking? Is it strictly cosmetic, or is there another reason?

  • I guess an increased surface area is also nice. More area to get that brown surface. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 14:55

3 Answers 3


I have read that the dimples are there to catch the olive oil that is drizzled over the top (sometimes water may also be sprayed) before baking. The little pools of olive oil soak in and further enhance the crust texture and flavor.


I do agree with NadjaCS's point of "olive oil that is drizzled over the top". I know with some pastry's you add multiple dimples to stop it rising. I could see the dimples in a Focaccia being used to keep the bread flatter.

  • I once did a kitchen printer setup for a Turkish Bread manufacturer; it seemed that the only difference between 3 of the styles of bread that they baked was how many dimples (if at all) were in the bread... Cooking temperature, proofing times etc were all the same.
    – Adrian Hum
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 23:49
  • 3
    This is the reason. It's called "docking" and it's intended to ensure an even rise.
    – SourDoh
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 6:08

I think this is the answer, in Claire Saffitz's words: "strategically deflating some of the the air bubbles" in order to obtain a flat structure and not a "loafy thing with a big dome".


If I can add a piece of personal experience, I often make a focaccia that rises for several hours and before dimpling I also burst the bubbles that are too big as they would burn in the oven.

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