Once you try this Focaccia bread recipe you will wonder how you have gone without it for so long. Focaccia sprinkled with fresh rosemary and brushed with olive oil, it is a delicious Italian bread that pairs well with Italian soup, salad, and any pasta dish you crave.
This recipe seems complicated because it takes some time. But it is pretty hands off. The trick to a really beautiful, and perfect focaccia is all the rise time. You make a sponge, and let it rise. You then mix up your dough, and let it rise 3 times. So yes, it is a time consuming recipe. But the actual hands on time is minimal. So keep that in mind and enjoy the fruits of your (minimal) labor.
I love this recipe because it partners well with so many dishes and it makes me feel like I’m in Italy, eating an amazing authentic Italian meal.
While I am a big fan of delicious sweet breads like Cinnamon Swirl Bread, and love Dinner Rolls when I am making an Italian dish, I want a savory Italian bread like Focaccia by its side. So here you go, I have perfected the focaccia.
What You Need to Make Focaccia Bread
Great news, very few ingredients needed for this recipe! Chances are you already have everything you need, except maybe the rosemary.
- All Purpose Flour
- Warm Water
- Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast
- All Purpose Flour
- Warm Water
- Instant or Rapid Rise Yeast
- Kosher Salt
- Extra Olive Oil
- Minced Fresh Rosemary
How to Make Focaccia
Total time: 11 hours and 15 minutes
Trust me the effort is worth the reward on this recipe. First, make the sponge and let it sit out for a minimum of 8 hours. Then incorporate the rest of the dough ingredients and let the dough rise. Sprinkle the dough with salt and let it rise some more. Next, fold and let dough rise, repeatedly. Then, shape the dough and let it rise a little longer. Poke dough with a dinner fork and sprinkle with fresh rosemary and rest. Then, bake the dough and remove bread from the oven and brush with remaining olive oil. Lastly, cool, slice, and serve.
Step one: Make Sponge
Combine and stir flour, water, and yeast in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Do this until mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. This is your sponge, and is the base for your focaccia. It will be a big part of how well your focaccia turns out, and it is such a simple thing, with just a few ingredients.
Step two: Stand at Room Temperature for 8 Hours
The trick to a good sponge is the rest time. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let it stand at room temperature for at least 8 hours. The sponge can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before it needs to be used. If using from the fridge, let stand at room temp at least 30 minutes before adding the dough ingredients.
Step three: Make Dough and Let Rise
Stir all dough ingredients together with the sponge dough that has been at room temp for 8 hours. Combine all in a large bowl until a uniform mass forms and once again no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and rise for 30 minutes.
Step four: Sprinkle Dough with Salt and Let Dough Rise
Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over the dough, stir into dough until completely incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Step Five: Use a Spatula and Fold Partially Risen Dough
After spraying the rubber spatula with oil spray, use it to fold the partially risen dough over itself. Do this by carefully lifting and folding the edge of the dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, fold again. Turn and fold 6 more times.
Step Six: Cover, Rise, and Fold Repeatedly
Cover again with plastic wrap for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, turning, and rising 2 more times, for a total of three 30 minutes rises. This is how you get that lovely texture with all the air bubbles.
Step seven: Preheat Oven and Adjust Rack
One hour before baking, adjust the oven rack to the upper-middle. Then place the baking stone on the rack and heat the oven to 500 degrees.
Step eight: Shape Dough
Gently transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter. Lightly dust the dough with flour and divide in half. Then shape each piece into 5 inch rounds by tucking under edges.
Step nine: Prepare Baking Pans and Dough for Baking
Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with ½ tsp of salt. Place round dough into one pan, top side down. Make sure to slide the dough around the pan to coat bottoms and sides with oil. Then flip dough over. Repeat with second pieces of dough.
Step ten: Cover and Let Rise for Five Minutes
Cover pans with plastic wrap and let dough rise for an additional five minutes.
Step eleven: Poke Dough with a Dinner Fork
With your fingertips, press dough out towards the edges of the pan. Be careful not to tear the dough. Then using a dinner fork, poke the entire surface of the dough 25-30 times, popping any large bubbles.
Step twelve: Sprinkle with Rosemary and Rest
Sprinkle rosemary evenly over the top of the dough. Then let the dough rest in pans until slightly bubbly. Plan on resting the dough for about 5-10 minutes.
Step thirteen: Bake
Place the pans on the baking stone and lower the oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake until the tops are golden brown, about 25-28 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking.
Step fourteen: Remove Bread, Brush with Oil, and Rest
Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool for five minutes. Then remove bread from pans and return to the rack. Brush tops of bread with any remaining oil in the pans.
Step fifteen: Cool and Serve
Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Tips and Tricks
Making this recipe is Eazy Peazy…
- Fresh rosemary is a must: Fresh rosemary is best with this recipe. Do not sub out fresh for dried rosemary. Trust me, you’ve been warned.
- Add an extra flare to the dish with grated parmesan: Sprinkle grated parmesan over just baked focaccia. It is so good.
- Other hardy fresh herbs can be used in place of rosemary: While you want to stay away from any dried herb substitutions, you can replace rosemary with other fresh, robust herbs like thyme or oregano.
- Additional add-ons welcome: Sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers go great with this bread.
- Don’t forget to allow time for the sponge to set: When making this bread, remember it can’t be made right on the spot. It takes a minimum of 8 hours for the sponge to set.
Make Ahead and Storage
How to make this recipe ahead of time:
Of course, fresh is best, but you can make Focaccia ahead of time and freeze for later.
- Follow the directions like normal.
- Let Focaccia cool completely.
- Cut Focaccia into pieces and transfer into a gallon sized freezer bag.
- Focaccia should last for about a month in the freezer.
- When ready to eat, defrost bread on the counter.
- Place defrosted Focaccia on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Reheat in a preheated oven set at 375 degrees.
- Bread should be warmed through before taking it out, cooking in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Focaccia will last for about two days. Cover Focaccia with plastic wrap and let it sit out on the counter.
Focaccia will make a delicious addition to your meal. You are going to love it!
Other Great Recipes:
- World’s Best Cheesy Garlic Bread Recipe
- Quick Cheese Bread
- 7 Minute (Prep) Artisan Crockpot Bread
- Garlic, Balsamic, Fig Flatbread
- Cheesy Garlic Pull-It Bread
- Wooden Spoon for mixing bowl
- Plastic wrap for covering bowl as dough rises
- Rubber spatula or bowl scraper for folding dough as it rises
- Baking stone
- Two 9 inch round cake pans
- Fork for poking surface of dough right before baking
- Wire rack for cooling focaccia
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup warm water 110 degrees
- ¼ teaspoon instant or rapid rise yeast
- 2 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 ¼ cups warm water 110 degrees
- 1 teaspoon instant or rapid free yeast
- Kosher Salt
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Combine flour, water, and yeast in a large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let stand at room temp for at least 8 hours. After the 8 hours, you can use immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- Stir flour, water, instant yeast, and the sponge (step 1) together in a large bowl until uniform mass forms and no dry flour remains, about 1 minute. Cover plastic and let rise at room temp for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt over the dough, stir into dough until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp for 30 minutes. Spray rubber spatula or bowl scraper with vegetable oil spray. Fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of dough toward the middle. Turn the bowl 90 degrees, fold again. Turn the bowl and fold 6 more times. Cover with plastic and let rise for 30 minutes. Repeat folding, turning and rising 2 more times, for a total of three- 30 minute rises.
- One hour before baking, adjust oven rack to upper-middle, place baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Gently transfer dough to a lightly floured counter. Lightly dust the top of dough with flour and divide it in half. Shape each piece of dough into 5 inch rounds by gently tucking under edges. Coat two 9 inch round cake pans with 2 tablespoons oil each. Sprinkle each pan with ½ teaspoon salt. Place round dough in 1 pan, top side down, slide dough around pan to coat bottom and sides with oil, then flip dough over. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Cover pans with plastic and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Using your fingertips, press dough out towards the edges of the pan, taking care not to tear it. Using a dinner fork, poke the entire surface of dough 25-30 times, popping any large bubbles. Sprinkle rosemary evenly over top of dough. Let dough rest in pans until slightly bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place pans on baking stone and lower oven temp to 450 degrees. Bake until tops are golden brown, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pans halfway through baking. Transfer pans to a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaves from pans and return to the rack. Brush tops with any oil remaining in pans. Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Fresh, not dried, rosemary is a must with this bread.
Other hardy fresh herbs can be used in place of the rosemary, including thyme or oregano.
Sun dried tomatoes or roasted red peppers also make great additions
Grated Parmesan can be sprinkled over the just baked focaccia
Our recipe card software calculates these nutrition facts based on averages for the above ingredients, different brands, and quality of produce/meats may have different nutritional information, always calculate your own based on the specific products you use in order to achieve accurate macros for this recipe.