This Focaccia Bread recipe is an easy, no-knead, tasty treat or side. A tantalizing Italian flatbread topped with rosemary, heirloom cherry tomatoes or olives. Perfect on its own, used to make Italian panini, or even used as a base for pizza.
Italian Focaccia Recipe
If you’ve never had homemade focaccia bread before, you’re missing out on a love affair you shouldn’t deprive yourself of. Every bite of that perfectly crispy, yet soft bread is a wonderland of discovery.
You don’t need any special occasion to make this, nor do you need a fancy feast to back it up. I adore just ripping a piece off and enjoying it with some sauce, a bowl of mushroom soup or Pasta e Ceci. Yes, it’s that good.
It’s one of my favorite recipes simply because it can be used in so many ways. Plus, it always adds a flair of amazing when it’s included. I beg of you, try this bread! You’ll be in love, I swear.
What is Focaccia Bread?
A type of leavened Italian flatbread similar to pizza that is popularly used as a side, snack, or even as sandwich bread. Flatbread, in general, can either be unleavened or leavened. This means it’s made without yeast or with it.
What’s really great about this bread is all the delicious toppings you can add to it. My favorites are the additions of heirloom tomatoes of course and strong herbs like rosemary. Gosh, the smell of that bread once it starts baking will make you weak in the knees. Some other divine toppings suggestions below!
- Favorite Fresh Herbs
- Black Olives
- Caramelized Onion
- Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Vegetable Spread
- Fresh Blueberries
- Marinated Artichoke Hearts
- Roasted Broccoli
- Warm Water
- Sea Salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
How To Make Focaccia Bread
- Make the dough – Make the yeast mixture. Combine all the ingredients once the yeast is ready and knead for a minute.
- Rise – Drizzle with olive oil, cover with a towel, and let it sit until doubled in size.
- Shape – Place in a skillet and press to the edges. Sprinkle with your selected toppings, cover, and let rise again.
- Bake – Bake up to 35 minutes. Allow to cool for a few and enjoy!
- Storage: If you actually end up with any leftovers at all make sure to store them in a plastic bag on the kitchen counter for a day or two. Alternatively you could even freeze it and pop it in the toaster oven when ready to enjoy.
- How to eat it? – It’s similar to pizza crust, so think along those tasty lines. You can dip it in some homemade arrabiata or marinara sauce. You could even eat it by itself or serve it alongside my Zuppa Toscana, Italian vegetable soup, Italian cabbage, Pasta e Ceci or this lovely Roasted Tomato Soup. I’ve even used it as a base for my pizzas before. There was zero disappointment with that meal, let me tell ya.
- Is there an alternative to olive oil? – If you really can’t use olive oil (it’s really the best in this recipe), you can always use another oil. Vegetable oil, walnut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil, just to name a few options. You can always make it oil-free but to be honest this is just not the recipe for that.
- How do I make focaccia bread art? – Before baking your bread, you can use herbs and veggies to make designs on the top of the dough. Once you’re finished designing, you just bake it as normal. It’s fun and just as tasty + you get to sneak a few more veggies in there.
- How do I make it more fluffy? – Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to your yeast and warm water and give it a whisk to mix. Let it stand until foamy and then follow the rest of the steps as normal. This should make your bread fluffier than usual but it really isn’t necessary.
- Where can i buy it? – Honestly, you can find it at most grocery stores these days. However, once you eat the homemade version, you’ll scoff at the store-bought stuff. Yup, I said it because it’s true.
Italian Focaccia Bread Recipe
For the dough:
- 2.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup warm water
- 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp black olive slices
- heirloom or cherry tomatoes (sliced)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 pinch Fleur de Sel sea salt to taste
Make the dough
- In a large mixing bowl combine the warm water with the yeast and stir well.
- Add the olive oil, salt and flour and use a spatula to mix until everything is combined and a sticky dough forms. Use your hand to knead for just a minute until the dough comes together into a ball.
- Brush the top pf the dough with a little olive oil then cover the bowl with a lid or a kitchen towel. Place in a draft free area and allow to rise for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Lightly oil a 12” cast iron skillet then dump the focaccia dough inside.
- Use your hand to spread the dough inside the skillet all the way to the sides.
- Using the tip of your fingers to press all over the top to create dimples.
- Lightly drizzle with some olive oil then add your favorite toppings: olives, heirloom tomatoes and rosemary, pepperoncini, red onion, scallions, zucchini etc
- Finish with a sprinkling of Fleur the Sel (sea salt flakes) and cover with a lid. Allow the focaccia to rise again at room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
Bake the Focaccia
- Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400”F.
- Bake the focaccia bread uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes until the top and the sides are a light golden color.
- Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool off completely before slicing.
- Is there an alternative to olive oil? - If you really can’t use olive oil (it’s really the best in this recipe), you can always use another oil. Vegetable oil, walnut oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil, just to name a few options.
- How do I make focaccia bread art? - Before baking your bread, you can use herbs and veggies to make designs on the top. Once you’re finished designing, you just bake it as normal. It’s fun and just as tasty.
- How do I make focaccia bread fluffier? - Add 2 teaspoons of sugar to your yeast and warm water and give it a whisk to mix. Let it stand until foamy and then follow the rest of the steps as normal. This should make your bread fluffier than usual but it really isn’t necessary.
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