Super easy focaccia recipe with rosemary and flakey salt
This easy focaccia recipe is the best! Just mix, rest, stretch and chill overnight to let all that amazing flavor develop. Take it out of the fridge and bake it fresh with rosemary and flakey salt. This focaccia recipe is ultra-soft and chewy and my favorite bread to make as an appetizer or side dish for dinner.
Focaccia is an Italian style flatbread that is very chewy and similar in texture to pizza dough. There are many ways to customize focaccia bread which is probably why it’s so popular! Here are some flavor variations, including the one I am making today, Focaccia al rosmarino.
- Focaccia al rosmarino – Focaccia bread covered in olive oil, freshly chopped rosemary and flakey sea salt or kosher salt
- Focaccia alla salvia – Focaccia bread baked in olive oil and topped with freshly chopped sage and flakey salt
- Rosemary garlic focaccia – Top your focaccia with olive oil, chopped rosemary, garlic and thyme
- Cheesy focaccia – Cover your focaccia in olive oil, garlic salt and a good amount of Italian cheese like pecorino romano, parmesan or asiago. Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley fresh out of the oven and serve with marinara sauce.
- Focaccia pizza – The options here are endless. Add marinara sauce, pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese or any pizza toppings you like!
In my house, we eat focaccia at least once a week. We typically buy it from a local bakery that is literally the only place within 20 miles that sells it. They sell out quickly so you have to arrive really early to make sure you get some.
Sometimes they wouldn’t even make it because the person who usually makes it isn’t there. Talk about disappointment!
So I decided to make my own focaccia recipe that comes together quickly. Most of the time is spent just waiting for the yeast to do its thing and create all that yummy flavor.
What makes a good focaccia recipe?
Focaccia has a very specific texture. It’s got a very crisp outer layer, soft and chewy interior and lots of flavor. I’ve had some really bad focaccia in my day so I know what to avoid.
- Water – This dough is very soft and sticky which results in a very soft and chewy interior. You may be tempted to add more flour to make the dough easier to handle but that will make the dough tough. If your dough is too sticky, keep kneading it until the gluten properly develops.
- Yeast – I’m using active dry yeast which doesn’t rise as fast as instant yeast but that’s ok in this case. You do need to give the yeast time to eat up those sugars in the dough. As the yeast eats, it creates gasses. Gas equals beautiful big bubbles in your focaccia bread and major flavor. You can’t rush flavor.
- Bread flour – Bread flour is going to give you the best chewy texture and biggest bubbles but you can use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have. Bread flour has the highest protein content which results in more gluten development and a chewier bread.
- Olive oil – Arguably the most important ingredient other than yeast. Olive oil gives the focaccia that crispy outer texture, moisture and of course flavor. You might think that there is too much olive oil in this recipe but trust me, you need it.
- Salt – Focaccia without flakey salt on top is just sad. No matter what you top your focaccia with, don’t forget the salt!
- Toppings – I’m using rosemary on top of my focaccia but you can use any fresh herb that you like, cheese, meats, or vegetables. The options really are endless. Get creative!
How do you make focaccia bread?
Making focaccia is super simple and only requires a few steps. The most important thing to have is patience. Don’t rush yourself and you’ll be very happy with the results!
- Combine 8 ounces of your warm (110ºF water), yeast and sugar and set aside for 5 minutes or until it’s foamy
- Put your yeast mixture, the rest of your water, olive oil, salt and one cup of flour into the bowl of your stand mixer with the dough hook attached and mix until combined.
- Keep adding in the rest of your flour while mixing on low until your dough starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl
- Take the sticky dough out of the bowl and finish kneading it on the table with a tiny bit of flour until the dough looks smooth and bounces back when you touch it with your finger
- Put the dough into a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover and place in a warm area for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Prepare your pan by covering the bottom of the pan in a thin layer of olive oil. I know this looks like a lot but trust me, you need it.
- Take your very soft dough out of the bowl and stretch it with your hands to make it longer.
- Place it into the pan with the oil and use your hands to stretch it to the edges. If it shrinks back, let the dough rest for 20 minutes then come back and stretch it some more. Letting the dough rest relaxes the gluten and keeps it from shrinking. Keep doing this until you can get the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.
- Cover the pan with some plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight. The yeast will continue eating those sugars and rising very slowly. The next day you should have some nice bubbles on top of the dough.
- Use your fingers and some olive oil to put some. dimples in the surface of the dough.
- Drizzle olive oil onto the top of the dough so that it settles in those dimples. Finish with a healthy sprinkle of flakey sea salt and chopped rosemary.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven (450ºF) on the middle rack for 25 minutes or until golden brown! Brush with more olive oil before serving.
Want more bread recipes? Check these out!
Easy Focaccia Recipe
- 16 ounces (453.59 g) warm water (110ºF) divided into two bowls 2 cups
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 7 grams (7 grams) active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
- 2 ounces (57 g) olive oil 1/4 cup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 Tablespoon flakey salt
- 24 ounces (680 g) bread flour or all-purpose flour (5 cups spooned and leveled)
- 4 ounces (113 g) olive oil for the pan and for drizzling on top of the focaccia after rising (1/2 cup)
- 2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped
- Stand mixer with a dough hook
- Combine your first cup of warm water with your yeast and sugar and mix to combine. Set it aside for about 5 minutes or until it looks foamy
- Place the water/yeast mixture in the bowl of your stand mixer with the bread hook attached. You can also make this dough by hand with a bowl and spoon but you'll have to use some elbow grease.
- Add in about 1 cup of flour and mix on low until combined
- Add in the rest of your water, the olive oil and the salt and half of your remaining flour. Mix on low until combined
- Continue adding in your flour while mixing on low until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If it's still too sticky, add in a couple more Tablespoons of flour until it comes together. The dough will be very soft though
- Keep mixing on low until your dough develops enough gluten that when you touch it, it bounces back. I took my dough out of the bowl and finished kneading it on the countertop for about 2 minutes until the dough bounced back.
- Place your dough into a bowl with about a Tablespoon of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size. If you're using active dry yeast, it will take longer to proof to double. Keep an eye on it.
- Pour enough olive oil into a 12"x17" sheet pan (or any pan of similar size) so there is a thin layer of oil covering the entire bottom of the pan
- Put some olive oil on your hands to prevent sticking and then pull the focaccia dough out of the bowl. It will be very loose. Lay it in the pan and begin stretching it to the edges. If it shrinks back, walk away for about 15 minutes to let the gluten relax before you stretch again.
- Once you can get the dough all the way to the edges, cover it with plastic wrap and place it into the fridge overnight to develop flavor.
- When you're ready to bake your bread, take it out of the fridge and let it warm up for about 30 minutes. Dimple the surface with your oiled fingers to create some areas where the olive oil can collect.
- Drizzle a good amount olive oil onto the top of the bread until all the dimples have a little oil in them. Sprinkle flakey salt and rosemary on top.
- Bake in the oven at 450ºF for 20-25 minutes or until the focaccia bread is nice and golden.
- This bread will keep at room temperature for 2 days or you can freeze it for three months. Re-heating the bread in the oven for 5 minutes will bring back that chewy texture.