Focaccia Bread Recipe

Focaccia Bread Recipe

Focaccia, an Italian baked flatbread, is a yeast-leavened bread that is soft on the inside and crispy, crusty on the outside. This focaccia is a snap to make. In this version, the gluten in the bread is developed by stretching and folding several times throughout the proofing time. A generous amount of good quality olive oil goes into the pan and is brushed over the top of the dough, ensuring a crusty exterior. Finish the bread with some flaky sea salt like Maldon, or coarse kosher salt, and add some fresh chopped rosemary if you like.

The dough for focaccia is very soft and sticky, but it's easy to handle and fold with wet hands or utensils. You only need 1 mixing bowl to make this bread since mixing, proofing, and folding are all done in the same bowl.

It is a versatile bread. Not only is focaccia a fabulous lunch or dinner bread—it makes incredible sandwiches! Split the bread horizontally, fill it with any sandwich filling you like, from lunch meats and egg salad to meatballs.

Focaccia Bread Recipe/Tester Image

“This recipe produces a fabulously soft, chewy and fluffy focaccia. So easy, even kids can make it. The hardest part is remembering to turn the dough over every 20 minutes while it proofs, the rest is a cinch. Use a quarter sheet pan (9×13) for a thicker focaccia.” —Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (400 grams) warm water, about 105 F to 112 F

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast, 1 packet

  • 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine salt

  • 7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons flaky sea salt or coarse salt, for garnish

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Focaccia Bread ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Combine the warm water, honey, and yeast. Let stand for 4 to 5 minutes, until foamy.

    Combine the warm water, honey, and yeast in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour with 1 1/2 teaspoons of fine salt.

    Flour and salt in a bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the yeast mixture and to the flour mixture and stir until just moistened. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and mix to form the dough.

    Dough in a bowl with a wooden spoon and oil in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

    Dough in a bowl covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Remove the plastic wrap. With wet hands, pick up one side of the dough, stretch it, and then fold it over onto the rest. Turn the bowl one-quarter turn and stretch and fold again.

    With wet hands, pick up one side of the dough, stretch it, and then fold it over onto the rest

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Repeat stretching and folding with two more quarter-turns.

    Stretch and fold the dough in the bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Re-cover the bowl and let it rise for 1 hour longer, stretching and folding the dough as before once every 20 minutes.

    Dough in a bowl, stretched and folded

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Re-cover the bowl and let it rise for 30 minutes longer.

    Dough in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a nonstick 10-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. If your pan is not nonstick, grease the pan with butter or shortening before adding the olive oil.

    Oil in a bowl, next to a metal baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Let the dough relax for 15 minutes and then stretch it to fill the pan. Let the dough rise for 15 minutes longer. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 F.

    Dough in a baking dish with oil

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Make dimples all over the dough with your fingers.

    Make dimples all over the dough in the baking dish with hands

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  13. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top. Use a brush or your fingers to spread the oil over the dough. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and chopped fresh rosemary if desired.

    Dough in a baking dish, sprinkled with flaky sea salt, oil and chopped fresh rosemary

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  14. Bake the focaccia for about 20 to 24 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the bread from the pan immediately and place it on a rack. Serve focaccia warm or at room temperature.

    Focaccia Bread on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • Bake it in a nonstick half-sheet pan for thinner focaccia and begin checking after about 16 minutes.
  • For thicker focaccia, bake it in a nonstick 9-by-13-inch pan and begin checking after about 22 minutes.
  • When proofing the yeast, the mixture should be foamy after a few minutes. If not, check the expiration date on the yeast and make sure your water is not too hot—the yeast will begin to die if the water temperature goes above 120 F. The ideal temperature is around 105 F to 112 F.

Recipe Variations

Garlic Focaccia: Combine the final 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 finely minced garlic cloves. Drizzle the garlic and olive oil over the dimpled dough and bake as directed.

Parmesan Rosemary Focaccia: Sprinkle the dough with a few tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese along with sea salt and rosemary.

How to Store and Freeze

  • Wrap focaccia in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.
  • To freeze the focaccia, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in a zip-close freezer bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 1 month.

Why didn’t my focaccia rise?

If your focaccia didn't rise, it could be that your yeast was no longer viable. Another possibility is the temperature of the water. If the water is too hot the yeast will die. The ideal water temperature for yeast is 105 F to 112 F.

What makes a good focaccia?

The best focaccia has a chewy, salty crust and a soft and airy center.

Can I make this focaccia in my stand mixer?

This focaccia only requires a bit of stretching and folding. If you prefer to use a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mix the initial dough, cover the bowl, and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. For each instance of stretching and folding mentioned in this recipe, mix the dough with the paddle attachment for a few seconds.

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