No Knead Focaccia Recipe

No Knead Focaccia Recipe

Focaccia is an Italian flatbread with a texture similar to thick, hand-tossed pizza. It’s often dotted with fresh tomatoes and herbs, but in this version we keep it simple with only flaky sea salt. The addition of olive oil is another staple of focaccia, so be sure not to skimp here and purchase a higher quality olive oil for this recipe.

The best part about this recipe is how simple it is! You don’t need to knead, you just need time for a couple of rises and this bread is light and airy with nice bubbles and a crisp crust, lots of delicious olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. Because of it’s ease, this is a great starter recipe if you are new to bread.

If you’d rather cold rise the dough, you can do this by refrigerating the dough for about 8 hours on the first rise. If you choose to do that, you could put the dough together at night, then do an overnight cold rise in the fridge, and wake up the next morning to continue the process. However you choose to make this recipe, it’s sure to become a staple for how simple and delicious it is!

“This recipe needs no special equipment, which means everyone can make it. All you need is a little patience! I added all two cups of water. The dough felt pretty sticky, but it turned out just fine! You can make great sandwiches with it, or just dip it in olive oil and enjoy!” – Tara Omidvar

No Knead Focaccia/tester image A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 2 cups lukewarm water, as needed

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, more as needed

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • Flaky sea salt, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    No Knead Focaccia ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. Whisk yeast, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups warm water in a large bowl until fully incorporated. Allow the mixture to proof for 5 minutes, it should get foamy.

    Yeast, sugar and water in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Add flour, 1/4 cup oil, and salt to the yeast mixture and stir using a rubber spatula. If the mixture feels dry, add remaining 1/2 cup water and stir until no dry streaks remain.

    Dough in a bowl with a spatula

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. Add remaining 1/4 cup oil to a clean bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, turning the dough into the olive oil until all sides are coated, but the oil is not worked into the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about 3 hours, or until doubled in size.

    Dough in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. Once doubled, generously oil a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the oiled baking dish. Use your fingers to spread to dough toward the edges of the pan.

    Dough in an oiled baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  6. Cover the dough again with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm, dry place for another 2 hours, or until doubled in size. Every half hour, uncover the dough and use your oiled fingers to spread it more toward the edge of the pan. Don't be afraid to deflate the dough a little when spreading.

    Dough in an oiled baking dish, covered with plastic wrap

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 450 F. Once the dough is doubled, drizzle the top generously with more olive oil and use your oiled fingers to create deep dimples all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, if using.

    Focaccia dough in a baking dish, sprinkled with salt

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  8. Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven carefully and immediately flip it onto a serving tray or large plate. Allow to cool slightly, then serve.

    No Knead Focaccia in a baking dish

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Focaccia Variations

  • Herbs are a simple addition to focaccia. Simply add chopped fresh rosemary, sage, or tarragon to the top before drizzling with olive oil and dimpling.
  • Flavored olive oils, like a lemon infused oil, also makes for a great variation.

How to Store Focaccia

  • Focaccia is best eaten the day it's made, but store leftovers on the countertop in an airtight container.
  • To freeze, slice and freeze individual pieces on a baking sheet. Once frozen, store the slices in a freezer-safe container. To reheat, place the pieces on a baking sheet in a 300 F oven until warmed through.

What pan should I use for focaccia?

If you like your focaccia on the thinner and crispier side you can use a larger baking dish or rimmed baking sheet. For a thicker focaccia, a smaller sheet pan is best.

Can you use whole wheat flour in focaccia?

Whole wheat flour would be a great addition to focaccia, try subbing 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour for all-purpose for a delicious range of flavor.

Why is my focaccia not fluffy?

The biggest culprit to your focaccia not being fluffy is likely dead yeast. Be sure to check the expiration date on the package. Your yeast mixture (step one) should be foamy.

Can you overproof focaccia dough?

You can definitely overproof focaccia, but it is difficult. There is so much oil in the dough, and very little sugar, so the yeast is "sleepy" or slow due to both of those elements and less likely to overproof.

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