Wow, Wow, Wow! This is GOOD!!! If you want to feel like a rockstar, stop what you are doing and go make this Focaccia Bread Recipe RIGHT NOW! Seriously, though, you need to start it right now because it takes a few hours from start to finish. It needs two full hours for rising times. Have you tried my Copycat Macaroni Grill Rosemary Bread? This is like that…but on steroids. The outer crunch on this soft and chewy bread is to die for!
A while back, I saw a video of an Italian baker making Focaccia bread. I was mesmerized. It was so fun to see how he and his family had been doing it for years. He didn’t give measurements or anything in the video. So I looked up a bunch of focaccia bread recipes and read through them to see if there was one that was similar. I made some adaptions to two different recipes I found. One is from Natasha’s Kitchen and the other is from Bon Appetit, and the result is perfection!
Making this bread isn’t complicated, but it does take a little time because of the rising technique. It also takes a generous amount of olive oil. Don’t let that put you off. It’s what makes the crust so incredible! I was so excited to use my special Croatian Olive Oil that we got straight from a small local farmer when we did an olive oil tasting near Split, Croatia, this summer. It was incredible. One thing the man in the video said was how important the olive oil is in this recipe. He is right!
Delicious Dinners to Pair with this Bread
- The Best Homemade Alfredo Sauce Recipe
- Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
- The Best Italian Meatballs
- Baked Butter Garlic Shrimp
- Angel Hair Pasta with Garlic and Parmesan
- Amazing Spaghetti Sauce
Step-by-step pictures of how to make Focaccia Bread Recipe
Frequently Asked Questions of how to make this Focaccia Bread Recipe
Can focaccia bread be made in advance?
Yes. If you want to make it in advance, put the dough directly into the fridge (covered) after you mix it up. It can stay in the fridge for up to 24 hours. This actually can make a delicious bread because it gives it some time to ferment. Once you are ready to make it, take it out and stretch and fold it. Let it rise for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold, place it in the oiled baking dish, press it to form into the pan, cover, and let rise for 30-40 minutes. Uncover, poke everywhere with your fingers to put the dimples into the bread, top with more oil, coarse salt, and dried rosemary. Follow baking directions and enjoy!
What’s the difference between kneading dough and folding and stretching dough?
Kneading is traditional for stiffer dough, such as sandwich bread dough or rolls. The stretch and fold method is used for wetter dough, which may be too sticky to knead. The folding develops gluten gently and produces bread with an open crumb from the elasticity.
What does focaccia Mean?
Focaccia definition: A flat Italian bread typically seasoned with herbs and olive oil.
Why do you put dimples in focaccia bread?
Putting the dimples in the bread helps push some of the air out. It also makes perfect little pockets for the olive oil and seasonings to land in, causing a delicious burst of flavor and crunchiness on the crust of the bread.
What will happen if I let my bread rise for 1.5 hours instead of 30-minute increments?
The three rise times of 30-minute increments with a few folds and stretches in between really help develop the gluten to give it that nice chew and that airy texture. If you do one large rise instead of the three shorter ones before preparing the final stage of the bread, your bread will not have quite the same texture and look.
What goes well with focaccia bread?
Focaccia bread is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite salad. It also goes great with most Italian pasta dishes. Topped with things like caramelized onions, prosciutto, olives, and sundried tomatoes, it could even be a light lunch.
- 1½ cups warm water
- 2 tsp honey
- 1 packet instant yeast or 2¼ tsp yeast
- 3¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp sea salt
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- In a stand mixer, combine the warm water, honey, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add flour, 1½ tsp sea salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Mix with the bread hook attachment for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky. If it seems extremely sticky, you can add ¼-1/2 cup additional flour.
- Once the dough has finished mixing for 5 minutes, leave it in the mixer and cover for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can turn the mixer on for 5-10 seconds just enough to stretch the dough, or you can use your hand to stretch and pull the dough 4 times. For this, you basically take turns grabbing each of the dough's four sides, pulling up, and then folding it down over on itself.
- Repeat that 30-minute rise and stretch 2 more times.
- While the dough is rising the third time, prepare a 9x13 baking dish by pouring 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) of olive oil into the baking dish and adding the dried rosemary to the oil. You can also sprinkle a little coarse sea salt on the oil and rosemary at this point. This will help the nice salty flavor reach the bottom of the bread, too.
- After the third rise, transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Place the dough in it and turn the dough over to completely cover with the oil, salt, and rosemary. Now, use your hands to gently press the dough in all directions until it covers the bottom of the pan. Once it covers the pan, press your fingers into the dough all the way to the bottom of the pan and all throughout the dough to create dimples. Cover and let rise for 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees while the dough is having its final rise.
- After the 30-40 minute rise, uncover the dough, add more dimples by pressing your fingers in again. Then drizzle one more tbsp of olive oil over the dough, and sprinkle the rest of the 1 tsp coarse salt over the dough. If desired, you can sprinkle a little more rosemary at this point, too.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 25 minutes. Edges should be nice and crisp.
- Remove bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack. This helps the crust stay crisp. I find it works best to run a knife around the edges of the pan and use a flat spatula to reach under the edges as far as possible to loosen the bread before turning it out of the pan.
- If you can handle waiting, let the bread cool before slicing. If you are like me, you won't be able to handle that. It slices much easier when cooled.
- I can't wait for you to try this recipe! Enjoy!
Breadsticks You'll Love!