This easy focaccia has a moist but airy crumb with an ultra crispy top. Fresh rosemary, minced garlic and sea salt really take this bread over the top!
What is Focaccia?
Focaccia is a flat oven-baked (or hearth-baked) Italian bread similar to pizza dough. It has iconic “dimples” and is often topped with herbs, cheese, or vegetables.
This particular recipe is made to fit a standard cookie sheet. Which means all you have to do is press/stretch it into the pan, then cut it however you like after it has been baked. I usually cut it into squares, but triangles and strips are also common.
What I love about this recipe is that it’s not overly complicated. In fact, it’s quite straightforward. It does require time to rise, but that just means you can prep whatever you plan on serving it with in the meantime.
Yeast: Proofing yeast is not necessary if you’re working with fresh yeast. However, if you’re working with an opened jar of yeast or older packets, it’s better safe than sorry. Proofing yeast shows that the yeast is alive.
Potato Flakes: Potato flakes are NOT required, however they add softness to the texture of the focaccia. I prefer to use them because I don’t like how dry and tough it can get when they are omitted.
Olive Oil: If you’re worried about having a strong olive oil flavor in your bread, try light olive oil instead of your typical Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
How to Make Focaccia
If you’ve never made homemade yeast bread, this recipe is a great start! The dough isn’t super finicky. Here’s how to make the dough:
PROOF. To start, you’ll want to let the active dry yeast proof in a small bowl of warm water and sugar.
COMBINE. While the yeast is proofing, in the bowl of a stand mixer combine the flour, potato flakes, and salt. Combine the ingredients along with the olive oil.
KNEAD. Knead with the hook attachment until a soft ball forms. This takes about 5-7 minutes. Be patient! It may not look like it will come together, but with time it does. Note: If your dough is still covering the bottom of the bowl you may need to add an additional tablespoon or two of flour.
RISE. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until a smooth ball forms. Place in a clean bowl rubbed with olive oil. Flip it over to coat both sides, then cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. This generally takes about an hour.
(Tip: If you want to speed this process along, turn your oven on to 180 degrees, let it heat up, then turn it off and place the dough in to rise. It should only take about 30-40 minutes. You can repeat this step for the final rise.)
Baking the Focaccia Bread
PAN. Oil a 12×16-inch rimmed cookie sheet with oil, then spread the dough into the pan. This takes a few minutes. Go slow and take care, you don’t want to rip it.
DIMPLES. Using your index finger, create deep dimples in the dough. I press all the way to the bottom of the pan, but not through the dough. You don’t want holes.
SEASON. Brush the surface with remaining olive oil, then add freshly chopped rosemary, minced garlic, and flakes of sea salt. If you want to customize the toppings, you can definitely do so!
- Seasonal veggies
Keep in mind that focaccia bakes at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes. Prepare your toppings (or add them) accordingly.
CUT + SERVE. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet before transferring it to a large cutting board. Cut and serve immediately.
Variations + Serving Ideas
There are various toppings you can put on your focaccia aside from rosemary, garlic, and sea salt. You can try any combinations of the following:
- Roasted garlic
- Olive slices
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Shredded cheese
SERVING. This bread is flavorful enough that you can eat it on its own. Or, you can dip it or even use it in other recipes.
- Oil Dip: You can make your own dipping oil from olive oil, spices, and some parmesan cheese.
- Dip In Soup: Use a slice of focaccia to soak up some soup. Italian soups like Tomato Tortellini or Minestrone pair especially well.
- Croutons: If your bread starts getting stale, you can turn it into homemade croutons. Slice the bread into 1″ pieces, toss with a little bit of olive oil, spread on a baking sheet, and bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes. Turn oven to HI broil for 1-2 minutes until croutons are brown and crisp.
- Sandwich: Slice in bigger slices to use as bread for a sandwich or panini.
Keep this bread STORED in the fridge, tightly wrapped, for 2-3 days. You don’t want to risk drying it out, and it lasts longer in the fridge than it does on the counter.
You can also FREEZE focaccia in the form of dough or baked bread.
- Dough: After letting the dough rise, punch it down, shape into 1-3 small balls and coat with olive oil. Place in freezer safe bags with as little air as possible. Freeze this for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight, place on the counter for at least 30 minutes before putting it on the tray to bake it.
- Baked Bread: Place each piece of bread in a piece of plastic wrap and then place all of the pieces of the wrapped bread in a freezer safe bag. Keep it in the freezer for up to a month. Let it thaw overnight in the fridge and then bring to room temperature before serving.
If you’re new to focaccia, this recipe is sure to become a favorite! I’ll warn you now, it may seem like a lot of bread, but it will disappear in the blink of an eye. I know it did here!
LOOKING FOR MORE EASY HOMEMADE BREAD RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Buttery Pull-Apart Rolls
- Best Ever Cheesy Garlic Bread
- 4 Ingredient No-Knead Artisan Bread
- Garlic Cheddar Bay Biscuits
- 1 Hour Soft & Fluffy Dinner Roll
Easy Focaccia Recipe
- 1 3/4 c. warm water
- 1 package - 2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 5 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/4 c. potato flakes
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 c. olive oil - + 1 tbsp. for the bowl
For the topping:
- 5 tbsp. olive oil - divided
- 1 tbsp. chopped rosemary
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp. coarse sea salt
- In a small bowl combine the warm water, yeast and sugar, stir to dissolve. Let sit for 12 minutes or until the mixture is nice and foamy.
- In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, potato flakes and salt. Add the yeast mixture and olive oil, mix on low speed until the dough comes together. Turn the speed to medium and continue to knead for 5-7 minutes. The dough should be smooth and soft. If the dough is too wet or tacky, add an additional tablespoon of flour and knead for 1 minute.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently knead until a smooth ball forms.
- In a large bowl (or a clean stand mixer bowl), add 1 tbsp. of olive oil. Use your hands to coat the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, flip the dough over, then cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Coat a 12" x 16" rimmed baking sheet with 3 tbsp. of olive oil. Place the dough onto the prepared pan and press/stretch it with your hands to fit the size of the pan. Once the dough is stretched, use your index finger to make impressions or dimples in the dough (don't poke all the way through, just go as far as you can without breaking through).
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Brush the top with the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil. Top with rosemary, garlic, and remaining salt.
- Place in the oven and bake until golden brown, about 18-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and cut as desired.