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I love baking bread (like this Focaccia Bread!) and I frequently receive messages from readers, saying you love seeing bread-baking-related recipes, tips, tutorials, and videos. That makes me SO happy.
The idea of making homemade bread can be daunting – and can also feel like something only done in decades past. How many of you have grandmothers who only baked bread from scratch?
I am thrilled about the more recent trend toward scratch-made cooking and baking and the increased importance placed on quality ingredients and food. That is what I am ALL about! Bread baking gets a bad rap – but in reality, all it requires is patience. I promise it’s not as scary as it seems.
I recently binge-watched Salt Fat Acid Head on Netflix and LOVED it.
Samin Nosrat has such a pure and joyful love and curiosity for food and culture that’s positively contagious. In the “Fat” episode, she makes a batch of Ligurian Focaccia. It looks so perfect and incredible that I knew I needed to make a batch myself, STAT.
So I took my original easy focaccia bread recipe from years ago (first published in 2014!) and added elements to it inspired by Diego and Samin in the show.
I reduced the amount of yeast and added a longer rising / fermentation time, to develop a better flavor and texture inside. It’s totally worth the wait. Not only that, but in doing so, I was able to switch this to a ‘no knead’ method recipe, so you don’t even need a stand mixer!
Then I added a salty brine on top of the dough just before baking, to give the focaccia that crispy salty crust that’s so mouthwatering and addictive.
More tips for this chewy focaccia bread recipe below!
How to Make Focaccia Bread
Ingredients for Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- Active dry yeast – Learn about the differences between active dry vs. instant yeast here.
- All-purpose flour – The backbone of our focaccia bread. You can use bread flour if you prefer, but all-purpose works great here.
- Granulated sugar – Just a little, to help feed the yeast as the bread ferments.
- Salt – Do not skip the salt!
- Fresh rosemary – For the most incredible flavor!
- Extra virgin olive oil – This is where the magical flavor and texture comes from!
How to Make CRISPY Focaccia Bread
To guarantee crispy golden brown edges, I like to use a pizza stone to bake the tray of focaccia dough on. If you don’t have one, simply invert a high-quality rimmed baking pan and use in place of a stone.
How to Make the BEST Focaccia Bread
- Combine the water, yeast, and sugar to form the yeast mixture. Add in 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary, half the flour, and the salt, stirring to combine. Add 1/2 cup olive oil.
- Gradually add in the rest of the flour. Mix until a shaggy mass forms.
- Cover and rise. Let the dough rise until doubled in size. The time this takes will depend on your kitchen environment and can take several hours, especially if your home runs cool. More on this below.
- Prepare the baking pan. Drizzle olive oil over a baking pan.
- Shape the focaccia. Turn the dough onto the pan and press it out to fit the size of the pan. Spread your fingers to make dimples all the way through the dough.
- Make the salty brine. Combine warm water and salt. Pour over the dough to make pools of water in the dimples.
- Proof again. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to proof again until the dough is puffy, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven. Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Finish the focaccia. Sprinkle the dough with coarse sea salt and the remaining rosemary.
- Bake. Place sheet pan on top of the preheated stone and bake until the focaccia is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Variations for Homemade Focaccia Bread
- Fresh herbs – Feel free to add whatever herbs you like to this focaccia bread. Fresh sage is a delicious alternative/addition. Fresh thyme, basil and chives are also fabulous options.
- Toppings – You can also top the bread with whatever you fancy. I like shredded cheese (parmesan cheese works great), crumbled feta or goat cheese, torn fresh mozzarella, olives, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, or even caramelized onions.
- Homemade everything bagel seasoning adds a fun touch.
- Garlic cloves – Add fresh, finely minced garlic to the dough.
- Pizza – Make a Focaccia Pizza!
- Sandwiches – Use a serrated knife to slice your cooled bread in half and make focaccia sandwiches.
- Dip into your favorite soups!
How to Make Focaccia Bread Ahead of Time
You can make focaccia bread ahead of time by letting the dough chill in the fridge, covered, for a few days before shaping. The longer it ferments, the more flavor will develop! Allow to come to room temperature before shaping and allowing to rise for the second time.
How to Serve & Store or Freeze Focaccia Bread
The focaccia bread is definitely best served the day it’s made. However, you can freeze any leftover focaccia. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Keep in the freezer for one month. Allow to defrost at room temperature then refresh in a 325°F oven until warmed through and crispy again, about 5 minutes. Day-old bread can also be chopped up, baked at 375°F for about 10 minutes, and used as croutons!
More Homemade Bread Recipes
For the dough:
about 100° to 110°F
active dry yeast
sprigs fresh rosemary leaves,
chopped and divided
(670 grams) all-purpose flour
plus coarse sea salt for sprinkling
extra-virgin olive oil,
For the brine:
fine sea salt
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Add in 2 teaspoons of the chopped rosemary, half the flour, and the salt, and stir to combine. Add 1/2 cup olive oil. Gradually add in the remaining flour until a shaggy mass forms. Only add in as much flour as you need to create a shaggy, slightly sticky dough.
Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment at room temperature for about 8 to 10 hours, or until doubled in size. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough for several days until ready to bake. This will also develop more flavor.
Coat a rimmed half-sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Turn the dough onto the pan and begin pressing it out with your fingertips to fit the size of the pan. Coax and stretch the dough to fit the entire pan, or just about. If the dough springs back, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes before proceeding. Spread your fingers to make little dimples all the way through the dough.
Make the brine:
Combine the warm water and salt together until the salt is dissolved. Pour all over the dough to make little pools of water in the dimples. Cover loosely with plastic and allow to rise again until the dough is puffy, about 45 minutes.
Bake the bread:
Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven and preheat to 450°F. If you don't have a baking stone, invert a heavy-duty rimmed baking sheet and place in the oven to preheat.
Sprinkle the dough liberally with coarse sea salt and the remaining rosemary leaves. Bake with the sheet pan on top of stone until the focaccia is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.
This recipe was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2019 with recipe improvements and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.