Nothing beats the quality of a warm and freshly baked loaf of artisan bread, and today we’re talking all about focaccia. Whip this recipe up in under 2 hours, then enjoy the satisfaction of indulging in homemade garlic and herb Italian bread.
We designed this recipe for convenience, without sacrificing the chewy and soft texture you love most about focaccia bread. Learn how it’s done using our easy-to-follow tutorial and images.
What Is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia bread is an Italian bread baked in a sheet pan, typically infused with olive oil, and often topped with herbs and other vegetables.
While a traditional focaccia bread uses bread flour, today there are many varieties (and methods) available to try. After the dough is formed and rises for a bit, it’s pressed out into a sheet pan.
You can easily tell its focaccia bread, due to its iconic dimples poked on top of the dough. Olive oil, garlic, herbs, and flakey salt all make their way on top of the bread dough, and then it’s baked to a gorgeous golden brown hue.
Variations of Focaccia
Today, focaccia comes in all forms, and amongst many, the Instagram-worthy bread art images you’ve likely noticed of picturesque designs are becoming a hit. People are going all out, decorating their loaves of artisan bread with vibrantly colored vegetables and other fresh produce.
If you aren’t into the artsy stuff, but you are looking for a practical and tasty dish, simply top it with mushrooms, olives, or anything you enjoy.
One way to turn it into a meal is by creating a tasty pizza. Sliced Roma tomatoes (or sauce), fresh mozzarella, and basil leaves can turn this bread into a heavenly soft and comforting deep-dish style pizza.
What Tools You Will Need
Following is an easy-to-follow recipe that doesn’t take hours of fridge or rising time. Here’s what you’ll need.
- 9 x 13-inch sheet pan
- A few large bowls
- Rubber spatula or flexible bench scraper
- Microplane Grater
Simple Focaccia Bread Recipe
While traditional focaccia bread tends to be a lengthy process, we designed this recipe with convenience (and deliciousness) in mind.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (divided)
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp dried Italian herbs
- 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp flakey salt (divided)
In a large bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Stir the ingredients together a few times (until combined), then let sit for 5 minutes.
Emilee Unterkoefler / LifeSavvy
After 5 minutes have passed, add 1½ cups of flour and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) to the bowl containing water and yeast. Stir it until everything is combined, then let sit for about 3-5 minutes.
Stir the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour, plus ½ teaspoon of flakey salt, and bring the dough together. As you mix in the flour, you’ll notice the dough forming. Add the dough and flour onto your surface, and begin kneading the flour into the dough. Knead the dough about 20 times until the flour is incorporated.
Oil a separate large bowl, then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a warm damp towel and leave the bowl in a warm part of your kitchen. Let the dough rise for 1 hour. We turned our oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and placed the bowl nearby to ensure it was located in a warm area.
While your dough rises, use a Microplane to grate the garlic. (Alternatively, mince your garlic if you don’t have a Microplane grater.) Add the garlic, two tablespoons of EVOO, and the Italian herbs to a small bowl and combine.
Add two tablespoons of EVOO to a sturdy 9 x 13-inch sheet pan. Once the dough has risen for about an hour, transfer it to the oiled sheet pan.
Use your fingers to press and stretch the dough out in the pan, being careful not to tear holes. Poke dimples with your fingers and let the dough sit for another 20 minutes until it rises a bit.
While your dough rests, preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a brush, baste the garlic, herb, and oil mixture on top of the bread dough. Bake until golden brown (15 minutes).
Focaccia bread tastes fantastic on its own, but even after it bakes and cools, try adding a few slices of mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, and roasted zucchini. Make it into a pizza, or use it to build a fresh and in-season sandwich.