This easy focaccia bread recipe is a staple in my kitchen. My mom has been making it for years and I loved it when I was a kid, and now my family loves it too. Focaccia is an Italian bread easily recognized by its signature dimples. It’s crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, and usually topped with olive oil, sea salt, and herbs.
This recipe is about as simple as it gets when it comes to bread. It requires just a few ingredients: flour, salt, olive oil, yeast, water, and sugar, plus the toppings of your choice. If you’re a novice bread maker, starting with a simple, diary free recipe is the way to go.
Most focaccia bread recipes call for similar ingredients, so the method is what makes this recipe particularly easy. Some focaccia recipes call for rising the dough overnight, or require a lot of complicated folding or kneading. This recipe is made in a mixer, rises quickly, and is baked in a standard rimmed baking sheet.Focaccia is traditionally a very oily bread, but I prefer mine a little big lighter, so this recipe calls for only 1/4 cup of olive oil, plus extra for brushing the pan and the top of the dough. Focaccia is made with a wet dough, so the texture might seem unusual if you’re used to making something with less water like pizza crust or crusty bread.
Focaccia breads vary in thickness; I prefer mine on the thin side, made in a rimmed baking sheet, because it’s perfect for sandwiches. If you prefer a thicker bread, bake it in a smaller pan and increase the baking time as needed.
Olive oil, sea salt, and rosemary are my favorite focaccia toppings, but you can top it with almost anything you want. Tomatoes and onions, pesto, olives, sliced lemons, roasted red peppers – the possibilities are endless! One of my favorite memories of being on vacation in the Liguria region of Italy is buying freshly baked focaccia topped with their famous pesto.
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 packages or 5 teaspoons dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons table salt
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for topping
- Coarse sea salt, for topping
- Dried rosemary, for topping
- Combine water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer and let stand for 10 minutes*.
- Add flour, salt, and olive oil and knead the dough in the mixer, using the dough hook, for about 5 minutes.
- Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for an additional minute. Form the dough into a round and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with wax paper and a towel and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Generously brush a rimmed baking sheet (approximately 12×18 inches) with olive oil.
- Once risen, press dough into baking sheet, cover with wax paper and a towel, and let rise for an additional hour.
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
- Once risen a second time, remove the wax paper and towel, and make indentations all over the dough using your index finger.
- Generously brush dough with olive oil, and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary.
- Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until golden brown.