Focaccia Bread Recipe – How to Make It in 19 Simple Steps

15 Servings
50 min

Even if you've never baked bread before, focaccia is a bread recipe that pretty much anyone can successfully bake. Loaded with the flavors of olive oil, you can customize this recipe to suit your own taste by adding herbs or cheese to the dough before you bake it.

When many people think of bread, the first thing that comes to mind is the basic, boring, plastic-wrapped sandwich loaf. After one has visited a few specialty restaurants or a bakery, good bread takes on a whole new meaning. However, many people believe that tasty, delicious bread is something that must be baked by an expert baker and purchased.

But, that’s not actually so. While there are some bread recipes that are more difficult than others, even beginner cooks can learn to make good bread in their own kitchens. After all, basic bread recipes contain only a handful of ingredients and involve techniques that are quite simple to carry out.

Focaccia Bread Recipe – How to Make It in 19 Simple Steps
Recipe details
  • 15  Servings
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • 1 3/4 cups Warm Water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Yeast
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 5 cups Flour plus extra for kneading
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil for the dough mixture
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil for oiling the pan
  • 1 tbsp Herbs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese or coarse Kosher salt
Pour the water into a large mixer bowl and stir in the sugar until it is dissolved.
Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the water.
Allow the yeast and water mixture to stand undisturbed for about 20 minutes until the yeast is bubbly and foamy.
Add 4 cups of flour and stir, adding the first half cup of olive oil as well. The dough should be rather sticky at this point but should start looking more like bread dough.
Add the remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well.
Once the dough begins to stick together to form a dough ball, it’s time to knead the dough. This process incorporates the flour and begins to develop the gluten, a stretchy protein in the bread dough that traps the yeasty bubbles.
You can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured surface or use a mixer with a dough hook.
You should knead for 5 to 10 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny, smooth, and elastic.
Coat the dough and the mixer bowl with a little oil, cover it with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled for about an hour.
After the dough has risen, take a jelly roll pan and pour a half cup of olive oil on it. A half-cup is not excessive because it takes a lot of oil to develop that distinctive crust and delicious flavor.
Remove the dough from the bowl and put it in the pan, first rolling it around in the olive oil puddle and then stretching and pressing it to reach the outer corners of the pan.
Poke holes all over the surface of the dough with your fingers, penetrating the dough, to give it the distinctive dimpled appearance.
Here’s where you can get creative. At this point, you can sprinkle on herbs, cheese, or simply sea salt to flavor your dough.
One tablespoon of basil, rosemary, or thyme adds great flavor, or you can use 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of Parmesan cheese. Otherwise, just shake on a liberal sprinkling of coarse kosher salt if you want a simple, basic bread.
Set the bread pan uncovered in a warm corner of the kitchen for about an hour or until doubled.
Heat your oven to 400 degrees.
After the bread has risen, place the pan in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until the surface of the bread is golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting it into squares for serving.
Store your bread tightly wrapped for several days or, you can freeze this bread in sealed zip-top freezer bags to enjoy the flavor of fresh focaccia for up to a month.
  • You may notice that this bread recipe uses quite a bit of olive oil. That is the joy of focaccia. Olive oil does two things in this recipe. First, it provides an excellent, distinctive texture. This bread is baked on a sheet that is heavily coated in oil and the surface of the dough is generously oiled as well.
  • This gives the outer surface of the bread a crispy, crunchy crust while keeping the interior chewy and soft. The other thing that olive oil does is provide a wonderful flavor for the bread. Use an olive oil of decent quality for excellent flavor in the bread, but feel free to use a less expensive kind for oiling your pan and topping the bread.
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