No Knead Vegan Focaccia Bread

12 Squares
50 min

Vegan focaccia bread is soft billowy inside with a slightly crispy outside. Enjoy it as a simple focaccia bread appetizer with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dress it up with savoy toppings to enjoy as a pizza or sweet toppings as a dessert. Either way, this homemade focaccia bread recipe is as versatile as practical.

*Note - this recipe has an additional 16 hours of resting time.

Tomato and olive focaccia cut into squares.

Homemade vegan focaccia bread has a soft interior, crispy crust, and delicious flavor, like all focaccia bread. My love for this bread was recently taken up a notch while eating at my favorite Denver vegan restaurant, Somebody People. As a starter, they serve focaccia bread. No fancy toppings, no rosemary, just a simple bread made using simple ingredients. The distinguishing difference is that they use high-quality ingredients, including olive oil and flaky sea salt. This simple bread was the most delicious bread I have ever had.

In making this recipe, I aimed to create the same textures and flavors that I enjoyed at Somebody People. I love the simplicity of the flavors. However, don't let me stop you there. Use this vegan focaccia recipe to create your preferred version of this delicious bread. You can use ith different ingredients to make it into an appetizer, a meal, or a dessert. Keep reading and make this homemade bread recipe to suit your cravings.

What is Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is an Italian flatbread made using flour, yeast, salt, and olive oil. It is a popular staple food in Italy, which can be served as an appetizer or main dish with toppings.

Focaccia bread is believed to have originated in ancient Rome, and different regions within Italy has their own unique flavor. In Liguria, focaccia is made with olive oil, sea salt, and fresh rosemary and is often served as a snack. However, in Genoa, focaccia is often topped with tomatoes, olives, and onions, while in Naples, it is often made with cherry tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese.

In the United States, focaccia is often made with additional toppings such as sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, or roasted garlic and can be used as sandwich bread.

Focaccia bread with pears.

How is Vegan Focaccia Different from Regular Focaccia?

Focaccia bread is made with 7 basic ingredients, which on the surface seem vegan. However, some sugars are processed with bone char, made from cattle bones. Bone char is used as a filter to remove impurities from sugar, giving the sugar a bright white color.

While the bone char is not present in the final sugar product, it is used in refining, which means the sugar is not vegan. Vegans can look for organic or unrefined sugar to avoid sugar processed with bone char. Organic sugar is processed without the use of bone char or any animal products, while unrefined sugar is not as heavily processed and does not require the use of bone char in the refining process.

Dough first rise.
Adding oil to risen focaccia bread.
Hand creating dimples into the dough.
Adding olives and tomatoes to dough.

Pear, Grape, Blue Cheese Focaccia Top Quarter

Pairing Ideas

Starter - Serve as a simple bread with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add olives and vegan tzatziki sauce for the perfect meditation twist. Top it with sun-dried tomato pesto (red pesto) or quick oven-roasted tomatoes and serve as a bruschetta.

Bread -Serve with your dinner as a simple bread. It would taste great with garlic lemon pasta, spicy pasta, or pasta puttanesca. Not in the mood for so many carbs? Try serving it with vegan Irish stew or piyaz, a Turkish bean salad.

Sandwiches - I recommend using sun-dried tomato pesto (red pesto) or vegan tzatziki sauce as a condiment and topping it with your favorite fresh or grilled vegetables to make a perfect vegan focaccia sandwich.

Savory - Try it as a side to a classic Greek cucumber salad, part of a Mediterranean mezza. Add San Marzano tomato sauce and your favorite pizza toppings, and you now have a thick Sicilian-ish pizza.

Sweet - Add your favorite dessert toppings on warmed-up focaccia bread, such as a vegan Nutella, vegan dulce de Leche, grapes, and other fruits. I have more ideas in my 20 different focaccia toppings blog post.

Expert Tips

Use high-quality ingredients

As with any recipe, the quality of your ingredients can make a big difference in the final product. In addition to good flour (I use King Aurthers), use the best olive oil and sea salt you have. It will make a difference in the final flavor.

Use Bread Flour

For classic focaccia bread, use bread flour to create lighter and fluffier bread.

Give the Dough Time To Rise

The rise time is an estimate. Ultimately the time can vary by the temperature and climate. Before shaping the dough into bread, let the dough rest long enough to double in size.

Be Generous with Olive Oil

Focaccia bread is known for its golden crust and fluffy interior. Olive oil helps seal the outside to create the crust, so the inside can be soft.

Add Toppings after the First Rise

Press your desired toppings into the dough gently after the dough has risen for the first time. This helps the toppings stick to the dough as it bakes.

Up close of baked focaccia in pan.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I store focaccia?

Counter Top Instructions: Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to three days. Avoid storing it in a large ziplock; this will cause the crispy exterior to become soft.

Freezer Instructions: Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the freezer-safe bag for up to one month.

What is focaccia bread art?Focaccia bread art uses fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits to create a design. Popular types of images include animals, flowers, landscapes, and words.

No Knead Vegan Focaccia Bread
Recipe details
  • 12  Squares
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 50 min
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  • ▢ 4 cups (512g) all purpose flour
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons (10g) salt
  • ▢ 2 teaspoons (8g) instant yeast
  • ▢ 2 cups lukewarm water
  • ▢ 4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)

Step One: Mix -Whisk the flour, salt, and yeast together in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm water to the dry ingredients and stir until the dough comes together
Step Two: Frist Rise - Place the dough in the bowl (you can use the same bowl), lightly oil the dough with olive oil, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Let it rise in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to 3 days.
Step Three: Second Rise -Oil a 9x13-inch baking sheet or dish with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Gently remove the dough from the bowl and place it in the oiled pan. Coat the dough ball with the olive oil in the pan and let it rest for 4 hours. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap.
Step Four: Prepare the Dough - Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Lightly oil your fingertips with olive oil and press them straight into the dough, creating dimples. Move the dough to the corners if needed. Evenly spread the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil across the top of the dough. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Step Five: Bake -Place the focaccia dough in the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before cutting into squares and serving.
  • Optional: add your favorite toppings and press them into the dimples on the surface of the dough. For suggestions, read my 20 focaccia toppings post.
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