Rosemary Focaccia Bread

You won't believe how easy it is to make great focaccia bread at home! Topped with rosemary and roasted garlic, it's rich, savory, soft, and chewy.

Focaccia

Nine times out of ten, if we’re making bread at home, we’re making focaccia. When Jack first started baking bread, he made lots of rustic ciabatta loaves. The ingredients were simple, and the bread came out delicious, but it required hours of rising and kneading. So when we discovered how easy it is to make really good focaccia bread at home, we didn’t look back.

Since then, this focaccia recipe has become our go-to. It comes together in just 2 hours, rising time included, and the bread is rich and savory, with a yummy chewy texture. Because rosemary and focaccia are a classic combination (and because fresh herbs make everything better, if you ask me), I sprinkle it generously with rosemary. Then, I dot it with roasted garlic to add complex, nutty flavor and finish it off with flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes.

Flecked with red and green, this focaccia bread would be the perfect simple, yet impressive, holiday side dish. But luckily, it’s easy enough to make even when you’re not cooking for a special occasion. I hope you love it as much as much as we do!

Focaccia recipe

How to Make Focaccia Bread

If you’re new to bread baking, don’t let focaccia intimidate you! In fact, it’s a lot like making homemade pizza dough. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Active dry yeast, sugar, and warm water: The sugar and warm water activate the yeast to make the bread rise, giving it its soft, chewy texture.
  • Flour: I like to use a mix of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, but you can use entirely all-purpose flour if you prefer.
  • Salt: Don’t skip the salt here! It gives this focaccia bread its wonderful savory flavor.
  • And olive oil: A focaccia essential! Along with the salt, olive oil is what gives this bread its rich flavor and golden brown color. You’ll mix it into the dough as well as spreading it over its surface.

Rising bread dough

The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise! Once it does, brush a large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil and firmly press the dough to its edges. Don’t be shy here! If the dough tears, patch it together and continue pressing out from the center. You’re going to poke holes in it on purpose later, so any holes at this stage aren’t a big deal.

Once you’ve pressed the dough to the edges of the pan, flip it over and press it to the edges again. Use your fingers to dot it with indentations, every few inches apart. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise again!

Bread dough in a bowl

When the focaccia has doubled in size, scatter on the rosemary, roasted garlic, and flaky sea salt, and bake until it’s golden brown!

Focaccia recipe

Focaccia Recipe Tips

  • Let the dough rise somewhere warm. Because yeast responds to warmth, letting your dough rise in a warm place will yield the best results. We like to put ours on a sunny windowsill!
  • Freeze extras. This bread freezes really well! Slice the baked focaccia into squares and freeze them in an airtight container for up to a few months. I like to keep a stash on hand to serve as an easy side with salads or soups.
  • Change the seasonings! We love this simple roasted garlic and rosemary focaccia bread, but other toppings would be delicious here as well. Try swapping the rosemary for sage or thyme leaves, or use olives, sun dried or roasted tomatoes, or thinly sliced Meyer lemon in place of or in addition to the roasted garlic.

Focaccia recipe

Focaccia Bread Serving Suggestions

This focaccia recipe would be an excellent addition to any holiday menu – the flecks of rosemary and red pepper flakes make it so pretty and festive! Head to this post to find more holiday side dishes to serve with it.

As I said above, this recipe is also simple enough to put together when it’s not a special occasion. Enjoy it as a snack, slice it to make sandwiches, or serve it with a hot bowl of soup any night of the week. We especially love it with my butternut squash soup, cauliflower soup, carrot ginger soup, and lentil soup, but it’d be yummy with any of these favorite soup recipes too.

This focaccia recipe also pairs well with all things Italian. Serve it with spaghetti aglio e olio, fettuccine Alfredo, baked ziti, or any of these easy pasta recipes. It’d be a fantastic side dish with my creamy mushroom polenta too.

Focaccia bread

More Favorite Baking Recipes

If you love this focaccia recipe, try one of these baking recipes next:

Or check out this post to find 25 more Super Fun Baking Recipes!

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

rate this recipe:
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Total Time: 2 hrs
Serves 8 to 10
Rosemary, roasted garlic, olive oil, and sea salt infuse this focaccia bread with rich, savory flavor.

Ingredients

  • cups warm water, 105° to 115°F
  • 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon cane sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  • cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 bulb Roasted Garlic, see below, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Instructions

  • In a medium bowl, stir together the water, yeast, and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy.
  • In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, place the flours, salt, ¼ cup of the olive oil, and the yeast mixture and mix on medium speed until the dough forms a ball around the hook, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead several times, sprinkling with more flour, as needed, and form into a ball. Brush a large bowl with olive oil, and place the dough inside. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
  • Coat a 10 × 15-inch rimmed baking sheet with the remaining ¼ cup olive oil. Punch the dough down, transfer to a lightly floured surface, and knead several times. Place the dough in the pan and press to spread it out to the pan’s edges. Flip the dough over and spread it to the edges again. Make indentations with your fingers, every few inches apart, all over the dough. Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size, about 40 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F. Remove the plastic wrap. Cut the roasted garlic cloves in half and push them into the surface of the dough. Sprinkle with the rosemary, and red pepper flakes, and bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown.

Notes

To make roasted garlic: Trim the top ¼ inch off the top of a garlic bulb. Place cut-side up on a piece of foil, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the garlic in the foil and roast for 40 to 60 minutes or until the cloves are deeply golden brown and tender.

 

25 comments

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  1. Sabrina from newkitchenlife.com
    11.21.2019

    5 stars
    great alternative to the same old bread recipe, thank you!

  2. Maureen
    11.21.2019

    5 stars
    I made this today, it is delicious! We loved the flavors and how light it is. I used only white whole wheat flour (I do not use white flour in any of my baking). I also added chopped sundried tomatoes to the recipe. I will be making this on a regular basis. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2019

      Hi Maureen, I’m so glad you loved it! I love your sun dried tomato idea!

  3. chahinez @lifestyleofafoodie
    11.23.2019

    This recipe looks absolutely amazing! I tried making focaccia not too long ago but will absolutely have to give this one a go!

  4. Kristine
    12.09.2019

    Could you make it with GF flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.17.2019

      Hi Kristine, I don’t think a 1/1 swap would work out the same on this one.

  5. jaynorman
    12.12.2019

    This recipe is great. Definitely brings something new to our Christmas feast.

  6. elaine
    12.15.2019

    I am part of a Supper Club and have made this recipe for the last two dinner gatherings. I first made your recipe (rosemary/garlic) and it was EASY to make and absolutely delicious. For the second dinner, I topped it with pesto and Everything seasoning (like what you find on top of an everything bagel) and it, too, was absolutely delicious. This is a no-fail recipe and you can get creative with toppings. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.17.2019

      Hi Elaine, I’m so glad you loved it! Ooh I love the everything seasoning idea!

  7. Heidi
    03.17.2020

    Can you use only all purpose flour if you don’t have whole wheat flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.29.2020

      Hi Heidi (sorry for my slow reply!). Yes, you can use AP flour.

  8. Ami
    04.08.2020

    Ok. So I don’t have a stand mixer & I’m newer to bread making. Looking for guidance on doing this by hand.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.08.2020

      Hi Ami, you can mix it in a bowl, with a spoon or rubber spatula, switching to your hands as the mixture gets thick. Mix it for 5-6 minutes or until it forms a ball and then move on to step 3 (more kneading). You basically want the dough ball to feel smooth before you put it in the bowl to rest.

      Hope that helps!

  9. Alix
    04.25.2020

    Hi! I love all your recipes, always delightful despite having to convert everything to the metric system! How much is a package of active dry yeast in the US (there different sizes here in France…) and I tend to prefer fresh yeast anyway… Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.25.2020

      Hi Alix, it’s 7 grams. I hope you enjoy!

      • alix
        04.25.2020

        Thanks for your quick answer, it is rising!

        • alix
          04.26.2020

          5 stars
          With fresh Rosemary leaves it was delicious, airy on the inside and crusty on the outside. I served in with a few simple veggies, basil tomato with burrata, cucumbers with just a pinch of salt and roasted marinated peppers, perfect easy evening meal!

          • Jeanine Donofrio
            04.26.2020

            I’m so glad you loved it! Your evening meal sounds delightful 🙂

  10. Bev
    05.03.2020

    I would like to add lemon to it somehow ..how do I do that?
    Not lemons on top but juice within….

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.03.2020

      Hi Bev, I would add lemon zest (of 1-2 lemons) to the dough and avoid juice because juice would affect the dry/wet ratio of the dough. You should get the lemony flavor you’re going for with the zest. Hope that helps!

      • Bev
        05.03.2020

        Thank you

        How many teaspoons of yeast do I use?
        I am in Canada and measure by tsp.

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          05.03.2020

          Hi Bev, it’s 2 1/4 teaspoons

  11. Michelle
    05.12.2020

    5 stars
    Made this today and it came out delicious. I dropped some off at my co-workers houses and they loved it as well! I used garlic powder instead of whole gloves, still came out delicious! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2020

      Hi Michelle, I’m so glad you loved it!

  12. Mohit Atri
    05.31.2020

    Wow, this recipe looks great, can’t wait to try it.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.