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.
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!), I sprinkle it generously with rosemary. Then, I dot it with roasted garlic and finish it off with flaky sea salt and red pepper flakes.
Flecked with red and green, this focaccia bread is a 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!
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 the bread’s surface.
The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the dough to rise! Once it does, brush a large rimmed sheet pan 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 dimple the dough, dotting it with indentations every few inches apart. Then, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise again!
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 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 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.
More Favorite Baking Recipes
If you love this focaccia recipe, try one of these baking recipes next:
- No Knead Bread
- Homemade Bagels
- Steamed Bao Buns
- Homemade Hamburger Buns
- Soft-Baked Pretzels
- Pita Bread
- Homemade Dinner Rolls
Or check out this post to find 25 more Super Fun Baking Recipes!
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- 1¾ cups warm water, 105° to 115°F
- 1 (¼-ounce) package active dry yeast, (2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon cane sugar
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- 1½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1 bulb Roasted Garlic, optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
- 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 stand 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.
I just tried making this two times this morning and my dough is soooooo dry! What am I doing wrong?
Hi Molly, You’re probably using a little too much flour. It’s easy to accidentally pack it into your measuring cups. You can use the spoon and level method when you measure the flour to avoid packing it down too much. If the dough still feels dry, you can work a little more water into it in Step 2 of the recipe, while the stand mixer is kneading it.
Jeanine, you list Sea Salt in the Ingredients, but I don’t see it in your Instructions. Where or when does it get added?
Hi Carolyn, it’s in step 2 along with the flours.
Don’t know how I missed that in Step 2!
Meanwhile, I carefully re-read your blog comments and I see you state just before baking to scatter the rosemary, roasted garlic, and flaky sea salt on the focaccia. That use of the salt is not in your Instructions, but it does sound like a good idea.
Thanks for your reply. You have a treasure trove of delicious recipes!
Yes, you’re right, thank you, I did forget the flaky salt. I hope you enjoy it!
Is there a video for this recipe?
Can you include minced roasted garlic and finely chopped fresh rosemary in the mixture or will this affect the proofing?
Hi Don, We haven’t tried this, so we can’t say for sure, but I think it will work fine. If you try it, let us know how it goes!
Love!! I’ve tried several focaccia recipes, and this one is successful every time, especially for the size pans I have (the closest to your recipe is 11X16, and it works great). I used all purpose flour alone (our preference). It was light, soft yet crunchy, very flavorful, and the bake time is perfect for an airy inside. Thanks for the great recipe.
Can I make this without having/using a mixer?
Hi Dave, you can knead it for about 10 minutes by hand instead of using a mixer.
I made this and liked it but thought it was missing something. Then I realized in the directions it never says to add the flaky salt on top so I forgot that. Shouldn’t that be in the directions?
thanks for pointing that out!
I’m making this today – other recipes have required hours to rise, this says only 40-50 minutes twice. Is that really enough rise time? I need to time my entire prep..
Hi Malcom, I’m not familiar with other recipes, but this is the time that works for this dough to roughly double in size.
What if I don’t have a mixer? Can I do by hand? Can you write something for us… um… less fortunate bakers?
Hi Lola, you can knead it by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes a smooth ball. Hope that helps!
Is it possible to make the dough the night prior?
delicious! i doubled down on the garlic and added some flakey salt on top. i like the whole wheat flour vibe but if you arent into that then i would recommend using all whole purpose flour!
I actually think the whole wheat flour adds a nice flavor!
This recipe is so simple, easy to follow and truly delicious. I’ve made it 3 times how and I’m getting better at it every time, approaching full swing of summer weather helps with the dough rising! I’ve been simmering the cloves of garlic in the olive oil so it’s extra garlic everything; I’m garlic crazy. I also add chive blossoms with the rosemary and garlic cloves.
I kid you not, my friends cannot stop nibbling in the pan and taking more. This is the only focaccia recipe you need. All hail the focaccia gods! Thank you for bringing this into my life!
Hi, can I replace the sugar?
Hi Mae, no the 1 tablespoon is necessary to activate the yeast.
I’ve made this focaccia twice in the past week. So delicious! We had a little bit left over from the second batch and I made salad croutons out of them. Very tasty! Thanks for the recipe!
Can I use rapid rise yeast?
Hi Lisa, yep, you can.
Can I use rapid rise yeast?
Delicious, although mine was a dense and wasn’t as golden as a good focaccia should be. Where did I go wrong?
Hi Penelope, if you use all white flour instead of the mix, it’ll be lighter. Also, make sure your measured cups of flour aren’t too packed: https://www.loveandlemons.com/how-to-measure-flour/
Hope that helps!
Simply delectable! I made this for Christmas with our Prime Rib this year and then made homemade herb, dipping oil to go with it. It turned out much softer, and plush than I thought it would (which was great!). My first attempt at homemade bread. Definitely a make again. Thanks for posting! Love it.