Focaccia Bread

Even bread beginners can pull off this homemade focaccia recipe! Topped with olive oil, rosemary, and sea salt, it's SO delicious and easy to make.

Rosemary focaccia bread

This focaccia recipe is our favorite bread to bake at home. We love it because it’s soft and pillowy in the middle, crisp and golden around the edges, and filled with rich flavor from olive oil and sea salt. And that’s just the start! The #1 reason we love this focaccia recipe is that it’s so easy to make

When Jack first started baking bread (15+ years ago now!), he made lots of rustic ciabatta loaves. The ingredients were simple, and the bread came out delicious, but it required hours of rising and precise kneading. So when we discovered how simple it is to make really good focaccia bread, we didn’t look back.

Now, this focaccia recipe is our go-to. We first published a version of it in my cookbook Love & Lemons Every Day and have since revised the recipe to yield an even lighter, crisper focaccia that we can never get enough of. It’s a wonderful recipe for bread beginners and seasoned bakers alike—simple, forgiving, and always delicious.

What is focaccia bread?

Focaccia (pronounced foh-KAH-chyuh) is an Italian style of bread. According to Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan, it’s most closely associated with the northwestern Italian region of Liguria and its capital city Genoa.

You can recognize focaccia by its flat shape and characteristic dimpled surface. Made with an olive oil-enriched, salted dough, it might be baked plain or topped with vegetables, herbs, and/or cheese. Find some of my favorite toppings in the post below!

Focaccia recipe ingredients

Focaccia Bread Ingredients

Ready to bake? Here’s what you’ll need to make this focaccia bread recipe:

  • All-purpose flour – Flour is the main ingredient in this recipe, so measuring it as accurately as you can will serve you well. If you have a kitchen scale, now’s the time to use it! Weighing the flour will give you the most precise measurement. If you don’t have a scale, your next best bet is spooning and leveling the flour to avoid packing too much into your measuring cup.
  • Warm water It hydrates the dough. Heads up: The biggest change we’ve made to this recipe over the years is increasing the ratio of water to flour. The dough is very wet, but this high level of hydration gives the bread a wonderful airy texture inside!
  • Active dry yeast or instant yeast – Proof it in the water with a little cane sugar before mixing up the dough.
  • Extra-virgin olive oil – It adds rich flavor to the focaccia and makes its edges crisp and golden.
  • Fresh rosemary For topping. Find other topping suggestions below!
  • Sea salt – Seasoned bread=flavorful bread. Mix fine sea salt into the focaccia dough. Before baking the loaf, sprinkle flaky salt on top!

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

How to make focaccia - bread dough in stand mixer

How to Make Focaccia Bread

The first step in this focaccia recipe is making the dough. Start by proofing the yeast. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the water and sugar. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes, or until foamy. If the yeast doesn’t foam, discard the mixture and start again with new yeast.

When the yeast is foamy, add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Then, increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes. The dough will become very sticky and elastic. It will begin grabbing the sides of the bowl.

Covering bowl of dough with kitchen towel

It’s time for the first rise! Brush a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Use a spatula to transfer the dough from the bowl of the stand mixer to the oiled bowl. It will be too sticky to transfer by hand!

Use your fingers to brush any oil that’s pooling around the edges of the dough over its surface. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside to rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Hands folding bread dough into itself after rising in bowl

Next, shape the focaccia. Brush a 9×13-inch pan with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Tip

My favorite pan to use for this recipe is a nonstick aluminum 9×13-inch baking pan.

If your pan is not nonstick, I recommend greasing it with butter before adding the oil. It might seem excessive, but it’s essential for preventing the bread from sticking!

Uncover the dough and rub your hands with olive oil. Slide your hand under one edge of the dough and fold it into the center of the bowl. Continue working your way around the edge of the bowl, folding the dough into itself, until you have a rough ball that you can lift from the bowl (see above photo).

Pressing focaccia dough to edges of pan

Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and turn to coat it in the oil.

Press the dough to the pan’s edges. Let it relax, and then press it to the edges again.

Let the dough rise for a second (shorter) time. Cover the pan and set it aside for 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size. 30 minutes into this rise, preheat the oven to 425°F.

Dimpling focaccia bread dough with fingers

Dimple the dough. Uncover the focaccia and drizzle 2 more tablespoons of oil on top of the dough. Rub your hands with olive oil and use your fingers to make indentations across the surface of the dough. You don’t have to be gentle here! Press all the way through the dough to the pan. Some air bubbles should pop up in the process. That’s good! They brown beautifully in the oven.

Finally, top and bake. Add your desired toppings (flaky sea salt and rosemary are my go-tos!) and bake until the focaccia is golden brown, 20 minutes to 30 minutes.

Let cool slightly, and then slice and enjoy! You can’t beat warm focaccia bread.

Focaccia Recipe Tips

  • Oil your hands. This recipe asks you to oil your hands often. It might seems unnecessary or repetitive, but it makes a HUGE difference. Focaccia dough is wet and sticky, and it will stick to your hands if they’re not oiled, making it really difficult to work with. So, please! Oil your hands liberally. Just think of it as a little extra moisturizer!
  • Temperature affects rising time. I’ve given estimated times for each rise in this recipe, but the primary indicator of when to move on to the next step should be the size of the dough. It might take more or less time to double depending on the temperature of the place it’s rising. Generally, the warmer dough is, the faster it rises. If it’s cold, it rises more slowly.
  • Freeze the extras. Homemade focaccia is best on the day it’s made, but it will keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you’d like to have it on hand for longer, I recommend freezing it. It thaws and reheats nicely!

Focaccia bread in baking dish

Recipe Variations

Most often, I make this recipe as written, topped with flaky sea salt and fresh rosemary. But if you’d like to experiment with other toppings, by all means, do! Any of these would be delicious:

Let me know what variations you try!

How to Make Focaccia Sandwiches

This homemade focaccia bread is delicious as a snack and as a side for salads and soups…but it makes great sandwiches too!

Just slice the loaf in half horizontally and fill it with your favorite sandwich fixings.

I love to use it to make these easy Caprese Sandwiches!

Focaccia recipe

More Favorite Bread Recipes

If you love this rosemary focaccia bread, try one of these easy recipes next:

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Focaccia Bread Recipe

rate this recipe:
5 from 68 votes
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Serves 8 to 12
Learn how to make focaccia bread! This easy recipe is great for beginners and seasoned bakers alike. The focaccia is soft and airy inside with crisp, golden edges. I love to top it with sea salt and rosemary, but other toppings are delicious here too. Find suggestions in the blog post above.

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together the water and sugar. Sprinkle the yeast on top and stir again. Set aside for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy. If the yeast doesn’t foam, discard the mixture and start again with new yeast.
  • Add the flour and salt and mix on low speed until a shaggy dough forms. Increase the speed to medium and mix for 5 minutes. A very elastic, sticky dough should form and begin grabbing the sides of the bowl.
  • Brush a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, using a spatula to scrape it out of the bowl of the stand mixer. It will be too sticky to transfer by hand. Use your fingers to lightly brush any oil that’s pooling at the edges of the dough over its surface. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside until the dough has doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  • Brush a 9x13-inch baking dish* with another 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Uncover the dough and rub your hands with olive oil. As best you can, slide your hand under one edge of the dough and fold it into itself. Continue working your way around the edge of the bowl, folding the dough into itself, until you have a rough ball that you can lift from the bowl.
  • Transfer the dough to the prepared pan and turn to coat in the oil. Press the dough to the pan’s edges. Let it relax and pull away from the edges, then press it to the edges again. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a damp towel and set aside to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes. 30 minutes into this rise, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the dough. Rub your hands with olive oil, then use your fingers to make indentations across the surface of the dough, pressing through the dough to the pan. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and rosemary, if desired. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Notes

*If your pan is not nonstick, grease it with butter before adding the olive oil. This will prevent the bread from sticking to the pan!

 

114 comments

5 from 68 votes (42 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Mary
    12.08.2023

    Can this be made a day ahead then baked when ready for dinner?

  2. Claudia
    03.29.2023

    I would like to cut the recipe in half to make a smaller focaccia since there is only the two of us. What recommendation would you share in order to do this? Thank you!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      03.30.2023

      Hi Claudia, we haven’t tried halving this recipe, but I think it would work fine as long as you have an appropriately sized pan. A 9×9-inch baking dish (or similar) might work well. Alternatively, make the whole recipe, and freeze half of it. It really freezes perfectly and is great to have around for snacking or serving with salads or soups!

  3. Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
    03.03.2023

    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.

  4. Carolyn
    12.17.2022

    Jeanine, you list Sea Salt in the Ingredients, but I don’t see it in your Instructions. Where or when does it get added?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.18.2022

      Hi Carolyn, it’s in step 2 along with the flours.

      • Carolyn
        12.18.2022

        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!

        • Jeanine Donofrio
          12.19.2022

          Yes, you’re right, thank you, I did forget the flaky salt. I hope you enjoy it!

  5. Erin M
    11.23.2022

    Is there a video for this recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2023

      not yet, but we’re making one!

  6. Don
    11.13.2022

    Can you include minced roasted garlic and finely chopped fresh rosemary in the mixture or will this affect the proofing?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      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!

  7. Heather
    10.28.2022

    5 stars
    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.

  8. Dave Nieskoski
    09.04.2022

    Can I make this without having/using a mixer?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      09.06.2022

      Hi Dave, you can knead it for about 10 minutes by hand instead of using a mixer.

  9. Jeanine Donofrio
    07.19.2022

    thanks for pointing that out!

  10. malcolm
    05.13.2022

    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..

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.15.2022

      Hi Malcom, I’m not familiar with other recipes, but this is the time that works for this dough to roughly double in size.

  11. Lola
    12.03.2021

    What if I don’t have a mixer? Can I do by hand? Can you write something for us… um… less fortunate bakers?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.03.2021

      Hi Lola, you can knead it by hand for about 10 minutes, until the dough becomes a smooth ball. Hope that helps!

  12. Diana
    11.06.2021

    Is it possible to make the dough the night prior?

  13. Sonja
    10.03.2021

    5 stars
    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!

    • Mari
      10.04.2021

      5 stars
      I actually think the whole wheat flour adds a nice flavor!

  14. Ren
    06.19.2021

    5 stars
    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!

  15. Mae
    04.13.2021

    Hi, can I replace the sugar?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.13.2021

      Hi Mae, no the 1 tablespoon is necessary to activate the yeast.

  16. Erin
    03.05.2021

    5 stars
    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!

  17. Lisa Graziano
    02.18.2021

    Can I use rapid rise yeast?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.18.2021

      Hi Lisa, yep, you can.

  18. Nica
    01.28.2021

    Can I use rapid rise yeast?

  19. Penelope
    01.18.2021

    Delicious, although mine was a dense and wasn’t as golden as a good focaccia should be. Where did I go wrong?

  20. wobble man
    01.11.2021

    5 stars
    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.

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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.