When I think of authentic Italian Focaccia, I imagine the bread tastes almost identical to this Focaccia bread recipe. This flat bread is my newest bread obsession (a huge understatement, to be honest).

This bread has a lot of flavor, thanks to the herbed olive oil it’s bathed in prior to baking; and once baked the bread bakes up beautifully with a soft interior and slightly crisp exterior. 

I love this recipe because it’s olive oily, very flavorful (thanks to the herbs), and has a slight saltiness to it. It’s divine!

Overhead photo of Focaccia Bread on a cooling rack.

What is Focaccia?

Focaccia is an Italian flat bread recipe that’s baked with oils, herbs, and other toppings.

Focaccia is a great side to serve with salads, pasta dishes, or other main courses.

Because focaccia is pretty thick it can be sliced in half and used for making sandwiches.

Ingredients 

For the herb oil you’ll need:

  • Olive oil – you’ll need quite a bit, about 2 cups to be exact. Make sure it’s an olive oil that you like.
  • Dried herbs de Provence – you can use a combination of dried herbs or whatever you’d like, really.
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Garlic – 6 garlic cloves… I hope you like garlic! Note: this bread doesn’t come off as “garlicy” at all.

For the Focaccia dough you’ll need:

  • Bread flour – this is preferred over all purpose flour because it will make for a heartier and more sturdy bread.
  • Salt
  • Instant yeast
  • Olive oi
  • Water

Slices of herbed Focaccia Bread

How to make Focaccia

  1. Make the herb oil: in a small sauce pan add the olive oil and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until it reaches 100-110°F. Add the dried herbs, pepper, and garlic and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep while you make the focaccia dough
  2. Make the focaccia dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer add the bread flour, salt, and yeast. Whisk to combine. Next add the olive oil and water. Mix with the paddle attachment until the ingredients form into a sticky ball. Change to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes, or as long as it takes to form a tacky ball. The dough should clear the bottom and sides of the bowl. If yours doesn’t clear the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough does so. IF by chance the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl a little bit, that’s ok. We just don’t want a dry dough.
  3. Stretch and fold #1: transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a rectangle. Grab both ends and stretch the dough until it’s twice it’s size. Fold it letter style, over itself to return the dough back to a rectangular shape. Spritz the top of the dough with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Stretch and fold #2. Stretch and fold the dough again. Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 more minutes.
  5. Stretch and fold #3. One last time, stretch and fold the dough. Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 more minutes. The dough should rise slightly during this time (but won’t double in size). A baking sheet lined with parchment paper, covered in olive oil, and then a rectangular shaped focaccia dough sitting in the oil.
  6. Prep the baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with plain olive oil.
  7. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and cover with half of the herb oilA hand dimpling the focaccia bread dough.
  8. Dimple the dough. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough, gently inching it to the a majority of the pan. The dough doesn’t have to fit into the corners at this time. Add more herb oil as needed to the top of the dough. You want the entire surface coated in oil. Herb and olive oil covered focaccia bread on a baking sheet.
  9. Cover the pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
  10. Remove from the fridge and drizzle remaining herb oil over the dough and dimple again. The dough should go to the sides and corners of the pan. Loosely cover with the plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size. The dough should be about 1 inch thick. Focaccia Bread dough covered in herbed olive oil.
  11. Preheat the oven to 500°F. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, place the dough in the oven and immediately turn the oven to 450°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Then, rotate the pan 180° and bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown.
  12. Remove from the oven and transfer the bread to a cooling wrack. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and servings.

Golden brown, perfectly baked, herbed Focaccia Bread.FAQ and Tips

How to you know when the focaccia is done? The top will be lightly golden brown, and the internal temperature of the bread should read 200°F or above on an instant read thermometer.

If you want to chill the dough overnight, remove it from the fridge 3 hours before baking so that it can come to room temperature and proof to double it’s size.

Store leftover focaccia in an airtight container or ziplock bag. It will keep at room temperature for 1 day. Focaccia is best when eaten the same day it was made. If you have a lot of focaccia left over you can wrap it in foil and place in the freezer.

One important factor to making focaccia bread is having a HOT oven, hence the 500°F preheated oven. 🙂

There might be olive oil that spills over in your oven while the bread is baking, so be prepared! If you have an extra large baking sheet (larger than the regular half baking sheet size) line it with aluminum foil and place it on the baking rack directly underneath the focaccia while its baking. This baking sheet will catch any drips (if any). OR you can line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any spills.

Fluffy Focaccia Bread on a black cooling rack.

Serve this focaccia with a fresh green salad, tomato salad, or pasta dish.

Slices of herbed Focaccia Bread
Print Review
5 from 5 votes

Focaccia Bread

This fluffy focaccia bread is covered in a delicious herbed olive oil. This bread pairs perfectly with so many main course recipes. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Rest time: 4 hrs
Total Time: 4 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 20 servings

Ingredients
 

Herb Oil

  • 1 3/4 cups olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dried herbs de provence
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 garlic cloves - minced

Dough

  • 5 cups bread flour - see note #1
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil - for spreading on the baking sheet

Equipment

Instructions
 

Herb Oil

  • In a small sauce pan add the olive oil and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until it reaches 100-110°F. Add the dried herbs, pepper, and garlic and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let the mixture steep while you make the focaccia dough. 

Dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer add the bread flour, salt, and yeast. Whisk to combine. Next add the olive oil and water. Mix with the paddle attachment until the ingredients form into a sticky ball. Change to the dough hook and mix on medium speed for 5 minutes, or as long as it takes to form a tacky ball. The dough should clear the bottom and sides of the bowl. If yours doesn’t clear the sides of the bowl, add a tablespoon of flour at a time until the dough does so. IF by chance the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl a little bit, that’s ok. We just don’t want a dry dough. (My dough always cleans the sides and bottom of the bowl).
  • Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Pat the dough into a rectangle. Grab both ends and stretch the dough until it’s twice it’s size. Fold it letter style, over itself to return the dough back to a rectangular shape. Spritz the top of the dough with olive oil or nonstick cooking spray. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. 
  • Stretch and fold the dough again. Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 more minutes. 
  • One last time, stretch and fold the dough again. Spritz the dough with nonstick cooking spray or olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 more minutes. The dough should rise slightly during this time (but won’t double in size). 
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the ¼ cup of olive oil over the parchment (use your hands or a pastry brush), making sure the olive oil covers the entire surface. 
  • Transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Spoon half of the herb oil over the dough. 
  • Using your fingertips, dimple the dough, gently inching it to the a majority of the pan. The dough doesn’t have to fit into the corners at this time. Add more herb oil as needed to the top of the dough. You want the entire surface coated in oil. 
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours (or overnight if you wish) see note #2. 
  • Remove from the fridge. Drizzle remaining herb oil over the dough and dimple again. The dough should go to the sides and corners of the pan. Loosely cover with the plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 
  • See note #3. About 30 minutes into the proofing, preheat the oven to 500°F. 
  • When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, place the dough in the oven and immediately turn the oven to 450°F. Bake for 10 minutes. Then, rotate the pan 180° and bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until the top is lightly golden brown. 
  • Remove from the oven and transfer the bread to a cooling wrack. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and servings. 

Notes

  1. If making this at high altitude, start with 4 cups and work your way up… you don’t want the dough to be dry.
  2. If you want to chill the dough overnight, remove it from the fridge 3 hours before baking so that it can come to room temperature and proof to double it’s size.
  3. There might be olive oil that spills over in your oven while the bread is baking, so be prepared! If you have an extra large baking sheet (larger than the regular half baking sheet size) line it with aluminum foil and place it on the baking rack directly underneath the focaccia while its baking. This baking sheet will catch any drips (if any). OR you can line the bottom of the oven with foil to catch any spills. 
Recipe source: adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, who got the recipe from The Bread Bakers Apprentice cookbook. 

Nutrition

Calories: 204kcal (10%)Carbohydrates: 25g (8%)Protein: 5g (10%)Fat: 10g (15%)Saturated Fat: 1g (5%)Sodium: 526mg (22%)Potassium: 70mg (2%)Fiber: 2g (8%)Sugar: 1g (1%)Vitamin A: 112IU (2%)Vitamin C: 2mg (2%)Calcium: 62mg (6%)Iron: 4mg (22%)
Course: bread
Cuisine: Italian
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