This Focaccia Bread is light, fluffy and seasoned to perfection! The bread is baked with a delicious herb olive oil and has a soft interior and slightly crisp exterior. It’s the perfect side dish for your favorite pasta recipes!

Serve alongside some Turkey Spinach Meatballs and Spaghetti, Cast Iron Lasagna, or Homemade Ravioli

The best Focaccia Bread topped with herb oil on a black cooling rack.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Bathed in an herbed olive oil. Focaccia bread is baked in olive oil, which is how you get a super moist and airy crumb texture. This recipe takes this to the next level with an herbed olive oil that we warm on the stove to help enhance the flavor.
  • Light and airy crumb. This is the best focaccia recipe because it produces a beautifully light and airy crumb! Thanks to the careful proofing process, as well as the olive oil content, the texture is perfect! 
  • Add your favorite toppings. This recipe can easily adapt to include your favorite toppings! Add some mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, cheese, etc, on top prior to baking for a delicious way to add variety! 

Ingredient Notes 

  • Olive Oil: Make sure you use an olive oil that you like because we’ll use a total of 2 cups of olive oil in this recipe. 1 3/4 cup for the herbed oil, 6 tablespoons in the dough, and 1/4 cup in the pan under the dough. 
  • Dried Herbs de Provence: This is an herb blend that consists of thyme, basil, rosemary, tarragon, summer savory (similar to thyme), marjoram, oregano, and bay leaf. You can buy this seasoning blend in one jar at the store or you can make it at home with the herbs you have. 
  • Garlic: This recipe calls for 6 garlic cloves, but don’t worry, the bread doesn’t come off as super garlicy.
  • Bread Flour: Bread flour is highly recommended over all purpose flour because it will make for a heartier and sturdier bread dough, which will make it easier to work with.
  • Instant Yeast: Since we are using instant yeast, we don’t need to activate it (we don’t need to let it sit until it becomes foamy.)
  • Water: Lukewarm water is fine since we aren’t needing to activate the yeast. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Make the herb oil. In a small saucepan, 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 (develop flavor) while you make the focaccia dough.
  2. Make the focaccia dough. Add the bread flour, salt, and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk to combine. Next add the olive oil (this is the 6 tablespoons olive oil, not the herb 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 until a tacky ball forms. 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 it does. If by chance the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl a little bit, that’s OK. We just don’t want an overly sticky or overly dry dough.
  3. Stretch and fold. 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.
Focaccia Bread dough shaped in a rectangle on an oil covered baking sheet.
  1. Stretch and fold two more times. 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. 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). 
  2. Prepare the baking sheet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with the 1/4 cup plain olive oil. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet and cover with half of the herb oil. 
A hand pressing five fingers down into focaccia bread dough that's been topped with herb oil.
  1. Dimple the dough. Using your fingertips, dimple the dough, gently inching it to fill 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. 
Raw focaccia bread dough dimpled and topped with herb oil on a baking sheet.
  1. Cover and chill. Cover the pan and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Remove from the fridge and drizzle the 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. 
A baking sheet that has focaccia bread dough spread along the full size of the sheet, topped with herb oil.
  1. Bake. 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 serving.
Easy Focaccia Bread in a baking sheet topped with lots of herbs, baked until golden brown on top.

Recipe Tips

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 its size.

I don’t recommend using a rolling pin. The whole technique of this focaccia recipe is the stretching, pulling, folding and dimpling! 

One important factor to getting the best focaccia bread is having a HOT oven. Using an oven thermometer can help get the oven at the precise temperature.  

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).

Place whole cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes on top of the focaccia before putting it in the oven for a cherry tomato focaccia. You can also add additional ingredients on top for variety such as sliced olives, onions, mushrooms, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, shredded parmesan, etc. 

You’ll know the bread is done when the top is lightly golden brown, and the internal temperature of the bread reads 200°F, or above on an instant read thermometer.

Want to repurpose some of your leftovers? Cut the bread into small pieces and toast them for some focaccia croutons for salads! Use the herbed olive oil as a dip for breads! 

Cut in strips instead of squares to use as breadsticks! 

Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing

If you want to make this focaccia bread recipe ahead of time, I suggest doing the proofing overnight option after dimpling the dough instead of chilling for just 2 hours. Then you can remove the pan from the fridge, let it sit at room temperature for 3 hours before baking, proof it again until doubled in size, then bake. 

Store leftover focaccia in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature. Focaccia doesn’t keep very long; it is much better fresh. But to help stretch out any leftovers, cut the bread in individual squares and wrap each square in 1 layer of plastic wrap and then 1 layer of aluminum foil. Then store in a Ziplock bag. Doing this will help the bread stay good for 2-3 days at room temperature. 

To freeze, cut in squares, flash freeze on the pan, then wrap in plastic wrap. Place in a Ziplock bag and freezer for up to 1 month. 

Focaccia Bread squares topped with fresh herbs on a light beige background.

FAQs

What is focaccia?

Focaccia is an Italian flat bread recipe that’s baked with oils, herbs, and other toppings. It is a great side to serve with salads, pasta dishes, or other main courses. Because it is pretty thick, it can be sliced in half and used for making sandwiches.

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.

How is focaccia different from bread?

The difference is the oil content in focaccia which makes the bread have lots of air pockets when baked. It bakes into a light, fluffy and airy texture, which is unlike regular bread. 

A side photo of a fluffy focaccia recipe showing the thick bread topped with herb olive oil.

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Herb topped fluffy Focaccia Bread cut into squares.
Print Review
5 from 11 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
Did you make this recipe?Leave a star rating and review on the blog post letting me know how you liked this recipe! Take a picture and tag @saltandbaker on Instagram and Facebook so I can see what you’re making!

This recipe was originally published on Sept. 21, 2020. It was republished on Feb. 23, 2022, to include additional information and photos.