Focaccia is a simple flat-baked bread that is crispy on the outside and airy and insanely delicious on the inside. This tasty recipe involves some time to rise, but in the end, it’s completely worth the wait. The great thing about focaccia is its versatility. You can arrange any toppings such as rosemary, olives, cheese, herbs, and much more.
Whether it’s used to in a warm bowl of soup or stuffed with Italian meats and cheese for an epic sandwich, regardless of how you slice it, the salty exterior crunch is the best part of the focaccia experience. The dough calls for salt, but I absolutely love topping the dough before baking with flakey salt. Maldon flakey salt is a fave that I use to top focaccia, along with other baked goods like cookies and brownies. A little goes a long way!
If you love those spongey air pockets throughout the bread, then make sure to allow the dough to rise fully. If press for time, make it before bed and let it rise overnight in the fridge, and 2 hours before dinner, bring it out to place in the pan of choice before baking.
Now this recipe is pretty difficult to reck. Assemble, set it aside, and bake. Bam… no need to knead! If using an electric mixer, even better. I like using the good old wooden spoon. Enjoy, friend!
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- Baking Dish (11x11) or Round Cake Pan
- 2 cups Warm Water not boiling
- 1 tsp Honey
- 1 tbsp Active dry yeast
- 3 ¾ cups Bread Flour and a little extra
- 8-10 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1-3 tbsp Flakey salt for topping
- In a large bowl, pour ⅓ cup of warm water (the remaining water will be used later), honey, and yeast. Wait 5 minutes until the mixture froths up a bit.
- After 5 minutes, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and the remaining warm water 1 ⅔), salt and mix with either a wooden spoon or in a mixer with a hook attachment. Add the flour and mix until the dough is shaggy and everything is incorporated.
- Mix the dough until you form a semi-smooth ball. Depending, you may need to add additional flour and/or water (up to ¼ cup). If so, only add a tablespoon at a time, mixing well. The dough will be sticky, which is what we want! Note: You are looking for a semi-sticky dough that you can form into a dough ball.
- Coat a large bowl with olive oil, about 1-2 tbsp, and place the dough and cover tightly with a dish towel (tuck it under the bowl), and set aside in a warm place for at least 5-6 hours. Proofing for 9-10 hours or overnight in the fridge is even better! I like to make the dough the night before and place it in the fridge to rise for about 14 hours.
- Coat a large rectangle or round baking pan with 4 tablespoons of olive oil and lightly spread the dough. No need to spread the dough to all the corners of the pan. Cover the pan and place it in a warm place to rise again for about 2-4 hours. The dough will rise and spread like magic.
- After the second rise, using your fingers, imprint your fingers throughout the dough. Some areas may bubble up, which is PERFECT! Top the dough with any kind of toppings – garlic, red onion, rosemary, olives, feta... etc. Make sure to drizzle some olive oil and flakey sea salt before and after you bake the bread.
- One more quick rise: cover the dough with plastic wrap or a dishtowel, and set aside for at least 15-20 minutes before baking. Every time dealing with dough, you want to give it time to rest before baking.
- Preheat oven 450° F. Place the pan in the oven on the middle rack for 30-45 minutes or until the edges and top is golden. I start checking at 30 minutes, and then every 3 minutes after until it has reached the desired color.
- Let the bread cool completely before cutting into it, which is tempting! Experiment with differnt beloved toppings. These also make for great sandwiches. Enjoy!