Once you try this amazing recipe for no-knead focaccia bread, you will never go back to the other more elaborate ways of making it. With just a few simple ingredients and 5 minutes of prep time, this easy recipe for rosemary focaccia bread is sure to leave your entire family satisfied, especially if you serve it to accompany their favorite main dish like roasted chicken, a hearty vegetable soup or perhaps even at your yearly Thanksgiving dinner extravaganza.
What makes the best focaccia?
The best focaccia is light and airy in the middle and has a golden brown crunchy crust. It is tall enough to be sliced to make sandwiches or can be cut into strips to eat as a snack or squares for accompanying soups or salads. Most importantly, it is chewy and has a nice salty finish.
What kitchen equipment is needed to make focaccia bread?
You’ll only need a few basic kitchen utensils to create this no-knead focaccia bread recipe.
9×13 in baking pan (or round baking pan if you prefer)
large mixing bowl
Swedish bread whisk or wooden spoon
stand mixer (optional)
You will have your fresh, fragrant rosemary focaccia bread recipe done in just over 1.5 hours from start to finish, including rising time. Your family and friends will thank you for sharing such a lovely treat with them!
Ingredients for Italian focaccia
Flour, yeast, sugar, salt and water… you can make delicious focaccia with just 5 simple ingredients. And then the best part of all: it only takes 5 minutes to whip together the dough and there is no kneading involved. Truly great recipes are often the easiest of them all.
All-purpose flour (4 cups) – you can keep it simple with all-purpose or “00” flour or even use bread flour (or a mix of the two) if you prefer for your focaccia.
Instant yeast (2 tsp) – you can also use rapid-rise yeast or active dry yeast but be sure to read the label carefully as it is important to use the right yeast that will work instantaneously as this great recipe rises in just one hour. Fresh yeast or sourdough starter is not recommended because you need a longer rising time.
Sugar (1/2 tsp) – just regular white or granulated sugar is needed. If you are trying to cut down on sugar you can even leave the sugar out because instant yeast does not need sugar to activate.
Sea salt (1/2 tsp + 1 tbsp salt flakes) – a fine sea salt, while the recipe doesn’t call for much if you like a saltier bread you can certainly add a little more salt to the recipe or sprinkle a bit more on top.
Water (2 cups) – you will need warm water so that the instant yeast is activated and then be sure to put the dough in a warm place to rise.
Fresh rosemary sprigs (1-2) – this is one of our favorite fresh herbs that is even better when collected directly from the herb garden. However, if you don’t have fresh for this rosemary focaccia you can substitute with dried rosemary. If rosemary isn’t your favorite herb, feel free to substitute it with other fresh herbs like fresh thyme or sage.
Salt flakes (1 tsp) – kosher salt flakes are great for sprinkling on top, but if you don’t have them you can use any type of slightly coarser salt.
Extra virgin olive oil (as needed) – while this focaccia bread recipe doesn’t have olive oil actually in the bread dough, it does need some for coating the baking sheet pan as well as drizzling a little on top.
How to make focaccia bread, step by step
Ready, set, go! In just five minutes you can whip up delicious rosemary focaccia the whole family will love.
In a large bowl, begin by adding the flour, salt, sugar and instant active dry yeast (photo 1). While you could use a stand mixer to do this, we don’t think it is worth the hassle of even getting it out for a dough that literally only needs to be stirred for one minute.
Slowly pour in water (photo 2), stirring with a large wooden spoon or Swedish dough whisk just until combined. You can add less or more water depending on how wet the dough is. It should be slightly sticky but not watery (photo 3).
Cover the bowl with several clean tea towels or with plastic wrap over the rim of the bowl (photo 4) and let the dough for the bread rise at room temperature or warmer, for at least 1 hour. Be sure not to put it in a drafty or cold place because it will not rise properly, instead look for a warm place like under a light, near a heater or in the oven with just the oven light on (no heat).
Drizzle olive oil on a 9 x 13 dish (photo 5) and spread it with your hands until the entire dish is covered on the bottom and sides.
After the focaccia dough has risen (photo 6), pour the dough gently into the greased pan. Put some olive oil on your hands so they won’t stick to the dough and push the dough gently until it fills the entire dish evenly.
When finished, cover with saran wrap or plastic wrap (photo 7) and let rise for another 15 minutes in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Rinse the rosemary sprigs and remove the leaves and let air dry on a paper towel (photo 8).
After you have let the dough rise again in the baking pan, gently press your fingers over the dough to make indentations (photo 9).
Drizzle the focaccia dough with a little olive oil and then sprinkle with rosemary leaves and salt flakes (photo 10).
Bake in the lower part of the oven at 400° F for about 20-25 minutes. Check to see if it’s ready by looking through the oven window, without opening it. It will have puffed up and have a golden brown crust when done.
When baked, remove it from the oven, place on parchment paper to cool for a few minutes, and then enjoy your focaccia bread with soup, salad, as sandwich bread or for other recipes you love. This recipe makes enough for 4 people.
Make-Ahead and expert tips
Make the focaccia dough ahead and put it in the fridge overnight. You can make this focaccia bread recipe the day before, cover it with plastic wrap and put the dough overnight in the fridge. The next day, about 2 hours before you want to bake the focaccia bread, remove it from the fridge and let the focaccia dough rise for about 2 hours in a warm place before topping and baking as instructed in this fantastic recipe.
Leave it a bit longer. If you see that the dough hasn’t risen enough (it should at least double in size after the first hour) then move it to an even warmer place and leave a bit longer so you get the best bread.
What to serve with baked focaccia bread
This rosemary focaccia is unbelievably delicious by itself or can be served along side a hearty soup, a big green salad with fresh herbs or Italian seasoning, or plated with your favorite chicken main dish with a side of cooked vegetables.
Focaccia variations besides rosemary to top your baked focaccia
Tomatoes on top. This baked focaccia recipe is absolutely delicious with tomatoes on top. We love it with cherry tomatoes cut in half and placed evenly across the surface or even sundried tomatoes cut up into pieces and sprinkled over before baking.
Sweet caramelized onions. One of our absolute favorite toppings for this baked focaccia is sweet onions. Slice a red or golden onion in thin long slices. In a saute pan, add a drizzle of olive oil and saute the onions for several minutes, stirring frequently. When the onions are translucent add a dash of sugar and salt and keep cooking until they begin to caramelize and turn brownish. Put them on your focaccia just before baking.
Make thinner focaccia. This same recipe can be used to make a thinner focaccia bread by using a cookie sheet or sheet pan and stretching the dough thinner by pushing on it gently until it is as thin and large as you would like. Then you will need to reduce the cooking time, checking after about 10 minutes to see if the thinner focaccia has a crunchy crust which means it’s ready.
Try other bread Italian recipes:
How should I store focaccia so it doesn’t get hard?
We doubt you will have any leftover focaccia bread because this easy recipe is absolutely delicious and will be gobbled up quickly! However, if there are leftovers, you can wrap them in plastic wrap or tin foil and store in a cool place for 1 to 2 days. We suggest you quickly reheat for a few minutes in the toaster oven or microwave before serving a second time.
Is focaccia a healthy bread?
Focaccia is a healthy bread because it has very little fat (just a little from the olive oil) and if made with a high-quality flour can have various nutrients and carbs that provide go-power. People who are sensitive to gluten should be aware that focaccia is a high-gluten food.
How do Italians eat focaccia?
Italians eat focaccia bread as a snack on the go, as a light lunch, sliced and filled with charcuterie and cheeses, or along with their meal of soups, salads or main dishes and veggies. There are so many ways focaccia is enjoyed there is no way we could list them all here. Once you start making this rosemary focaccia bread recipe you will discover all the ways to eat it for yourself.
Is focaccia bread dough different than pizza dough?
The difference between focaccia and pizza is really in the amount of yeast (focaccia has more) and the amount of toppings (pizza has more). Sometimes focaccia is called white pizza.
Authentic Italian Focaccia bread Recipe
For bread dough
4 cups all-purpose flour2 tsp instant yeast1/2 tsp sugar1/2 tsp sea salt2 cups water warm
1-2 rosemary sprigs1 tsp. kosher salt flakesextra virgin olive oil as needed