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Focaccia for Beginners ~ Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe

Focaccia for Beginners ~ Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe

This easy focaccia bread recipe is perfect for a beginner baker. The dough is easy to make and doesn’t require complicated steps. Just let the dough rise, top with your favorite toppings, and bake in the oven. You’ll have a delicious loaf of breadFocaccia for Beginners ~ Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe that’s perfect for dipping in olive oil.

Working with yeast can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before. But it doesn’t have to be. I use Red Star Active Dry Yeast because it comes in convenient packets and is free from palm oil. When making focaccia, I use .25 ounces which is the equivalent of one packet of yeast.

There are just a couple of things to remember when working with yeast. One, you want to mix the yeast with warm water, about 110 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit. Any colder and it won’t activate. Any warmer and you could kill the yeast.

Second, you want to add a little sugar or honey to feed the yeast. Being this recipe calls for 2 teaspoons of honey or sugar, you can put it all in the yeast. Yeast requires at least one teaspoon but putting in both teaspoons is fine when making this focaccia recipe.

When breadmaking, you will want to avoid putting salt in the yeast. Salt will kill the yeast.

Whether or not you’ve ever made bread, you CAN make this focaccia recipe. Learn about optional topping ideas as well as frequently asked questions about making focaccia. 

foccia

Slice focaccia while it’s warm or reheat it in the microwave or oven on a low setting so it doesn’t dry out.

Focaccia

Focaccia bread is a type of Italian flatbread that is popular in the United States. It is typically made with yeast which means it’s a leavened bread.  Note, while it is easy to make, there is some hands-off rest time needed  for the dough.

In this recipe, you will learn how to make focaccia bread with herbs and olive oil. There are many variations as you can add toppings as you wish, or not. You can enjoy this bread as a snack or use it as a side dish. It works well for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Below I explain step-by-step how to make focaccia. You may already have many of the ingredients in your pantry. It takes just 20 minutes of prep time, 80 minutes for the dough to rest, and 20 minutes to bake. 

Focaccia Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 cups warm water (110 degrees Fahrenheit to 112 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • 2 teaspoons raw, unfiltered honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 package Red Star Active Dry Yeast (.25 ounce)
  • 3 ½ cups flour (bread flour or all-purpose)
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt (can substitute equivalent kosher salt)
  • 2 tablespoons herbs or herb mixture such as garlic, rosemary, chopped onion, Italian herb blend, thyme, oregano, etc.

Optional: Vegetables and fruits such as olives, tomatoes, chopped peppers, onions, etc.

focaccia recipe

The great thing about this focaccia recipe is you can customize it to your tastes and what you already have on hand.

How to Make Focaccia

  1. In a large bowl, add the warm water. Be sure to check the temperature. Whisk in the honey or sugar. Check the temperature again to make sure it is still 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the water and gently whisk to combine.
  2. Let yeast mixture sit in a warm place until the yeast gets foamy, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  3. Flour a work surface.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the olive oil.
  5. Gradually stir the flour, salt and oil mixture into the yeast.
  6. Mix until the dough comes together and forms a shaggy ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for about 6 to 8 minutes. The dough is ready when it is smooth and springs back when you make a slight indention. If the dough is too sticky, add a little flour.
  7. Shape the dough into a ball.
  8. Use olive oil to grease the mixing bowl, including the bottom, and sides.
  9. Place the dough into the greased bowl, then turn the dough over in the bowl so that the top is coated with oil as well as the bottom.
  10. Cover and place the dough in a warm place for about 50 to 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  11. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface.
  12. Use a rolling pin to roll it out, shaping it in a square, rectangle, or circle. Roll it out until it is about ¼ to ½ inches thick.
  13. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  15. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rolled out dough onto the parchment covered sheet.
  16. Using your finger or the end of a wooden spoon, poke deep holes into the dough. Make sure the holes are very deep, all the way through is ideal. You can do a pattern or make random holes.
  17. Sprinkle the surface with herbs, any add-ins and the sea salt. If using vegetables, press them gently into the top of the dough.
  18. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. The dough should be a light golden color and cooked all the way through. If using vegetables, check the bread for doneness. You may need to add up to 5 more minutes.
  19. Remove from the oven and drizzle with some olive oil before serving.

Makes 8 to 12 servings

Variations

You can place the vegetables on top of the focaccia bread — making it look more like a California pizza — or gently press them into the dough before baking which is more traditional. Or you can make focaccia bread without toppings and serve them alongside a salad or cooked vegetables. 

focaccia recipes

focaccia recipes

Focaccia Toppings

There are endless possibilities for toppings on focaccia bread. Whether you like to keep it simple with just olive oil and herbs, or go all out with meats, cheese, and vegetables, the sky is the limit. Traditional focaccia toppings include:

  • Olive oil and herbs: One of the most common toppings for focaccia is olive oil and herbs. You can also add olives and capers.
  • Vegetables: Vegetables make a healthy and delicious topping for focaccia bread. Consider artichoke, red onion, zucchini, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms.
  • Meats: Focaccia is a great way to use up leftover meats. Some to consider are hot Italian sausage, salami, and prosciutto.
  • Cheese: Cheese makes a delicious and savory topping for focaccia bread. Consider feta, provolone, mozzarella, cheddar, or romano cheese.

Yeast in Focaccia

Yeast requires moisture (water or milk), food (sugar and flour), and warmth for microbial growth. As soon as growth requirements are met, the yeast will grow, producing carbon dioxide gas as well as alcohol. The gas causes the bread to rise, while the alcohol burns off during cooking and produces the flavor distinctive to bread.

FAQ’s

How is focaccia different from bread?

Focaccia is a type of bread that is made with olive oil and sometimes herbs, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. It is also usually topped with different types of vegetables, cheese and/or meats, making it a perfect appetizer or main course. Unlike traditional bread, focaccia is not as dense, and it has a slightly chewy texture. It’s not used for sandwiches as often as regular bread is.

What is special about focaccia bread?

Focaccia is a type of bread that is made with olive oil, which gives it a unique flavor and texture. Focaccia is a popular dish in Italy, where it is often eaten as an appetizer or side dish.

What makes focaccia unique is the fact that it is topped with ingredients like herbs, onions, or tomatoes before it is baked. This makes it flavorful and colorful. Many bakers will add sliced vegetables and fruits to it in artistic shapes, including flowers.

Is focaccia a healthy bread?

The debate over what is and isn’t a healthy bread choice is one that has been around for years. Adding vegetables and fruits on top of the focaccia can give the added nutrients from this produce.

Is focaccia dough the same as pizza dough?

Focaccia dough is fluffier and lighter and uses more yeast than traditional pizza dough. 

How is focaccia different from bread?

Traditional focaccia bread is made with olive oil. Before baking, the baker will puncture air holes into the dough, giving it an airy texture with a crispy top.

focaccia bread recipe

focaccia bread recipe

What is special about focaccia bread?

This fluffy leavened bread can be made different ways, with different ingredients, to complement any meal you are serving. You can keep it simple and more basic with herbs or add a colorful variety of vegetable and fruit toppings. It’s a flatbread that you can cut like you would a loaf of bread or a pizza. You can also make foccaca into different shapes. You don’t need to cook it in a loaf pan.

What goes well with focaccia bread?

You can serve it with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Whenever you would serve rolls, you can serve focaccia bread. It goes well with salad, soup, and hardier main courses, including pasta, fish, poultry, and meats. 

Is focaccia bread hard or soft?

It’s a flatbread that’s airy — due to the air holes which vent the bread while baking — and soft. 

Why is my focaccia dry?

Look on the yeast package to be sure it is still active, and not expired. The next time you make focaccia, be sure to measure the flour carefully. In addition, do not overbake focaccia. 

Can focaccia dough be made in advance?

Be sure to cover the dough completely to prevent it from drying out. You can make the dough in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 

Making Homemade Focaccia Bread

This homemade focaccia bread is easy to make. The only downside is waiting for the dough to rise before baking it — but that is typical when making leavened breads (with yeast).

Once you’ve tasted homemade bread, you will never buy it from the grocery store bakery again. Making it at home is fresher and uses less preservatives. It also doesn’t contain palm oil like most premade breads do.

I like making focaccia because you can customize it to your tastes. It’s ideal for picky eaters as well. It’s also very easy to make different vegetable combinations within the same bread just by putting some of the toppings on one side but not the other.

how to make focaccia

Learn how to make focaccia and serve it with your favorites for a colorful dish.

This focaccia recipe will also dress up a dinner table. It combines the wholesomeness of bread with a colorful array of vegetables and fruits. Change up the herbs and spices to vary the taste. 

It’s easy to make and delicious to eat for any meal. It’s a fun way to show your culinary skills. This Italian flatbread is perfect for a quick and easy snack or a light meal.

In conclusion, this leavened Italian flatbread is easy to make and a delicious addition to any meal. It can be made with a variety of toppings, making it perfect for any occasion.

If you a beginner, this is the perfect bread to start with. If you make this focacia recipe, please leave a note in the Comments how it went. Check out these bread recipes for buckwheat bread and French bread as well.

Focaccia
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Focaccia for Beginners ~ Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe

This easy focaccia recipe is ideal for bread baking beginners. Focaccia is an Italian flatbread. You can customize it to your tastes and to what you have on hand. The dough is easy to make and doesn't require complicated steps.
Course Bread
Cuisine Italian
Keyword easy focaccia recipe, focaccia, focaccia bread, focaccia bread recipe, focaccia recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Resting Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 ⅓ cups warm water 110 degrees Fahrenheit to 112 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 2 teaspoons raw unfiltered honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 package Red Star Active Dry Yeast .25 ounce
  • 3 ½ cups flour bread flour or all-purpose
  • ¼ cup melted butter or extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt can substitute equivalent kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons herbs or herb mixture such as garlic rosemary, chopped onion, Italian herb blend, thyme, oregano, etc.

Optional

  • Olives, tomatoes, chopped peppers, onions, etc. You can add meat, cheese, fruits and vegetables

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, add the water warmed to 110 - 112 degrees F. Whisk in the honey or sugar. Add the yeast over the top of the water and gently mix to combine. Let it sit in a warm place until the yeast gets foamy, about 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Flour a work surface.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, then gradually stir the flour and salt mixture into the yeast.
  • Mix until the dough comes together and forms a shaggy ball. Turn the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Knead by hand for 6 - 8 minutes. The dough is ready when it is smooth and springs back when you make a slight indention. If the dough is overly sticky, add a bit of flour. Shape the dough into a ball.
  • Use olive oil to grease the mixing bowl, including the bottom, and sides.
  • Place focaccia dough into the greased bowl, and turn the dough over in the bowl so all sides are coated with oil.
  • Cover and place the dough in a warm place for about 50 - 60 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
  • Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a floured surface.
  • Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, shaping it in a rectangle, square or circle. Roll it out until it is about ¼ to ½ inches thick.
  • Cover focaccia dough with a damp towel and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the rolled out dough onto the parchment covered sheet.
  • Using your finger or the end of a wooden spoon, poke deep holes into the dough. Make sure the holes are very deep, all the way through is ideal. You can do a pattern or make random holes.
  • Sprinkle the surface with any add-ins and the sea salt. If using vegetables, press them gently into the top of the dough.
  • Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes. The dough should be a light golden color and cooked all the way through. If using vegetables, check the bread for doneness.
  • Remove from the oven. If topping with meats or vegetables, you may wish to use a paper towel to collect moisture around the toppings. Drizzle with some olive oil before serving.

Notes

Use a meat thermometer or food thermometer to check the temperature of the water before preparing the yeast.

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