The Best, Homemade Focaccia Bread Recipe

This Italian flatbread is a close cousin of the better-known pizza and has long been found all over the Italian Riviera; it is said to have originated in Genoa. Focaccia has become a popular bakery offering in both Europe and the United States, though sometimes in rather disguised variations.

The original version started as a simple, unpretentious bread, traditionally flavored using the herbs and olive oil indigenous to the region where it was made. It was often topped with olives, sweet onions, potatoes, and/or anchovies.

Use your imagination to suit your taste and requirements in choosing flavors and toppings, but keep in mind that without the herbed garlic oil to begin with, you are not making an authentic focaccia.
Focaccia is good as a snack or as an accompaniment to soups or salads.

If you prefer to make the focaccia round, this recipe will yield 2 disks, 14 inches (35 cm) in diameter, or 15 individual rounds, 5 inch- es (12.5 cm) in diameter. The individual servings will bake in much less time.


  • 11⁄2 ounces (40 g) fresh compressed yeast
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) granulated sugar 8 ounces (225 g) high-gluten flour
  • 2 cups (480 ml) warm water
  • 3⁄4 cup (180 ml) olive oil
  • 3 ounces (85 g) granulated sugar 2 tablespoons (30 g) salt
  • 1 pound (455 g) high-gluten flour 14 ounces (400 g) bread flour
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • Herbed Garlic Oil (recipe follows) 1 teaspoon (5 g) kosher salt


1 To make the sponge, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add the sugar and high-gluten flour, and knead, using the dough hook, until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

2- Cover and let rise in a warm place until the sponge starts to fall.

3- To make the dough, add the warm water to the sponge together with the olive oil, sugar, salt, and high-gluten flour. Start kneading with the dough hook and then add enough of the bread flour to develop a very soft, smooth, yet still elastic dough.

4- Form the dough into a ball, place on a floured surface, and cut an X halfway through it. Pull the cuts out slightly to form a rough square; this will make it eas- ier to shape the dough into a rectangle later. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

5- Using 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) olive oil, coat the bottom and sides of a full sheet pan (do not use baking paper). Place the dough in the center of the pan. Oil your hands, then stretch out the dough as far as you can. Let rise in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk.

6- Use your hands to stretch the dough until it covers the entire sheet pan. Let the dough relax a few minutes if needed. Press your fingertips into the top to mark it with dimples.

7- Let the dough rise until it is 11⁄2 times the original size.

8- Using your hand, very gently spread three-quarters of the herbed garlic oil evenly over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle the kosher salt evenly over the top.


9- Place the bread in an oven preheated to 475°F (246°C). Immediately reduce the heat to 375°F (190°C) and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until baked through. Remove from the pan by placing a second sheet pan on top and inverting.

10- This will keep the bottom of the focaccia from becoming soggy. Place another inverted pan on top and invert again to place the focaccia on the underside of the sheet pan (so that the sides do not hold in any steam).

11- Immediately brush the remainder of the herbed olive oil on top. Allow to cool, then cut into pieces of the desired size.

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