This easy Focaccia Bread recipe is simple enough for the novice bread baker without kneading and a short rise time. Added pesto gives this classic a delicious twist!
Easy Focaccia Bread Recipe
I was afraid of yeast bread forever until I finally jumped out of my comfort zone and just did it. This focaccia bread recipe was the first homemade bread I ever made – it was shockingly easy and left me wondering why I waited so long. Since then I’ve made challah bread, dinner rolls, and pizza dough, just to name a few.
If you are intimidated by making homemade yeast bread, don’t be! Or at least get your toes wet with this easy focaccia bread. It’s not complicated at all – everything is mixed together in one bowl and then the dough gets transferred to a pan. There’s no kneading involved. The hardest part is just waiting 30 minutes for it to rise.
What is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia is a simple flat oven-baked Italian bread, usually topped with extra-virgin olive oil, Kosher salt, and fresh herbs. Depending on the herbs used, you can have a different flavor every time. Or do what I do and add a thin layer of pesto and Parmesan before baking. The texture is slightly chewy and always wonderful.
There are only 6 ingredients, including water, needed to make no knead focaccia bread. I also put my own little spin on it with some added pesto and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- All-purpose flour – Measure the flour using the spoon and level technique for an accurate amount. Excess flour will make the bread dry and crumbly.
- Instant dry yeast – Avoid yeast past the expiration date or the bread won’t rise properly.
- Salt – For flavor.
- Granulated sugar – For subtle sweetness.
- Water – Lukewarm water is used to activate the yeast. The water needs to be around 110°F. If you don’t have a thermometer, feel it with your fingertip. It should be warm, but not hot to the touch.
- Extra virgin olive oil – Mixed with the water and also used to coat the dough before it rises.
- Pesto – Instead of fresh or dried herbs mixed into the dough, we brush it lightly with our homemade pesto sauce.
- Parmesan cheese – Freshly grated Parmesan cheese gets sprinkled on top before baking.
How To Make Focaccia Bread
This homemade focaccia bread is a snap to make! Here’s a brief summary:
(Scroll to the bottom for our easy printable recipe with the complete directions, and don’t miss the video below.)
- Make the dough. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, dry yeast, sugar, and salt. In a microwave-safe measuring cup, combine the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until warm but not hot to the touch (110°F). Pour over the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended.
- Transfer dough to a greased pan. Spread the dough into a greased 9×13 pan in an even flat layer.
- Let rise. Cover pan with a clean kitchen towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
- Poke holes and oil. Gently poke holes with the round end of a small wooden spoon about every 1-inch in the dough going almost to the bottom. Gently brush all over with just a little olive oil
- Add pesto and Parmesan. Loosen up the pesto and gently brush it all over the top, followed by sprinkling the Parmesan cheese.
- Rise again while the oven preheats. Let rise, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes while you preheat the oven.
- Bake. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly.
- Cut and serve. Cut with a serrated knife and serve with herbed olive oil on the side for dipping, if desired.
What To Do With Focaccia Bread
Focaccia is definitely best served the same day it’s made, and cut with a serrated knife. It can be used as a side to many meals, as sandwich bread, as a snack, or day old bread can be cut up into cubes, baked at 375 degrees F for about 10 minutes, and used as croutons. It’s also perfect as a side dish to Italian dishes like spaghetti sauce and chicken cacciatore.
How To Store Focaccia Bread
- For Focaccia dough: Place the dough in a large plastic bag and refrigerate it for up to 2 days or freeze for no more than 1 month. The dough does not need to rise before refrigerating or freezing. Frozen dough should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator, or for a few hours on your counter – time will vary depending on altitude and the temperature of your kitchen. Keep in mind that frozen dough, once thawed, won’t rise to the usual puffiness – it will be more dense and even a little wet, but will work.
- For baked Focaccia bread: baked focaccia will keep at room temperature, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap and then in foil, for 2 days. To freeze baked focaccia, cut it in pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, place in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. Allow to defrost at room temperature then refresh in a 350 degrees F oven until warmed through and crispy again, about 10 minutes.
More Homemade Bread Recipes:
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour , spooned and leveled
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) dry instant yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , divided
- 2 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
- Coat a 13×9 baking pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, dry yeast, sugar, and salt until combined.
- In a 2-cup glass measuring cup OR microwave-safe bowl, combine water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Microwave on HIGH in 15 second increments until warm but not hot to the touch (110 degrees F). (It usually takes me 4 cycles.) Add to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended.
- Spread the dough into the greased pan. Cover with a clean tea towel; let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 30 minutes. (Could take longer depending on the temperature and altitude of your home.)
- Using a lightly oiled finger, gently poke holes about every inch in the dough going nearly to the bottom of the dough. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil; then loosen up the pesto and gently spread it over the top, followed by sprinkling the Parmesan cheese.
- Let rise, uncovered, an additional 15 minutes while oven preheats to 375°F.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool slightly. Cut and serve with extra oil for dipping, if desired.