Focaccia Bread Recipe With Rosemary and Olive Oil

Focaccia

  • serves 6
  • Easy

Try our incredibly moreish Italian bread glistening with olive oil and studded with rosemary for a satisfying side dish

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Try this easy focaccia recipe, then try some of our other brilliant bread recipes, such as a simple soda bread, sourdough bread and bread rolls.


What is focaccia?

Focaccia is a puffy Italian flatbread made using plenty of olive oil and with a distinctive dimpled top. It is a yeasted bread and so follows a normal knead/rise/prove process but during the shaping and finishing that it takes on its familiar appearance. It’s most commonly found in the north-west of Italy around Liguria, a famous olive-oil producing region.

Which olive oil should you use in focaccia?

The olive oil you add to the dough and drizzle on top will be obvious in the finished bread so if you are only adding olive oil and salt, use one that you like the flavour of. There’s no right or wrong here – if you prefer a feisty, peppery oil or a mellow buttery flavour, that’s fine. Alternatively, you could use a fairly bland olive oil but then add lots of flavour.

How do you make garlic focaccia?

This recipe mixes rosemary with the olive oil but if you want to make garlic focaccia you can toss 2-3 cloves of sliced garlic with the topping oil. Other toppings that work brilliantly are halved cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, anchovies and cheeses that hold their shape after baking, such as goat’s cheese and feta.

How do you do focaccia art?

  1. Make our focaccia recipe below up to step 4 and leave in the tin to prove.
  2. Choose your toppings. You’ll need toppings that can survive the heat of the oven. For our decorations we used red chillies, black olives, flat leaf parsley, aubergine cut into long thin strips and capers. You could also try halved cherry tomatoes, green olives, rosemary and thyme sprigs and non-melty cheeses like feta and goat’s cheese.
  3. Toss your toppings in olive oil, making sure they get a good coating, this will stop them from drying out and burning.
  4. Drizzle oil on top of the proved focaccia then start to build your picture. You can copy our design or get lots of inspiration by searching the hashtag #foccaciaart
  5. Once you are done bake as on the recipe – you are now #vincentvandough!
Focaccia art with flowers made of tomatoes and rosemary on a loaf of focaccia

Is focaccia vegan?

Focaccia (like a lot of bread) is naturally vegan – the only fat used is olive oil, which gives a lovely richness.

Is focaccia dough supposed to be wet?

Focaccia dough needs to be quite wet as the extra water in the dough creates the classic light texture as the moisture expands during cooking creating little air pockets. Try not to add too much extra flour when kneading if you can. Keep working it, first in the bowl then tipping and kneading on a smooth surface and it will eventually come together into a soft dough.

What should you eat with focaccia?

Focaccia is a fairly quick bread to make – it only needs an hour rising then 30 minutes proving before it goes in a hot oven for 20 minutes. It’s a great bread to make if you are serving a large Italian-style stew or a lasagna, as you can put it in the oven while you get the dinner together, then serve warm.

How should you serve focaccia?

We think focaccia is best served warm from the oven. You can keep it simple with little dipping bowls of olive oil or chilli oil and balsamic, or serve with a soft herb butter or herby soft cheese.

How long does focaccia stay fresh? Can you freeze it?

Because of the amount of oil in it, focaccia will keep without drying out for a few days in an airtight container, or you can freeze for up to three months. To defrost, leave out at room temperature overnight then reheat once defrosted. Simply wrap it in foil and put in an oven at 180C/fan 160C/gas 4 for 15-20 minutes to warm through.

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Ingredients

  • extra-virgin olive oil 9 tbsp
  • rosemary 3 sprigs, leaves picked
  • strong white bread flour 300g
  • fast-action yeast 7g sachet
  • sea salt flakes

Method

  • Step 1

    Put 6 tbsp of the oil in a bowl with the rosemary and leave to sit while you make the bread.

  • Step 2

    Put the flour, yeast and the remaining 3 tbsp olive oil in a bowl with 1 tsp sea salt flakes. Gradually add 175ml water and mix until you have a sticky dough.

  • Step 3

    Knead the dough on a lightly oiled non-porous worksurface for 6-8 minutes. It will seem really sticky at first but keep kneading until it becomes smooth and elastic. Tip into a clean, lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

  • Step 4

    Oil a heavy baking sheet. Punch down the dough in the bowl then tip out and knead briefly. Put onto the baking sheet and form into a 20cm x 28cm rectangle. Leave to rise for 30 minutes until puffed up.

  • Step 5

    Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Use your fingers to make dimples in the top of the dough then drizzle with the rosemary-infused oil and rosemary leaves, and sprinkle with extra sea salt flakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cover loosely with foil (this creates a little steam to keep the crust soft) and let it cool. Drizzle with a little more oil before serving, if you like.

Check out more of our best bread recipes...

Cheese Bread Recipe with Garlic

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 335
  • Fat 17.1g
  • Saturates 2.5g
  • Carbs 37.8g
  • Sugars 0.2g
  • Fibre 1.7g
  • Protein 6.7g
  • Salt 0.8g
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