Rosemary Focaccia – Flavorful and delicious baked bread topped with rosemary and salt. This classic Italian bread is perfect with soup or in a sandwich!
This focaccia is AMAZING! Whether you are making it to serve with soup for dinner or as sandwich bread, it is always delicious. This bread does take a while to make so make sure that you leave enough time for it. I suggest serving it warm with butter!
Common Questions About Making Rosemary Focaccia
Can I use a stand mixer to knead the dough?
You definitely can! There isn’t much of a downside to using it instead of your hands. Use the dough hook for mixing and kneading.
Why do I need to knead the dough for so long?
Kneading dough helps it develop gluten, which gives the bread structure. Kneading also allows the yeast to be distributed evenly, so the final loaf will be more consistent.
Can I use other toppings?
Yes! Focaccia is very flexible. You can use other herbs or mix things up and add fresh produce. Halved tomatoes, sliced onions, thinly sliced potatoes, and olives are all common toppings. Roasted garlic is also amazing! Feel free to play with the seasonings and incorporate different cuisines’ flavors.
Once of my favorite techniques is to cook some garlic, red chili flakes, salt, and oregano on the stove for about a minute. Then, you can spread it all over the top of the focaccia when it comes out of the oven.
Can I use active dry yeast?
Yes, it just requires some extra steps. Instead of mixing the yeast in with the flour and salt. Mix the yeast with 1.5 cups of warm water and allow it to sit for about 5 minutes until it smells like yeast and starts to bubble on the edges. Add the water into the flour as you normally would in step 2. The rising times may take a little longer, so keep an eye on the dough while it is rising.
Can I make this ahead?
Focaccia is not a bread that does well for a long time. It is best eaten right after it is baked. It can be heated up in the oven at 300 degrees F to refresh it, but it will be dried copared to the initlial bake. It can be frozen after cooling. Wrap the loaf in plastic wrap or place it in a ziploc bag and keep it in the freezer for up to a month. I like to slice the bread before freezing so I can pull out one slice at a time. You can reheat it in the toaster, microwave, or oven.
What should I serve with focaccia?
It makes a great sandwich bread. Slice it through the middle so you are building a sandwich on the soft and fluffy inside with the crusty outside as your exterior. It’s great as a snack or appetizer when served with herby olive oil dip. It is also a great side with salads, pasta, or really any other dinner in need of a carb. The dough is also a good base for a pizza. Just leave off the rosemary and salt in step 7 and top with your desired pizza toppings. Bake it at the same temperature and take it out when your cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
Looking for more bread recipes? Check these out!
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoon) instant yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (plus more as needed)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt (plus more for sprinkling)
- 1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (roughly chopped)
- In a medium bowl, mix together yeast, salt, and flour.
- Add the water to the flour mixture. Mix until a shaggy dough forms with a rubber spatula. Add flour if the dough is very wet, but keep in mind that focaccia is a fairly wet dough compared to other styles of bread, so you do not want to add to much flour.
- Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth. The dough will be smooth on the outside and feel soft when you press it. If your dough is constantly sticking to the work surface, it might not have enough flour, so it is okay to add a bit more. However, dough will be a little bit sticky at the beginning, so do not add more if you have only been kneading the dough for a couple of minutes.
- Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl and cover with damp kitchen towel. Rest until doubled in size (about 1-2 hours).
- Pour the olive oil into a 12 inch cast iron skillet or a 9x13" pan. Place the dough in the pan and coat in olive oil. Stretch the dough to fit the pan. It will not completely reach the sides, but that is okay. Cover the pan with a damp kitchen towel and rest until the dough has puffed up and filled the pan (about 1-2 hours). Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F when you have about a half hour left of your rise.
- When the dough is ready, lift up the sides to release any air bubbles from underneath the dough. Press your fingers deep into the top of the dough to make the pockets that give focaccia its classic bumps.
- Sprinkle the dough with salt and rosemary.
- Place the pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be deep golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and enjoy warm. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days. Storing it in a brown paper bag will help preserve the crispy crust.
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