This version of the free-form Italian focaccia bread is quick and easy to make. Add in garlic and herbs for a savory punch, and you've got something delicious in under an hour!
Focaccia is one of the best bread recipes to start with if you're not used to making your own loaves. It checks off all the boxes: it doesn't take much yeast, you don't have to knead it very long, and the rising time is relatively short. When all is said and done, it is the perfect starter baking project.
Using this recipe, you can make a hearty focaccia with basic pantry ingredients and just a bit of time. I made a few minor changes to keep the finished product more versatile. By omitting the shredded mozzarella and increasing the salt, you'll have a tasty base for open-faced sandwiches or the perfect companion for a saucy bowl of spaghetti.
- 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 T. dry yeast (I used rapid-rise but regular active dry yeast would be fine)
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 cup warm water (between 105-110 degrees)
- 1 T. vegetable oil
- additional flour for kneading
- 1-1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 2 T. grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, measure out all of the dry ingredients. Add the warm water and vegetable oil, then mix well with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it 35-40 times until smooth. Lightly oil a second bowl, plop in the dough, and cover it loosely with a dishcloth. Let it rise in a warm spot for 20 minutes.
Prepare a cookie sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Tip out your risen dough and use your fingertips to push it into a large rectangle. Don't worry if it's a bit uneven; that's part of its rustic charm. Make sure to thoroughly dimple the surface of the bread for a traditional look.
Carefully drizzle on the olive oil, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool at least 5 minutes before cutting into generous squares or thinner, ruler-shaped pieces for dipping.
You can use serve this alongside a pasta dinner or simply cut it into squares for open-faced sandwiches. It also makes a great appetizer with a dish of good olive oil and herbs or Parmesan.
Once you've tried the basic recipe, get creative with the spices and flour. All across Italy, it is prepared many different ways, both sweet and savory. With or without toppings, it is an authentic, versatile flatbread. Focaccia is also one of the most forgiving breads to make and can be on the table in under an hour.
*The photos in this article are by Sarina Petrocelly.
What is your favorite variation of focaccia? Do you prefer just the traditional olive oil and rosemary of focaccia rosmarino, or do you do something fancier? Let us know in the comments!