This delicious Easy Focaccia Bread with rosemary is an authentic Ligurian bread recipe that is is homemade and topped with fruity extra-virgin olive oil, fresh rosemary, and some flaky sea salt.
I have been baking breads for so many years. But the one yeast dough I started making when the kids were little was focaccia. And I haven't stopped making it since!
You met my dear old focaccia friend here more than 10 years ago! Maybe you remember my cherry tomato and caramelized onion focaccia. This super easy focaccia bread became one of my most popular recipes here, ever!
Not one of my friends or family members has tired of this bread!
What is there not to love? An ever so fluffy focaccia dough gets gently spread into a pan. You softly dimple it with your fingers. Each dimple holds little pools of the most delicious extra-virgin olive oil.
A focaccia when sliced makes really great sandwiches for lunch, goes so well with dinner, and is also so nice dipped in a really great quality extra-virgin olive oil. Served with some cheese and olives...what more do you need?
What are you waiting for? Let's get baking some crazy delicious focaccia!
- Why you'll love this Ligurian Focaccia recipe
- What is Ligurian focaccia?
- Focaccia pronunciation
- What is Ligurian fugàssa?
- What ingredients for focaccia bread?
- How to make Italian focaccia bread (with rosemary)?
- What are some focaccia bread recipe variations
- Meals with Focaccia Bread
- Can you let focaccia dough rise overnight?
- How long does it take focaccia to rise?
- How long does it take focaccia to rise on the second rise?
- Why is focaccia dimpled?
- How to make focaccia dimples
- What are the best focaccia baking tips?
- Some other yeast doughs to enjoy:
- Easy Ligurian Focaccia Bread
Why you'll love this Ligurian Focaccia recipe
- It is very easy to make
- You can use a stand mixer or make it with your hands
- It is an authentic Italian Ligurian recipe
- It comes out so fluffy and flavorful
What is Ligurian focaccia?
Ligurian focaccia is an Italian flat bread that could be savory or even sweet. The most famous focaccia in Italy is in the region of Liguria. In Genoa they have the “focaccia classsica”, and it is ½-1-inch thick.
Another version in Liguria is focaccia di Recco and the focaccia dough is a thin sheet of dough filled with fresh cheese, like crescenza. It is an absolutely dreamy focaccia and is my favorite!
Focaccia is pronounced fo-kah-cha).
What is Ligurian fugàssa?
In Genoa, focaccia is sold in slices and is called fugàssa. It is an Italian street food and it is sold either plain or with onions. It's a flatter focaccia that is glistening with olive oil and is crispy. It makes for a great midday snack, but you could even enjoy it for a quick lunch.
What ingredients for focaccia bread?
- Water – It’s very important that the water is lukewarm. The right temperature should be 95°F to 105°F. If it’s hotter than this, it could kill the yeast/
- Yeast – Either active dry yeast or instant yeast will work. Active dry yeast needs to be activated and instant yeast does not need to be activated. Sugar– We just need a bit of liquid honey to help activate the yeast.
- All-Purpose Flour – You could make focaccia with all-purpose flour, or you could substitute it with bread flour. Either way it will turn out great.
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil – The better the quality of oil, the more delicious your focaccia will turn out. You need it for the dough and for even after you bake it.
- Sea Salt – Sea salt or whatever salt you enjoy using will bring amazing flavor to your bread.
How to make Italian focaccia bread (with rosemary)?
Here is all you need to make the best focaccia (full printable recipe below):
First thing is to gather your ingredients.
Add the warm water to the bowl of your stand mixer or to a large bowl (if you're mixing by hand). Sprinkle on the yeast and a touch of sugar. Give it a quick stir and let the yeast do its magic.
This is how the yeast will look when it blooms.
Once you mix the dough ingredients together, put it in the oiled bowl to rise.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a draft-free part of the kitchen.
What are some focaccia bread recipe variations
In case you would like to create your focaccia with some different toppings, here are some ideas to inspire you…
- Add onions - Caramelize some onions to add on top of the focaccia for a sweet and savory flavor addition.
- Add cheese- Sprinkle on some grated mozzarella or any other cheese that melts well for a delicious cheesy flavor addition.
- Dried herbs- If you're out of fresh herbs, feel free to substitute your dried herbs. It's best to knead the dried herbs into the dough instead of baking it on top, as they may brown and taste bad.
- Mix up the fresh herbs- Use a combo of different fresh herbs, or use just one. Sage or thyme are also very nice.
Meals with Focaccia Bread
Pairing focaccia bread with the right dish can elevate a simple meal into a delightful culinary experience. Here are some excellent recipes from Savoring Italy that would pair wonderfully with focaccia bread:
- Traditional Fettuccine Alfredo: The creaminess of Alfredo sauce complements the airy texture of focaccia, making for a satisfying combination.
- Italian Wedding Soup: This hearty soup, rich with flavors, is perfect for sopping up with a piece of crusty focaccia.
- Roast Pork Tenderloin with Butternut Squash: The savory roast and sweet squash would be beautifully balanced by the softness of focaccia.
- Sautéed Chicken Breast with Lemon Sauce: The citrus notes in the chicken would pair nicely with focaccia, especially if it's topped with herbs.
Can you let focaccia dough rise overnight?
Yes, you could prep this dough the night before and let it rise overnight in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake the bread, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Let it warm up a little so it will be easier to spread in your parchment lined baking sheet.
Seriously...LOOK how gorgeous this focaccia is! So fluffy and so perfect!
How long does it take focaccia to rise?
It takes focaccia dough 1-1 1/2 hours to rise during the first rise.
How long does it take focaccia to rise on the second rise?
It will take 40-60 minutes for the focaccia to rise during the second rise.
Why is focaccia dimpled?
The dimples you see on focaccia are important. The dimples help to reduce air in the dough so it won't rise too quickly. The dimples will hold the extra olive oil you spread on top and also any toppings that you put on it.
How to make focaccia dimples
- Making the Dimples: Using your fingertips, press down firmly into the dough, creating deep dimples across the entire surface. Be sure to press all the way down to the bottom of the pan. The key is to be firm but gentle to avoid tearing the dough.
- Even Spacing: Space the dimples evenly across the dough. There’s no strict rule on the exact spacing, but generally, about 1-2 inches apart works well.
Focaccia is an Italian flat bread that is a very popular street food in some part of Italy. Typically made with olive oil and fresh herbs. Focaccia gets baked at much higher temperature than other sorts of bread.
This particular recipes makes a very soft and fluffy focaccia.
Yes, this focaccia bread recipe is totally vegan. It is made with water, yeast, flour, sugar, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Focaccia will keep fine stored in a large zipped lock bag on the counter for a day. It will get stale pretty quickly. It's best to store any remaining focaccia in a large zipped lock bag in the refrigerator. Wrap any leftover focaccia in parchment paper, place it in the zipped lock bag, and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Yes, you can freeze focaccia. As soon as it's cooled down, store any leftovers in a large zipped lock freezer bag. Squeeze out the air before you seal it closed. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Taggiasca Olives: These are actually a variety of Ligurian olive and are the closest substitute you can find. They are small, with a similar flavor profile - fruity, mild, and slightly sweet.
Niçoise Olives: Originating from the Nice area in France, these small, black olives have a similar flavor to Ligurian olives, though they are a bit more intense and have a firmer texture.
Picholine Olives: These French green olives are a bit nuttier and have a firmer texture than Ligurian olives, but they can be a good substitute, especially in dishes where the olive is not the central ingredient.
Cutting focaccia is quite straightforward and can be done in a few simple steps:
Cool the Focaccia: Before cutting, let your focaccia cool down a bit after baking. This makes it easier to cut and helps maintain its structure.
Use a Long, Serrated Knife: A long, serrated bread knife is ideal for cutting focaccia. The serrated edge helps to cleanly slice through the crust without squashing the bread.
Decide on the Shape and Size: You can cut focaccia into squares, rectangles, or strips, depending on your preference or the occasion. For appetizers or snacks, smaller squares or strips are ideal. For serving as a side dish, larger rectangles or squares work well.
Gentle Sawing Motion: Use a gentle sawing motion to cut through the bread. Avoid pressing down too hard to prevent flattening the bread.
Serve Immediately or Store Properly: Focaccia is best enjoyed fresh, but if you need to store it, wrap it in foil or plastic wrap to maintain its freshness.
What are the best focaccia baking tips?
With a little planning and imagination, you could create some incredible focaccias or thick pizzas.
- For planning ahead, you could prep this dough the night before. Simply let it rise covered in a bowl overnight in the refrigerator. OR-prep the dough in the morning and let it rise until the evening when you are ready to bake it. I
- If you do an overnight rise in the refrigerator, when you're ready to bake, remove take out the dough. Line your pan with parchment paper, and spread out the dough in the pan. Cover the dough in a draft-free spot and let it rise.
- Don't forget to brush your parchment paper with olive oil before you spread out the dough.
- Very important to not move the dough to another pan after it's done the second rise. Whichever pan you put it in to do the second rise is the pan that you will bake it in.
- Use a large baking sheet, jelly roll pan, or even use round baking tins for your focaccia.
- If you are making any toppings, like caramelized onions, you could prep that while the dough is rising.
Some other yeast doughs to enjoy:
- Sourdough Discard Challah Bread
- Psomi Spitiko-Really Easy Greek Bread
- Crusty No-Knead Italian Bread
- No-Knead Dinner Rolls
Did you make this? Please RATE THE RECIPE below:)
Easy Ligurian Focaccia Bread
- For the dough:
- 1 ⅓ cups warm tap water about 110 degrees
- 2 ½ teaspoons 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for pan and finishing
- 3 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- For the topping:
- 1-3 teaspoons sea salt or kosher salt
- 1-2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary chopped fine not the stems
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Proof the yeast: In a small bowl, add warm water that is about 110°F. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Add in the sugar. Give it a quick stir to combine. Let the yeast sit for 5-10 minutes, until it is foamy and starts to activate (If you’re doing the dough in a stand mixer, do this step in the bowl of your mixer. if you’re doing the dough by hand, do this step in a large mixing bowl).
- Whisk in the olive oil: When yeast is ready, whisk in the olive oil; set aside.
- Flour + Salt: In a large mixing bowl, add the flour and 3 teaspoons of salt; whisk together.
- Make the focaccia dough: (see instructions below to make by hand) If making dough in your stand mixer, use a rubber spatula to mix half the flour mixture with the yeast mixture. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and add in the rest of the flour mixture. Mix on low speed for about three minutes. If dough seems too sticky and doesn't pull from the sides of the bowl, add in some more flour, a tablespoon at a time, and mix
- Form the dough into a ball: Spread some olive oil in a large bowl (I always use a glass bowl), rubbing it around the bottom and sides of the bowl. Remove the dough from the bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl. Then flip the dough over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil.
- Cover the bowl: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Set the bowl in a draft-free part of your kitchen and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
- Second rise of the focaccia: Prep a large rimmed baking sheet (18-by-13) with parchment paper. You could use a jelly roll pan or use a round baking pan. Spread some olive oil on the parchment paper.
- Spread dough into the pan: Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pat and press the dough gently until the dough fills the pan completely. If the dough resists, let it rest for a few minutes before continuing (sometimes the dough can be moody). Be patient. It may take a few minutes to be ready to be gently prodded into shape. It may look small at first and then will start to expand as it's sitting in the pan. Once you got it spread out, cover the dough with a piece of plastic wrap (or a clean kitchen towel) and let it rise again until doubled in size (about 40-60 minutes).
- Heat the oven: Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 425 F.
- Dimple the dough: When the dough has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap. Dimple the surface of the risen focaccia using your fingertips.
- Brush on the remaining olive oil: Brush the rest of the olive oil all over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle on the sea salt (Add the amount of salt you prefer. We like it a little saltier). Sprinkle on the chopped rosemary.
- Bake focaccia: Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown and puffed around the edges. You could use a metal spatula to check that the bottom crust nice, crisp and golden brown.
- Remove from oven: Lift the focaccia from the pan with the parchment paper edges onto a cutting board. While the focaccia is very hot right out of the oven, brush or drizzle on some more extra-virgin olive oil. Let it cool down a little bit before you cut and serve (we never let it cool down…everyone is ready to get their first piece while it’s piping hot!). Enjoy!
Please keep in mind that the nutritional information presented below is an approximation and may vary depending on the exact ingredients used.
- Water temperature: It’s best to check the water temp with a thermometer to activate the yeast. It should be 95°F to 105°F.
- To knead the dough by hand: Complete step 1 in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the extra-virgin olive oil. Add flour to a medium bowl. Whisk in the salt. Add the flour + salt a little bit at a time into the yeast mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough starts to form. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead it together by hand for a few minutes until it is smooth and shiny. Add flour a little bit at a time if it’s too sticky to work with. Continue on with the rest of the recipe as it is in the directions above.
- Focaccia thickness: Depending on how you like the focaccia, you could spread it in your pan to get a very thin focaccia. Or leave the dough a bit thicker which will result in a much higher focaccia. Keep in mind even if you spread out the dough to reach the sides of the pan, it will rise even more as its baking.
- Fine sea salt or flaky salt: If you have flaky salt on hand, you could use that to top the focaccia.
- Yields: This recipe yields 1 large focaccia. You could divide the dough and make two round focaccias (using round cake pans).