Focaccia Bread with Rosemary

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Have you ever made your own focaccia bread? I’m not much of a yeast-bread baker, but I’ve been curious about this Italian bread for years. We use it often for sandwiches; it’s filled with the flavor of olive oil, soft and sturdy at the same time, and dimpled all over.

Well, if you too have been curious about making focaccia, I’m here to strongly suggest that you try it! Hank taught me how to make it and believe me, this bread is seriously good. Yes, it takes the good part of the day to make (but most of that time goes to just waiting for the dough to rise, thrice). And if you’re lazy like me, or with embarrassingly out-of-shape biceps (also like me), you can easily mix and knead the whole thing in an electric mixer.

So it’s easy. No excuses kimosabe.

This bread is so good that even though the recipe makes enough for a platoon, I’m pretty sure I could eat the whole thing. I literally had to force myself to give much of the last batch away, to parents, neighbors, anyone within reach with an appetite. Purely selfish motives that was, to save myself from an embarrassing chat with the scale.

Focaccia Bread with Rosemary Recipe

  • Yield: Makes a large loaf and a small loaf of 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick.

This recipe makes enough for 2 good-sized loaves. Or you can do what we've done, which is take 2/3 of the dough and bake it in a 9x15-inch baking pan, and the remaining third of the dough free-form on a baking sheet. You can make it all in free-form loaves that look like puffy pizzas, or shape them into casseroles or cake pans – there are no absolutes on the shape of this bread. The bread takes on the flavor of the olive oil so use a good quality one. Like most breads, this focaccia freezes well. You can also slice several day old focaccia bread and toast it, serving it with butter and/or honey.


  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water, about 100 degrees
  • 2 1/4 cups tepid water
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil, plus more for the pan and to paint on top of the bread
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp salt, plus coarse salt (fleur de sel if you have it, otherwise Kosher salt) for sprinkling over the top
  • 2-3 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (can use sage or other herbs such as thyme or oregano, but whatever herb you use, do use fresh herbs, do not use dried)


1 Stir the yeast into the 1/3 cup of slightly warm-to-the-touch water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

2 In a large bowl, pour in 2 1/4 cups of tepid water and 2 tablespoons olive oil. After the yeast has rested for 10 minutes and has begun to froth, pour it into the water-oil mixture.

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3 Whisk in 2 cups of flour (either the bread flour or the all purpose, at this stage it doesn't matter which) and the tablespoon of salt. Add the rosemary.

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Then, cup by cup, whisk in the rest of the flour (both the bread flour and all purpose). As the mixture goes from a batter to a thick dough, you'll want to switch from a whisk to a wooden spoon. By the time you get to the last cup of flour, you will be able to work the dough with your hands. Begin to knead it in the bowl – try to incorporate all the flour stuck to the sides and bottom of the bowl as you begin kneading.

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Once the bowl is pretty clean, turn the dough out onto a board and knead it well for 8 minutes. You might need some extra flour if the dough is sticky.

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Note that a KitchenAid mixer (or some other brand of upright electric mixer) works well for the mixing and kneading of the bread dough. About the time you add the last cup of flour you'll want to switch from the standard mixer attachment to the dough hook attachment. Just knead the dough using the dough hook on low speed for 8 minutes. If after a few minutes the dough is still a little sticky, add a little sprinkling of flour to it.

4 In a large clean bowl, pour in about a tablespoon of oil and put the dough on top of it. Spread the oil all over the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise (in a relatively warm spot or at room temp) for an hour and a half. It should just about double in size.

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5 Spread a little olive oil in your baking pan or baking sheet (will make it easier to remove the bread). Place the dough in your baking pans or form it into free-form rounds on a baking sheet. This recipe will do two nice-sized loaves or one big one and a little one. Cover the breads and set aside for another 30 minutes.


6 Dimple the breads with your thumb. Push in to about the end of your thumbnail, roughly 1/2-inch. Cover again and leave it to rise for its final rise, about 2 hours.


7 With 30 minutes to go before the rise finishes, preheat your oven to 400°F. If you have a pizza stone put it in.

8 Once the dough has done its final rise, gently paint the top with olive oil – as much as you want. Then sprinkle the coarse salt on top from about a foot over the bread; this lets the salt spread out better on its way down and helps reduce clumps of salt.

9 Put the bread in the oven. If you are doing free-form breads, put it right on the pizza stone. Bake for a total of 20-25 minutes. If you have a water spritzer bottle, spritz a little water in the oven right before you put the bread in to create steam, and then a couple of times while the bread is baking.

When the bread comes out of the oven, turn it out onto a rack within 3-5 minutes; this way you'll keep the bottom of the bread crispy. Let cool on a rack for 10 minutes before eating.

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Recipe adapted from The Italian Baker by Carol Field.


Potato focaccia from Luisa, the Wednesday Chef
Gluten-free tomato garlic focaccia from Karina the Gluten-free Goddess

Showing 4 of 31 Comments

  • Jeani Coleman

    Mike – I’ve used this recipe several times with different flours. I grind my own grain so today I used Hard Winter Whole wheat grain which I mixed with Unbleached white. It was delish! I think whole wheat really adds to the richness of Focaccia.

  • mike

    has anyone tried this with any other flours like amaranth or einkorn?

  • Veronica F.

    Hi Elise-

    First off. I am in love with your website and amazing recipes. They are consistently amazing. Thank you!

    Regarding this beautiful carb indulgence, is bread flour needed for this recipe or can the same results be achieved using completely all-purpose flour?

  • Hanne matter

    Can I made my focaccia dough ready, go to the airport for about 2-3hours and then come back and put it in the oven, thanks

  • ruen

    Elise, I’ve made this recipe so many times and in so many different countries, and every one that’s tasted it has demanded I make it whenever I’m in town. I actually just made another batch, but while getting all the ingredients ready, I noticed some yeast packet amount discrepancies: I hold in my hands, right now, 2 packets of yeast from 2 different countries. The one I bought from the US says it’s 1/4oz (7g). The one I acquired in Taiwan says it’s 20g +/-1.5g (so ~21.5g). They both hold the correct amount of yeast needed to make this recipe, despite the fact that their weights do not add up sensibly (what I mean is that it is NOT a 1:3 Taiwan:US ratio; you don’t use 3 packets of US yeast to make it add up to 21g, nor do you use 1/3 packet Taiwan yeast to make it 1/4oz). I actually have experimented with this to make sure, and tripling the amount of US yeast is indeed waaaaay too much yeast, and using only 1/3 the amount of Taiwan yeast is definitely not enough. There is probably a good explanation for this discrepancy in amounts, but darned if I know what that is. All I’m saying is, just be aware that if you’re using yeast packets, 1 packet is the correct amount.

    *NB: when I say “Taiwan yeast”, you can probably assume that other countries aside from the US will also use the 21g yeast packets. So I guess if you use a packet from the US, you want 1/4oz(7g), and if it’s from anywhere else, then you want 21g. I hope that makes sense!

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