Focaccia Bread with Rosemary

This recipe makes enough dough 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 extra virgin olive oil.

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.

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


  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup warm water, about 100 degrees
  • 2 1/4 cups tepid water
  • 2 tablespoons good quality extra virgin 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 tablespoon salt, plus coarse salt (fleur de sel if you have it, otherwise Kosher salt) for sprinkling over the top
  • 2-3 tablespoons 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 Proof the yeast: Stir the yeast into the 1/3 cup of slightly warm-to-the-touch water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

2 Add olive oil to water, then add yeast: 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.

3 Add flour and rosemary: 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.

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.

4 Knead the dough: By the time you get to adding 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.

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.

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.

5 First rise: 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.

6 Spread dough in baking pan: 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.

7 Dimple the bread: Dimple the breads with your thumb. Push in to about the end of your thumbnail, roughly 1/2-inch.

8 Second rise: Cover the dough again and leave it to rise for its final rise, about 2 hours.

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

10 Brush with olive oil, sprinkle with salt: 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.

11 Bake: Put the bread in the oven. If you are doing free-form breads, put it right on the pizza stone. Bake at 400°F 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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  • John P.

    I didn’t use rosemary but I finely chopped green, black and kalamata olives and added some Italian seasoning. Otherwise, followed the recipe exactly including rise times. Turned out great. I used one larger Lasagna pan for one big flat loaf. Great recipe! Loved that it calls for proofing the yeast at the outset so you know it is viable.


  • Sherron

    Do you know if the salt in the recipe can be reduced to something less than a tablespoon? My husband has heart failure and everything we eat needs to have minimal or no salt. I would love to be able to make him the focaccia.

  • Julie Schindler

    Elise, I’ve made this bread numerous times to rave reviews! It’s always a hit. However, I’m now living at high altitude 9800 feet & tried making the bread…although it rose nicely it tasted dry. Any suggestions?

  • Lee

    Everyone loved this recipe. I didn’t have time to let it rise a 3rd time, but it was still delicious. Will keep this recipe and make again. I split the recipe into 2 stone bakeware pans and cooked it about 25 minutes. It wasn’t as brown but was plenty crispy and soft on the inside. Yum!

  • 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?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Veronica, bread flour is higher in gluten so the resulting bread will have more structure to it. That’s why pizza, bread, and focaccia work so much better with bread flour than with 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

    • Elise Bauer

      So you mean can you let your dough sit and rise for 2 to 3 hours instead of 1 1/2 hours as the recipe calls for? I don’t see why not.

  • Lauren

    My bread is currently rising (for the first time) and I’m super excited about how this will turn out. I’ve been wanting to make this for awhile and after coming across your recipe I had to try it. I have a sandwich blog and will definitely link to this recipe. I can’t believe how easy it is — I’ve always been a little nervous about making bread. Thanks!

  • Steph

    I made this the other night and am ADDICTED. I didn’t let my first loaf rise for the last 2 hours because (and yes, broke the first rule of cooking) I didn’t realize it had another 2 hours to go and I was hungry, and it still turned out incredible! I haven’t tried the second loaf that I allowed to rise those last 2 hours, but if it’s any better than the first I’ll be in serious trouble.

    Thanks for a great recipe!


  • ruen

    Elise, just letting you know that due to popular demand, I have just made this bread again–this time for sandwiches. Over here in China, getting any bread that isn’t soft and fluffy is impossible unless you make it yourself. My entire family was so happy to finally be able to make paninis again. Thanks again for sharing this with us!


  • 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!

  • Jocelyn

    Can you use bread flour for this recipe?

    I don’t see why not. ~Elise

  • Beth

    I’m unclear on how thick the dough should be in/on the pan – do I roll it out an inch thick and let it rise? Two inches? Half an inch?

    Oh, I would say about an inch or an inch and a half. ~Elise

  • NinBeijing

    Hi Elise, I have had great success with your brownie recipe and oatmeal cookie recipe. To the point where I don’t even bat an eye at other recipes.

    I want to make this for a get together this weekend but I’m a bit unsure about the yeast. Are you using the 1/4 oz active dry yeast packets?

    Much love from China!

    Yes. ~Elise

  • Becky

    Live and learn. I made panzanella out of the leftover wrapped-too-tightly bread. Yummy!

  • Becky

    Ugh–I ruined it. Tasted OUT OF THIS WORLD when it came out of the oven. I let it cool completely and then wrapped it tightly, one for me and one for a friend. It still tasted good this morning but the crust has lost its crispy integrity and the salt… did something? Please share – how does one store focaccia, even for a day?

    Not sure about the salt, but the crust definitely will soften overnight if you wrap the bread tightly. I always just put bread in a paper bag to store for a day or so: sure, it will get stale faster, but the crust stays crunchy. ~Hank

  • Becky


    I’m just about to put this in the oven, and so far I’ve enjoyed great success with one of my first forays into yeast bread. Everything has gone swimmingly (dough rose beautifully–of course, it hit 90 today and I haven’t turned the A/C on yet!!!). One question–if I am baking the bread in the pan, is the pizza stone necessary? The wording on that part is a little confusing, but I can’t figure out a reason that one would need it. Thanks.

    The pizza stone is entirely optional. If you have one, putting one in the oven for this recipe will help create an even temperature in the oven, whether you put the bread on the stone or not. ~Elise

  • Abby

    Great recipe! This was a huge hit with my family. Kneading the rosemary into the bread makes a huge difference. I tried a different recipe that only added the rosemary mixed in with the olive oil and it didn’t have nearly the flavor.

    The only suggestion I would have is to start with a pre-ferment. Basically, knead water, pinch of yeast (can use instant) and some flour into a loose ball. Cover and sit 1 hour at room temp. Put in the fridge for up to 2 days. Bring to room temp, knead in the rest of the ingredients and follow the recipe.It adds more time, but makes for an incredible texture (though by no means does this recipe NEED improvement). Thanks, Elise!

  • Sarah

    I made this today and man alive is it good! I added some fresh basil as well as rosemary, but not much, and it tastes great! The texture of this bread is my favorite part. Soft on the inside and crusty on the outside…perfect! It’s really good with freshly chopped garlic and olive oil slathered on a nice thick slice. The recipe was simple and easy to follow and I had no troubles or issues at all. I used my Pyrex casserole dish and my Pyrex pie dish to make the loaves but next time I think I’ll do free form on the oven stone instead of the casserole dish just because I like the circular shape better. Thanks for another keeper!

  • Grandpa John

    My question is, Can the dough be frozen and if so, at what stage. Thanks.

    I haven’t tried freezing the dough, but I’m guessing that you can, and the best stage to do that would be after kneading in step 3. ~Elise

  • Sarah

    I know you say in the recipe not to use dried herbs….just wondering why.

    Dried rosemary will cook up too dry and stick-like. So it’s better to use fresh if you have it. ~Elise

  • ruen

    I’ve made a few sourdoughs before but never focaccia–when I saw this recipe, I just knew I had to try it out, and immediately! I thought we had some fresh basil laying around, but I couldn’t find anyway so I went with green onions instead. The result was nothing short of fantastic; I just had 2 little slices and I’m itching to break off another hunk to chew on. Pretty sure my dad and I will finish off the loaf tonight; it’s a good thing I thought ahead and only baked half of the dough else I’ll be needing to tack on another hour to my run. Thanks for sharing this recipe with us!

  • Sarah

    I made this yesterday and it was fantastic. I especially loved the texture of the bottom crust, and also that it wasn’t too oily like a lot of focaccia breads you find in restaurants and grocery stores. The recipe made two giant loaves; froze one and devoured the other. Will definitely make this again, for eating plain, making sandwiches, and for pizza crust. Thanks so much!

    • Claudia

      Hi! Just wondering how the frozen loaf turned out; did you reheat in the oven? Was it just as good? My dough is rising now, but I had planned to freeze the big loaf for a big dinner in three days.

  • PiquantMolly

    Made this today! Delicious — crispy outside, soft and chewy inside. Like Cheryl above, my bread was not the lovely light brown color yours was after 25 minutes — I had to leave mine in the oven an extra 7 minutes before it got to that color. It did the trick, however, and turned out great.

  • Cheryl

    Hi Elise,
    Just wanted to say I tried making your focaccia bread, and it was delicious. I thought the rosemary flavor was absolutely spot on. Mine didn’t come out the beautiful color yours did (you can see pictures on my link), but I’m sure I’ll be making this bread many, many times in the future. Thanks for a keeper.

    Great, so glad you liked it! ~Elise

  • Sheila

    Followed the recipe exactly – easy, easy. The results are fantastic and elevated a simple BLT into something wonderful (split the bread and toasted). Now, let’s see . . . for the rest of it . . . quick pizza . . . salad croutons . . . thanks much!

  • dan

    Hi. Here’s one small tip to this foccacia thing: if you mix the olive oil with a little water before spreading it on the dough, the water will settle in the bottom of the dimples and they will remain whiter. It makes the foccacia look nicer.

  • Zipi

    How many grams of dry yeast is in one package?
    Here we buy dry yeast in half a kilo packages.

    Great question. 21 grams. ~Elise

  • Liza (Jersey Cook)

    I am so excited to get started on this! Do you think it’ll work with fresh basil? Or will the heat kill the flavor?

    Great question. I think I would serve it with freshly sliced basil sprinkled on top. If you do try cooking with it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • agnespterry

    I LOVE Focaccia bread. My recipe is slightly different (I have it memorized by now) but it’s an old family recipe from my father’s side of the family–who are Italian– that we use also for pizza crusts and calzone. With the pizza recipe, you can skip the extra rising if you like and have a pizza ready to eat in about 30-40 minutes after you roll it out and slap on some ingredients. It’s thinner, but no less delicious.

    Our recipe: 1 c. water, 1 packet yeast, 1 T oil/butter, 2 c. flour, 1 t sugar, 1 t salt. Mix everything together. Let rise 30 minutes (or skip, if you are in a hurry) put on toppings, and bake for 350 for 20 minutes.

    One bowl cleanup if you do it right, and you can roll out the dough on a sturdy flat pan instead of the counter to save on cleanup too.

  • sylviane santi

    I have my dough in the Bread machine and looks pretty good, my recipe is similar.
    We usually put rosemary on top and coarse salt.
    We love it cut in half with real Italian Mortadella (bologna) try it.