Learn how to make the ultimate focaccia bread with the perfect combination of a crisp exterior and a soft, chewy interior. This straightforward garlic focaccia recipe is suitable for novice and experienced bread bakers alike.
Watch the Recipe
Related: If you’re out of yeast, try making our soft and fluffy no yeast flatbread
Focaccia Bread, Our Favorite Yeast Bread to Make at Home
Focaccia is our favorite yeast bread to make at home. It has a crisp outside and soft inside, and is perfect to serve with dinner, soups, stews, or even sliced in half and used for sandwiches. Thanks to the ingredients, it’s also naturally vegan. This focaccia bread recipe is very simple to make – no fancy equipment is needed at all.
Focaccia Ingredients, Explained
Extra-virgin olive oil is what makes focaccia taste so unbelievably delicious. It adds to the texture as well as the flavor of the bread. I truly believe that the secret to the best focaccia bread is using a great-tasting olive oil. You don’t need to spend lots of money, just use the olive oil you enjoy. We have Partanna Extra Virgin Olive Oil in our kitchen and love it.
Fresh garlic and herbs are essential for perfect garlic focaccia. I use two cloves of garlic, but for a really garlicky bread, you can increase that. For the herbs, use what you love and have available to you. I love rosemary focaccia, so I always use fresh rosemary. In the photos below, I’ve also added some fresh thyme. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, we have shared dried substitutes in the recipe below.
Yeast, warm water, and sugar help the bread rise and give it structure. The warmth of the water and the sugar wake up the yeast. Use honey, maple syrup, or sugar. We also use yeast to make our favorite homemade pizza dough (the best).
All-purpose flour is perfect for making focaccia bread. You can use bread flour, but the bread will be a bit chewier.
Salt and pepper make the bread taste amazing. Just like when we season soups and sauces, it’s important to season bread dough.
Making Focaccia Bread From Scratch
As I mentioned above, focaccia bread is one of our favorite yeast breads to make at home. It’s perfect for beginner bread bakers. Our easy recipe makes delicious fresh bread in no time and requires very little from you. Here are the basic steps with photos for making it. (The detailed focaccia recipe is below.)
Infuse olive oil with garlic and fresh herbs. This simple step makes the bread unbelievably delicious. Then, mix yeast with warm water and honey. This wakes up the yeast so that it is ready to help the dough rise.
Add the flour, salt, and some of that garlic herb oil to the yeast mixture, and then knead the dough 10 to 15 times (no more kneading is necessary).
Let the focaccia dough rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour). Then, add it to a small sheet pan or baking dish and add dimples to the top of the dough and top with the remaining garlic herb oil. Finally, let the bread rise for another 20 minutes, and then bake until golden brown.
One of the best things about this focaccia bread recipe is that it’s completely versatile. In our case, we like to infuse olive oil with herbs and garlic.
If you prefer, you can leave the garlic and herbs out and use plain olive oil, it will still be delicious. Or add even more flavor to the dough before baking with sliced olives, halved cherry tomatoes, or sun-dried tomatoes. Adding bits of roasted garlic over the bread would also be amazing! You can even treat the baked
Since posting this recipe, many of you have asked if it is possible to proof the focaccia dough overnight. You can! Here’s what we recommend: Instead of proofing the dough at room temperature for one hour, place the dough into a resealable zipper bag and refrigerate it overnight. You can also freeze it for future use.
The next day, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it warm up for 20 to 30 minutes before preheating the oven. Place the remaining garlic olive oil mixture into a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet.
Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the garlic olive oil mixture. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly. Bake as directed. (If you froze the dough, leave it at room temperature for several hours first, or defrost overnight in the refrigerator, and then follow the instructions above.)
Refrigerate or freeze leftover focaccia. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days and in the freezer for about a month. Day old bread can be toasted and used as croutons for a salad – You could always throw them on top of our Easy Caesar Salad. Another option is to cut into cubes and use in a bread pudding or strata.
What to Serve with Focaccia
- We love serving focaccia next to a bowl of these Tender Turkey Meatballs. The sauce is made from scratch, light, and is very simple to make.
- For more garlicky goodness, dip slices of focaccia into our Ridiculously Easy Olive Oil Dip.
- I love dipping focaccia into soups, try our Creamy Vegetable Soup or our Three-Ingredient Tomato Soup.
Easy Rosemary Garlic Focaccia Bread
Our focaccia bread recipe is very simple to make – no fancy equipment is needed at all. The secret to the best focaccia is a great tasting olive oil. Since there is quite a bit used, the bread really takes on the flavor. You don’t need to spend lots of money, just use olive oil you love.
For the herbs, we love a combination of thyme and rosemary, but you could use whatever herbs you love – fresh or dried. Or, omit the garlic and herbs all together and use plain olive oil instead. A note on pan size: In this recipe, we call for a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet. If you do not have this, you can use a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking dish with taller sides.
Watch Us Make the Recipe
You Will Need
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup (235 ml) warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
2 1/2 cups (325 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- Make Dough
1In a cold medium skillet, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside and allow to cool.
2In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
3Add 1 cup of flour and a 1/4 cup of infused garlic-olive oil mixture to the bowl with yeast and honey. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
4Stir in the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour and salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth.
5Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour. (It’s best to let the dough rise in a warmer area of your kitchen).
- Bake Bread
1After 1 hour, heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
2Use two tablespoons of the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture to oil a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet. (See above if you do not have this pan size).
3Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the garlic olive oil mixture. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly.
4Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Substitute Instant Yeast: Use 1 ¾ teaspoons of instant yeast in this recipe.
- Refrigerate or freeze leftover focaccia. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil. Keep in the refrigerator up to 2 days and in the freezer for about a month.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.
Recipe updated, originally posted January 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear. – Adam and Joanne