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.
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
In 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.
In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
Add 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.
Stir 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.
Transfer 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).
After 1 hour, heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use 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).
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 until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.