Easy Focaccia Bread Recipes
Focaccia Bread is one of the easiest to make and packs quite a punch in the flavor department. So many options for different flavors. It is a must for your kitchen recipe book.
I don’t know what it is about the taste of olive oil, salt, herbs and crusty bread that is so dang amazing, but this Focaccia bread delivers them all. It reminds me of the pizza I had as a teenager. There was a pizza joint called Godfather’s pizza around the corner from my high school. My friends and I would go there almost every day after school and have pizza, skateboard outside, talk, and be goofy. All of their pizzas were deep dish, crumbly, crusty, olive-oily, salty goodness. As I grew older and learned about food, the history of food, cooking, etc., it all began to make sense. Focaccia bread was the original pizza crust. I really do not like pizza crust any other way, to be honest.
ANYWHO, guess what y’all ….. to make this focaccia bread even more tempting and festive, I’ve cut it into little hearts for your valentine! Fun, right?! Super fun…
The first thing you’ll probably want to do is bloom your yeast. This takes about 15 minutes. You will not want to preheat your oven, though, this focaccia bread has two rising stages and that would just be a waste of energy on your oven. Add one packet of active dry yeast to the warm water and set aside in a warm place to bloom. One lesson to be learned from this photo is, don’t bang your spoon against a ceramic, hand painted, bowl, lol. I learned that the hard way as evidenced below.
While your yeast is blooming, get your stand mixer attached with the dough hook and measure your flour, kosher salt, Italian herbs, and olive oil and get those ready to go.
Once the yeast has bloomed, add in your flour, water, kosher salt, herbs, and yeast. Start with your mixer on low speed as to not have the flour “poof” happen. You can increase the speed once the flour starts to absorb the liquid for your focaccia bread dough.
As you are mixing your bread dough, you’ll want to pay attention to the bottom of your mixing bowl. If it seems that bits of dry ingredients are not being combined with the rest of the dough on the hook, you’ll want to add a small amount of water; 1/2 teaspoon at a time. If for some reason your mixture seems a bit “slushy”; having too much liquid, you’ll want to add a bit more flour; 1 teaspoon at a time.
The main reason measurements of dry and wet ingredients in baking are finicky, are due to climate conditions. Depending on the humidity in your location these measurements will always vary. Sometimes, you’ll actually get lucky and they work spot on! Knowing how to adjust for certain conditions is very helpful when you’re elbow deep in flour mountain.
Now, remove your dough from the hook and place it on a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times. I usually do this anywhere from 4 to 5 times. You will totally be tempted (okay, well I always am) to keep kneading because, hey, playing with dough is fun! Try to contain yourself and don’t overwork the gluten. Using your hands, form the focaccia bread dough mass into a ball, tucking the edges underneath.
Once you have a nice ball of dough that you are satisfied with, coat the inside of a glass or stainless steel bowl (even your mixer bowl will work, as long as you don’t need it for an hour) with a generous amount of olive oil; about a 1/2 cup. Place your dough in the bowl, turning over to coat with the olive oil.
Make sure the olive oil is coating the bowl to the rim because this baby is going to rise like magic. It’s actually quite beautiful and lovely. Cover your bowl tightly with cling wrap and place in a warm place for 1 hour. I don’t know why, but, I also lay a clean dish towel over the bowl as well. Like, tucking it into bed nice and safe and warm. Cooky? I don’t know but that’s what I do. lol
Once the hour has passed and the magic has happened, you’ll want to prepare your sheet pan. Using approximately a 1/2 cup of olive oil (or more), coat your sheet pan making sure to get the olive oil into all the nooks and crannies. Transfer your newly risen dough to your sheet pan; pressing and stretching the dough until it covers the entire area. Once it has the shape that you’re happy with, flip the dough over to make sure both sides are sufficiently covered in olive oil.
See all of those gorgeous little dimples? There are several ways you can make this happen, and trust me, you want to. You can use your finger to poke holes all throughout the dough, use the back of a wooden spoon, or take your whole hand and splay it out, using all your fingers to make the impressions. You’ll want to go all the way through the focaccia bread dough down to the sheet pan while you do this. Once you are happy with your dough, cover again and set in a warm place to rise. About an hour.
Now, I have let this dough sit for almost an hour and a half and it was still perfect. You want it to have approximately doubled in size. About a half an hour prior to baking, heat your oven to 425 degrees. To obtain this beautiful crust you most definitely want your oven completely heated before baking.
Right before placing in the oven, drizzle a bit more olive oil on top and sprinkle with kosher salt or sea salt. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
What shall we do with this beautiful, delicious bread now?!? Well, for this particular go around, I have used a 2″ heart shaped cookie cutter and made hearts for Valentine’s Day. To do this, you’ll want to let the bread cool slightly, then begin cutting your hearts. With a 2″ cutter I was able to get 10 hearts out of one sheet.
But, what about all the leftover focaccia bread bits? Don’t worry friends, I got you. I have one word for those leftover bits; croutons. Oh my! Cut into cubes, making sure to taste test those oddly shaped ones along the way, let dry slightly to form a crust and put them in your salad. You could also toast again in the oven for a few minutes to dry out each cube and give it more of a crunch.
Make a stuffing, a Panzanella salad, a Pizza (my favorite) or make crostini with bruschetta. Do you see how versatile focaccia bread is? It’s amazing and I love it!
You do not necessarily have to make it with Italian herbs. There are many add-ins that you can use when making focaccia bread and have them suit your main dish.
Let me know what you made you guys. I absolutely LOVE seeing your creations!
Live, Love, Eat!
I originally made this to pair with our Spinach and Mushroom Ravioli in Champagne Cream Sauce however it will go beautifully with any recipe! It’s just delicious.
Easy Focaccia Bread Recipes
- 5-1/4 to 5- 1/2 all purpose flour - I use <a href="http://King Arthur 100% Organic All Purpose Flour 32 oz" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">King Arthur
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons Italian herb seasoning
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1-3/4 cups warm water
- 1-1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil - I use Delallo
- Add yeast package to warm water and let bloom for 15 minutes
- While yeast is blooming, measure your flour, salt, olive oil and herb seasoning
- In a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, add 5 cups of flour, followed by kosher salt, Italian seasoning, 1/2 cup olive oil, and yeast mixture.
- Let dough come together while watching for the mixture to be too dry/wet and adjust accordingly.
- Once all of the dough is incorporated from the bottom of the mixer bowl, let your mixer run for another 7 minutes. Your dough will become a little shiny and somewhat elastic.
- Remove dough from mixer and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead dough no more than 6 times then using your hands, form into a ball.
- Coat the inside of a large mixing bowl with 1/2 cup of olive oil. Transfer your dough to the bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, prepare a sheet pan with 1/2 cup olive oil and transfer your dough to the sheet pan. Stretch the dough to fit the sheet pan. Once the bread dough is fitted to the pan, begin making holes in the dough. Turn the dough over and coat the other side with olive oil. Cover and put in a warm place until the size has just about doubled.
- A half hour before you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- When you are ready to put the bread in the oven, drizzle with remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and top with kosher salt or sea salt.
- Bake until golden brown. 25 - 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and do something fun! Or, just devour the whole pan. I usually want to do that, but alas, resist. 🙂