You’ll love this foolproof recipe for soft and chewy focaccia bread, loaded with freshly chopped rosemary and lots of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Use this bread for sandwiches or just dip it in some balsamic vinegar for the perfect appetizer.
There’s something amazing about watching dough rise and smelling the yeast, then finally ending up with a delicious loaf at the end of a long process. If you’re new to bread making, focaccia bread is an easy bread to start experimenting with. It’s got a one of a kind chewy texture and is saturated with olive oil. Cut it into thick slices and make yourself the most awesome grilled cheese sandwich or panini, or just dip it into more olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Either way, you’ll love this delicious bread!
What is rosemary focaccia bread?
Originating in Italy, focaccia bread is a flat yeasted bread that‘s baked in the oven at a fairly high temperature. It’s traditionally topped with fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme, but you can go crazy with toppings like caramelized onions or even a sweet tart cranberry combo.
What ingredients are best for this dough?
Use a good quality extra virgin olive oil because the flavor comes right through the dough.
Fresh rosemary works really well, but thyme or grated Parmesan are also great add-ins. I like to sprinkle a flaky sea salt like Maldon on top.
Why dimple the dough?
It’s thought that the dimples in the dough help to give it an even rise. I personally love how the olive oil pools in all the dimples and enhances the flavor.
To dimple the dough, press the tips of your fingers into the dough until they touch almost to the bottom of the pan. Do this on the surface, but be careful not to rip holes in the dough.
Does my focaccia bread need a special yeast?
I use Red Star Yeast, and you’ll be amazed at how simple it can make baking. With three choices to choose from, there’s always a yeast to fit your time schedule. Because I wasn’t really in a rush to bake this focaccia bread, I used the Red Star’s Platinum yeast which gives fantastic texture and taste..
What type of pan to use?
This recipe calls for a 18×13 inch baking pan with a 1 inch lip. You can line the pan with parchment so the dough doesn’t stick. Rosemary Focaccia bakes up beautifully in a well-oiled cast iron skillet too.
Can focaccia dough be made ahead of time?
Yes. You can make the dough and leave it to rise slowly in the fridge overnight (24 hours). Cover it with plastic wrap and bring it to room temperature before shaping and baking the dough. The longer you let the dough relax the better the bread will taste.
How do you cut focaccia bread?
I use a serrated bread knife and cut it in long strips or wedges which are perfect for dunking in olive oil. For sandwiches, I slice it right down the middle—focaccia doesn’t have a thick crust, so it’s easy to slice.
This rosemary bread is delicious on its own, but it’s beyond epic if you dip it in a good quality olive oil. Because it’s thick, it works perfectly for slicing in half and using as sandwich bread.
STORING AND FREEZING
I store focaccia right on the counter in a resealable container, although a Ziplock bag works well too. It will last for about 4-5 days at room temperature.
To freeze, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and seal it in a Ziplock bag. It’s good in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it on the counter to room temperature before serving. It can also be warmed up in the oven or heated up in a sauté pan. Brush the tops and bottoms of the bread lightly with olive oil, then heat until golden.
Enjoy this airy and flavorful focaccia bread, perfect as an appetizer or in place of regular bread on sandwiches and panini.
Important recipe notes!
This recipe has been tweaked from the original that was posted in 2015. This is a much simpler recipe and comes slightly adapted from Baking with Julia with much better results.
Making focaccia takes time and rushing it will not yield the best results. By letting the dough rest overnight it will be more likely to be chewier and more like a traditional focaccia loaf. If you can’t wait until the next day to continue to make the bread, follow the instructions up until the second rise and then instead of placing the dough into the fridge, place it back into the bowl, cover and let it rise for another hour and a half (third rise) then follow the instructions from that point on.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- 2 ½ cups lukewarm water divided
- 1 ½ tbsp active dry yeast 2 envelopes
- ¾ cup olive oil divided plus 2 tbsp
- 6 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 4 tsp salt
- ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
- Flaky Sea Salt for garnishing
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook combine 1/2 cup of the water and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- In another bowl combine the remaining water with 6 tbsp of the olive oil and whisk together.
- Combine the flour and salt in another bowl.
- Add the water/oil mixture to the yeast and whisk together.
- Add half of the flour and mix on low with the dough hook.
- Add the remaining flour and mix on low speed for 5 minutes then increase the speed to medium for another 10 minutes.
- Dust your work surface with some flour and dump the dough onto it.
- Gently knead the dough into a ball shape.
- Wipe the inside of a large bowl with a splash of olive oil and set the dough ball into the bowl.
- Cover with a towel and let rise for about one hour (first rise)
- Punch the dough down to release the air and then knead it into another ball shape placing it back into the bowl for another hour to hour and a half. (second rise)
- Repeat the process knocking out the air and forming back into a ball.
- Place the dough ball back into the bowl and cover tightly.
- Place the bowl with the covered dough into the fridge and let it sit overnight.
- Next day bring the dough to room temperature for about 30 minutes.
- Line an 18x13x1 inch deep baking sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle the same size as the baking pan (18×13)
- Place the dough onto the prepared pan stretching it to the edges if needed.
- Cover and let rise for about one hour or until the dough has risen slightly to the level of the pan.
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
- Brush the surface of the dough generously with the remaining olive oil.
- Using your fingers, gently make the dimples by pressing your fingertips into the dough a few times.
- Sprinkle the chopped rosemary over the surface followed by the flaky sea salt.
- Place the pan into the oven and bake for about 20-23 minutes and the surface is a deep golden color.
I think it would be seriously dangerous for me to make and have this in the house!
My husband claims the best gift I ever gave him was a cast iron skillet. I have never thought about making bread in it. Love the idea!
Oh.my.word. That looks amazing!!!! give me some evoo and basalmic and I’ll be in a carb coma in no time. :) Thanks for sharing this recipe. I can’t wait to try it!
the balsamic would be awesome Maria :)
Oh your focaccia looks beautiful! I usually make a soft version- but next time I definitely am trying out the cast iron method. And I agree, you can never have too much olive oil in focaccia, dipping is my favorite part :)
Yes to the oil Sherri!!
I was just telling my husband that I need a cast iron skillet! I don’t know how I’ve survived this long without one. This is one gorgeous loaf of bread!
Hubby has to step up Kristine :)
Cast iron skillets are a MUST in our kitchen!
There is nothing better than homemade bread! I adore my cast iron skillets and yes, you can make any thing in them! Your bread is so lovely and fluffy!
i totally agree Lora :)
I’ve never made bread in a cast iron skillet, but this makes me want to immediately. What beautiful focaccia.
I love my cast iron skillets Sarah :)
What gorgeous looking loaves! I love making focaccia but have never made it in a cast iron skillet. It’s time to change that! LOVE the pictures, by the way. :)
Thanks Erin ;)
Focaccia bread looks absolutely delicious and easy to make! Thank you for sharing the recipe, I can’t wait to try this and have it with some olive oil.
Thanks Mary Frances!
hey! This looks wonderful! How would you change this recipe to cook it in a 11- inch skillet? I just inherited one:)
Hi Eva, it shouldn’t make a huge difference, I would just go with the recipe and don’t half the dough.
hi, what is the difference in wheat flour and all purpose flour? I assume you don’t mean whole wheat
Hi Catherine, that’s correct not whole wheat, you could go with all purpose for all of it but I think the texture is better with a mix.
Ah! Don’t let soap touch your cast iron or you have to completely re-season it!!! http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-clean-a-cast-iron-skillet-cleaning-lessons-from-the-kitchn-107747
This recipe looks awesome. I think my daughter and I will be having a treat while daddy’s away this weekend! A great chance to use the last of my fresh rosemary before the frost kills it.
My grandmother has been using soap on hers for years, just dont scrub off the layer of grease baked into the pan and youre fine. :)
Exactly how many teaspoons/grams are in one envelope of that yeast? Living in a country where specific brands are hard to find, even in import stores, and have to use any old dry yeast I can find at the supermarket.
Rachel, each packet/envelope has 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast in it. Hope this helps :)
This looks amazing but I don’t have a cast iron skillet I do have a Dutch oven could I make it in that or any other kind of dish?
Hi Sara, a dutch oven would work for sure, thanks!
I too wondered about the whole wheat, unfortunately did read all comments before I started. So what is wheat flour, the only wheat flour I could find when googling it is whole wheat or white whole wheat? Looks good and was excited until I realized the flour was a problem :(
What if we dont have acces to a stand mixer, and that particular brand of yeast? Are there no other alternatives?
You could knead the dough by hand if no mixer Shane. This is my favorite chosen brand to use but check your baking aisle for others if they don’t have this one.
Can this be made in one large, cast iron skillet?
Yes, just adjust the baking time, it’ll take a little longer
I’m sorry….maybe I missed the answer. What is wheat flour? It’s not whole wheat flour? Maybe a brand will help me know what to buy. Thank you! Can’t wait to try the recipe!
Sorry Terry, all-purpose flour is fine for this!
My bread baking husband tried this but, unfortunately, it didn’t turn out. Very dry with an odd taste from the combination of whole wheat flour and rosemary. It sounded sensational in concept but was truly awful. We ate one piece and threw the rest away. Disappointing but part of baking, I guess!
I just made it as well and it’s very dry. I think there is a discrepancy with the flour measurements and how the recipe is written. Getting ready to bake it but thinking it’s not going to turn out
Just tried this as well. Even just watching to dough in the mixer I knew this wasn’t going to turn out well.
The same happened to me as well. Didn’t like the wheat flour for the focaccia. It even came out brown in color. It was also dry.
Wheat flour needs 1/4 tbs of water dough should be soft and a little bit sticky … firstname.lastname@example.org
Your description and photos have taken away any will power I thought I had –
Oops sorry Kelley ;)
How interesting; I’d always heard NOT to use soap when cleaning a cast iron skillet.
But this bread, though! Very swoon-inducing. Haven’t tried making bread in my skillet, but will be using your recipe to do so!
wow your focaccia looking so deliicous! Pinned! I will try ;) xx
you are the first person I have heard of to wash a cast iron skillet with soap never never, never use soap and
water or steel wool either. you just wash it with hot water then wipe with a little oil and put it away until next time.
the bread looks very good and I am going to try it.
Can this bread be made with all white flour ?
Yes, it should be okay
Oh my FOODNESS! This was delicious. Will definitely be linking my readers to this page!
Gerry- I don’t own an electric mixer! Us, unmarried single gals have to get through the kitchen with whatever our mothers have passed down or whatever is cheap at the local goodwill. As this is my first bread making experience, will I ruin this bread if I knead the dough on my own? Would you recommend kneading the bread in a bowl?
-Thanks for any help you can offer
Hi Brenna, you can totally knead the bread by hand. Just take your time as it might take a little longer than a mixer would.
While this looks super yummy, all I have is a ginormous bag of yeast (which I use all the time) so a “packet” of some brand is a nasty tease. Click bit worthy. So sorry.
I tried this recipe, but the dough doesn’t seem to be rising. I didn’t let the yeast and warm water sit very long, could that have been the problem? And I haven’t put it in the oven yet, is this too late to fix?
lo hice y me quedo perfecto muchas gracias muy buena receta
Was just browsing for dutch oven focaccia recipes and stumbled across this one- looks incredible! Definitely pinning this to make later!
Hi, got everything to make this recipe right now … but no cast iron skillet . I’m going to have to use a regular boring pan .. any suggestions on how to make it work?? Thanks
You could or a baking tray would also work I think, thanks Maya!
Hi owned to know how much yeast to use? In terms of grams of teaspoon measurement
This particular brand is not available in my country
Hi Umehani, this is from the Red Star Yeast website, so one envelope s equal to 7grams. Hope this helps!
“One 1/4 -ounce (7g) packet of active dry yeast contains approximately 2-1/4 teaspoons; the measurement will not be exact as yeast is packaged according to weight rather than volume. One 1/4-ounce (7g) packet of yeast is sufficient to raise 4 cups, approximately 1-pound, of flour”.
The directions indicate an extra 1/2 cup of flour compared to the ingredients list. I think the list is accurate because my dough was way too dry after I unfortunately followed the directions without looking back at the original measurements. Disappointed but want to try again with the correct amount. Hopefully you can update the recipe so others don’t make the same mistake.
Thanks for the feedback Melissa, I’ll definitely be looking at this recipe again because I know it’s soooo good and want to make sure everyone is 100% happy!
If I want to use one 12 inch skillet would I use the same baking time?
Approx Jessica. it may be a little longer
Are you supposed to let the yeast and water sit or something before adding the flour? I didn’t do that, but followed the recipe exactly and the dough seemed dry after I added the last of the flour and it didn’t rise when I put it in the skillet before baking.
When you say wheat flour what type of flour do you mean? I made it it with whole wheat and all purpose flour the dough was a bit dry so I added water but I’m afraid not enough because the focaccia was on the drier side.
Making this right now! Just waiting on the last rise so I can pop it in the oven! Looks delicious and like the perfect dough. I am great at baking cakes and such, but always seem to mess up bread. Fingers crossed this cooks as well as it has done so far! I used 3 cups of all purpose flour, and it doesn’t seem dry at all, it looks like the perfect amount.
Im sure the scent and taste of this focaccia is just wow! Ill want to eat this with my low carb veggies.
Amazing recipe. I will definitely give it a go!
Do I put parchment paper in the bottom of my cast iron skillet or just put the dough directly in the skillet for baking?
No parchment paper needed Tanis!
Is it a typo that it says 2 tablespoons of yeast? Seems that that’s more than two packets of yeast.
Hi Kenzie, that is a typo which I fixed. Two packets is actually 1.5 tbsp of yeast. Thanks for catching it :)
Hello, I Just finished kneading it for the firts rise, but the dough was súper sticky, is that normal?
Hi Kristel, yes it’s sticky but should still be able to hold together, try adding a little extra flour for easier handling.
I made this for Thanksgiving this year and it even outshone the turkey!!
My family loved it and cooking it in the cast-iron pan was perfection!
Thank you this recipe is a keeper!
I’m new to bread making. I’m trying this recipe next, sounds delicious. One question. You say to punch the dough down and knead into a ball. How long do I knead or am I in fact just forming a ball ?
Hey Becky, you should knead it for 2-3 minutes and finish with a nice ball shape.
This focaccia looks beyond gorgeous! Love the color of the crust :)
Are the directions any different if using a cast-iron skillet? I’m wondering mostly what size skillet you use, and if the baking time is the same. Thank you! I’m so excited to try it!
The bake the might be a little longer as the bread will be much thicker due to less space in the pan Samantha. Let me know how it goes :)
Hi, Gerry! I came back to report that the bread was delicious. I love how easy it was, and I received so many compliments from my friends! I ended up using a 12-inch skillet (which fit perfectly). However, I followed all the same instructions as for the pan. The bread was BEAUTIFUL 25-30 minutes in, but it was still doughy in the middle. I think next time, I will decrease the temperature and make a longer bake time! Thank you for the recipe!
Is it possible to freeze the dough, bake afterwards and eat ‘fresh’?
I’ve never tried that Maarten, I don’t think it would create the same texture but you never know
Whitewheat needs 1/4 Tbs of water dough will be sticky
Can’t wait to make this! Any chance we can get the flour by weight? With over 6 cups in afraid of using too much.
Hi Angel, it looks like it’s 1.92 pounds
Do I need a stand mixer. I don’t have one.
You could mix by hand but its hard work and will take much longer to work the dough
I must be missing something here. The picture shows the focaccia in a cast iron skillet but the recipe only references a sheet pan for baking. Several comments also refer to a cast iron skillet but that doesn’t comport with the recipe provided.