Looking for a delicious bread to serve with lunch or dinner? This Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread is a salty, savory, soft bread perfect for accompanying any meal!
While everyone was trying their hand at sourdough starters this year, I was baking pretty much everything else.
At the top of my list: focaccia bread.
I LOVE focaccia bread! But I don't make it at home nearly as much as I want to. My waistline is probably okay with that decision.
After a few tries, I'm ready to share my recipe with all of you.
What is focaccia?
Focaccia is an Italian flatbread that is baked. Some people say it has the texture of pizza dough, but I disagree.
I find the best focaccia to be soft, almost squishy when you pick up a piece, like a delicate light sponge. To me, focaccia should not be too thick or crusty like pizza dough; it should be light and soft enough to soak up the delicious olive oil and flavorings.
How to make focaccia
This beautiful bread has a few steps and some wait time, but trust me: it is well worth the wait!
You start by sauteeing the garlic and herbs. This allows the flavors to really infuse into the olive oil. Let this mixture cool until it is about room temperature. You'll be using parts of it in three different steps of this recipe.
Then you create the yeast mixture by combining the water, honey, and yeast. This mixture also needs to sit and rest for about 5 minutes.
Next, you're going to add some of the flour and some of the garlic rosemary olive oil to the yeast mixture. Stir until it's combined and the flour is incorporated. Then let this rest.
I know: there's a lot of resting. But trust me: each of these components needs to rest in order for the focaccia to come out the way it should.
Next, you'll stir in the remaining flour and the salt. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead about 10-15 times. Form a ball and place it into a greased bowl to rise for about an hour.
Bake the bread in a pre-heated 425°F oven for 10-20 minutes. You want the bread to be *just* golden brown, so as not to be too dense on the inside and too crispy on the bottom.
Exact measurements of ingredients and instructions are in the printable recipe card toward the bottom of this post. Here are some helpful tips to guide you as you make this recipe.
Important baking tips
While this is an easy recipe, but it does require some patience. It's not a recipe that you can easily cut corners and have turn out the same.
Like all baking, your results may also vary depending on the temperature and humidity in your kitchen. If you are baking this on a cold day in January versus a warm day in July, you may need to adjust the amount of liquid in your dough. Try reducing the amount of liquid by about 10%.
You can read all about the specifics of winter versus summer baking in this great baking tips article.
How to serve focaccia bread
My favorite way to enjoy this bread is to simply dip it into a bowl of olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar.
Some people enjoy using focaccia bread as sandwich bread. Here are three delicious-looking sandwiches using focaccia bread:
You can also toast or char this bread and use it in steak salad.
What to serve with focaccia
If you're making this bread to go with dinner, here are some dishes that would go well with this bread:
- Rigatoni with Italian Sausage
- Instant Pot Potato Corn Chowder
- Easy Instant Pot Short Ribs
- Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- Butternut Squash Ravioli with Crispy Sage
How long will focaccia stay fresh?
Focaccia will stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days. Reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
You can freeze focaccia bread. To freeze, simply slice the bread, wrap each piece in plastic, then store in an airtight freezer-safe container for up to one month. Before serving, allow to thaw at room temperature and then reheat in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes.
Some easy dinner recipes to go with this bread
- Lemon Garlic Shrimp Pasta
- The Ultimate Creamy Dairy-Free Mac and Cheese
- Instant Pot Tuscan Chicken Pasta (Dairy-Free)
- Tri-Pepper Turkey Pasta
- 30-Minute Instant Pot Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- Easy, Hearty Italian Sausage Pasta
Garlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more to lightly oil the proofing bowl
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (or ½ (tablespoon dried rosemary)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or ½ tablespoon dried thyme leaves)
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup warm water
- ½ teaspoon honey
- 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
- 2½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Prepare a lightly floured surface, such as a heat resistant countertop, rolpat, or large board. Set aside.
- Then lightly oil the inside of a large glass bowl, and set aside.
- In a medium skillet over low heat, sauté the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and black pepper for 2-3 minutes. Stir constantly, ensuring the garlic does not burn. Turn off heat and set aside. You will be using parts of this garlic rosemary olive oil mixture in three separate parts of the baking process.
- In a large bowl, stir together the warm water, honey, and yeast until just combined. Set aside and let sit for 5 minutes. At the end of five minutes, add 1 cup of the flour and ¼ cup of the garlic rosemary olive oil mixture to this bowl. Stir a few times until the flour is incorporated into the mixture, then allow this to sit for another five minutes.
- Stir in the remaining 1½ cups of flour and the salt. As dough comes together, knead 10-15 times on the lightly floured surface you prepared in the beginning. Transfer to the lightly oiled large bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm area of your kitchen for one hour.
- Toward the end of the hour, when the dough has risen, preheat oven to 425°F.
- Use 2 tablespoons of the garlic rosemary olive oil mixture to grease the bottom of a 9" x 13" rimmed baking pan. Press the dough into the pan, and spread out to fit the whole pan. Then use your fingers or knuckles to create dimples throughout the dough. Spoon or brush the remaining garlic rosemary olive oil mixture evenly over the top of the dough. Let the dough sit for about 20 minutes until it rises and puffs up a bit.
- Bake at 425°F for 10-20 minutes, just until golden brown. Allow to cool on a baking rack for a few minutes before serving.
Nutrition information is a general estimate. Actual nutrition details may vary depending on the exact foods & brands you use to make this recipe. It does not take into account any substitutions, toppings, or optional ingredients.