This crowd pleasing recipe makes a fluffy, airy and flavourful bread, topped with a generous basting of olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese, sea salt and fresh rosemary. This bread is perfect to dip in olive oil and your favourite balsamic vinegar or to have with soup. It's easy to make and you will be thrilled at the results!
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Rest time: App. 1 hour and 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours and 10 minutes
I have nurtured and improved this easy focaccia bread recipe over the last seven years and shared it countless times with family and friends! Now I am so pleased to have this blog as a platform to share the recipe with the world! I don't actually make this bread often because it's so good that my family will literally not eat anything else at the dinner table! Trust me friends, this is one of my most prized recipes!
The dough will be really sticky, it will make you think something has gone wrong but this is how focaccia dough should be, to make it easier to handle and stop it from sticking to your fingers, spread some olive oil on your hands.
Don't handle the dough too much. Over-kneading the dough will cause the gluten to release and creates a much tighter dough that is hard to spread, and chewy and tough in texture.
Proof the dough correctly. Over proofing the dough (leaving it to sit for too long) may cause the bread to collapse on itself when baking. So how do you know if the dough is proofed? It should double in size! The amount of time it takes can vary from 30 minutes to 2-3 hours. It depends on the temperature and yeast. The best way to proof dough quickly is to put it in a warm place and check it every 15 minutes after the first 30 minutes. My favourite way to proof dough is to warm the oven to about 100C, then turn the oven off and the leave he dough in there, it's usually proofed in for 45 minutes.
Adding dimples to the dough will release some air from the middle of the dough to stop it from rising too quickly and forming a dome shape.
Lets talk toppings for this Easy Fluffy Focaccia Bread
This versatile bread lends itself beautifully to a range of different toppings in addition to those in this recipe. Simply add them on when adding the toppings in the recipe. I have included my favourites below but of course you can switch them for something else. Here are some suggestions;
Sliced olives and Parmesan cheese (used on the recipe below)
Sliced tomatoes with fresh basil
Sliced red onions and green peppers
Feta cheese and dill
Bacon and Cheddar cheese
Ham and Mozzarella cheese
Pesto and Mozzarella cheese
Easy Fluffy Focaccia Bread Recipe
45 minutes cook time
App. 1 hour 15 minutes rest time
2 hour 10 minutes
2 1/4 teaspoons of rapid-rising dry yeast (1 packet)
1 3/4 cups warm water (should be around 110 C)
1 tablespoon sugar
4 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/3 cup olive oil (yes, 1/3 cup! Trust me!)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp oregano
1. Add yeast and sugar to a mixing bowl, then pour in the water (warmed to around 110C) and whisk briefly until combined. Leave for 5 minutes, the mixture should start to bubble and foam.
2. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and with the dough attachment on the stand mixer, mix until combined. The dough will be very sticky, this is what you want! You can also do this by hand instead of the stand mixer, simply mix it gently until the dough comes together.
If the dough gets too sticky to handle, put olive oil on your hands. Be careful not to over-knead the dough, as soon as it comes together, it is done.
3. Coat the bowl with olive oil, place the dough at the centre and cover. Allow to raise in a warm area until doubled in size. I heat the oven to 100C, then turn it off and leave the dough inside for 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Meanwhile prepare the topping by mixing the oil and garlic together.
5. Once the dough has raised, grease a tray generously with olive oil.
6. Stretch the dough out onto a 9 by 13 inch tray with your hands (put olive oil on your hands if the dough is stuck to them).
7. Add dimples to the dough using your fingers, simply spread your fingers out and press into the dough once, and then repeat until the entire bread has dents. Pour the topping oil over the top and spread carefully with a brush. Sprinkle sea salt, pepper, rosemary and parmesan over the top. Then place the sliced olives evenly.
8. Cover the tray with a cloth and allow to raise again for 20 - 30 minutes.
9. Bake at 400C for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the outside.
10. Enjoy with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or soup! Bon appetit!