I’ve been making this same recipe (adapted slightly from a recipe in No Need to Knead by Suzanne Dunaway), largely unchanged, since college. I have made it for my parents, in-laws, siblings, nieces and nephews, cousins, co-workers, and college friends and roomies. Everyone loves this bread. I have been asked for this recipe more times than I can count.
The taste is fantastic, but my favorite part is how easy the recipe is: the batter-y dough mixes up in less than than ten minutes. After a 40-minute rise, the bread goes in the oven for about 15 minutes. Voila! Warm focaccia bread on the table in just over an hour!
What you need:
- 2 c. warm water
- 2 t. yeast
- 4 c. bread flour
- 2-3 t. salt
- 2-3 T. rosemary, if fresh, or 2-3 t. if dried*
- olive oil
- 1 t. coarse sea salt
*As an alternative to rosemary, herbes de provence or Italian seasoning can be used.
- stand mixer with a dough hook (or large bowl, sturdy wooden spoon, and LOTS of arm muscles)
- baking sheet
Time: Mixing bowl to table in about an hour.
Freezeable: Yes, once baked.
Serves: A crowd!
Multiplying the recipe: Make separate batches.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread:
Mix water and yeast in a large bowl (I prefer the stand mixer) until yeast dissolves. Allow to sit for a few minutes until the yeast forms bubbles on the surface. Add 2 c. flour, table salt, and 2/3 of the herbs. Mix rapidly for 2 minutes. Add remaining flour, and mix rapidly for 2 more minutes. The dough will be wet and tacky. You can add up to 1/2 c. more flour if the dough seems too liquidy.
Spray a little oil around the sides and bottom of a large bowl and dump the bread dough in. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid.
If you’re making the dough for immediate use, set it somewhere warm for about 40 minutes, until the dough is roughly doubled in size.
If you want to make the dough ahead and have it ready to bake the next day, refrigerate it, covered, overnight. It will rise slowly in the refrigerator, developing more flavor. Remove the dough 2 hours before shaping, and allow it to sit, covered, at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 450F.
To make two 9″ round focaccia: Brush two 9″ oven-proof skillets with olive oil. Divide the dough in half, dumping half the dough in each skillet. It should spread to fill the pans. Drizzle or gently brush olive oil over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining herbs and coarse sea salt over the top. Set aside to rest for 15-20 minutes. Bake 15-25 minutes at 450F.
To make a large rectangular focaccia: Oil a large jelly roll pan (with sides) with olive oil. Dump the dough onto the pan using a spatula, deflating it as little as possible. Drizzle oil on top. Using your (oiled) fingers, begin to pull the dough into a rough rectangle, again deflating it as little as possible, and dimple it by pushing your fingers nearly to the pan about every inch or so. It should almost fill the pan. Drizzle or gently brush olive oil over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the remaining herbs and coarse sea salt over the top. Bake 12-18 minutes at 450F.
Remove from the oven to a cooling rack. Cut in pieces and enjoy! This bread is best eaten the day it is baked, though it is good toasted the next day (split and toasted if you want to make sandwiches) or cut into bites and toasted for croutons.