Focaccia Bread

I couldn’t have asked for better timing leading up to sharing this recipe. Having just been featured in the Coffee In Italia Blog AND on the Italian-American Podcast in the last few weeks, there’s probably nothing that better showcases the beauty and simplicity of Italian food better than focaccia bread. This one is more specifically focaccia al rosmarino (with rosemary). But across Italy, and I mean, down to the town, there are varieties of this simple, flat, baked bread. Some are sweet, some are savory, I haven’t met one I don’t like though. But here in the States, this crips outside, soft and chewy inside, topped with salt and rosemary version is the classic we have all come to know and love. Of course you can add on from there. Fresh garlic would work well here. You could even skip the rosemary and top this with fresh tomatoes, onions and basil for a simple focaccia pizza. Again…like all things we do here, your food is YOURS - make it how YOU like it! I’m just here to give the basic and strike some inspiration!

Focaccia can be served as a snack, an appetizer, part of meal, hell, some of the sweet ones are served for dessert! And I have no qualms about having bread for dessert so…But you’ll love how easy this focaccia bread is to make at home. A few simple ingredients, an hour on the counter, and 20 minutes in the oven. It’s another one of those things that makes life feel kind of fancy, without it being all that much work! And, because you made it at home, you know exactly what went into it. You can control the quality of the flour, yeast, and olive oil. And that makes a difference! As always, when something has only a few ingredients, strive to find the best quality so that each can shine in the finished dish.

Focaccia will stay in an airtight container/bag on the counter for a few days, or, wrap it tight in plastic and a zip baggie and freeze some for later - it’s not AS good, but it’ll satisfy when called on. Check out the video shot at The Kitchen at Bed, Bath & Beyond in East Hanover and grab the recipe below!

Buon Appetito!

Focaccia Bread
Makes 1 11x13 sheet pan

2 1/4 C. warm water
2 1/4 tsp.
Caputo yeast
1 Tbs. sugar
4 1/2 C. flour
1 Tbs. fine salt
4 Tbs olive oil, divided
1 tsp. coarse or flaky sea salt
3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Combine water, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 8-10 minutes.

In the mean time, combine flour and fine salt in a large mixing bowl.

Once yeast has bubbles, gently stir to make sure it is completely dissolved. Add to flour mixture along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Stir with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Flour your hands and gently knead until the dough because smooth and soft.

Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the bottom of your baking pan. Place the dough into the pan and use your fingers to gently stretch it to the edges. Once the dough fills the pan, use your fingers to make small indentations throughout the dough. Drizzle the last tablespoon of olive oil on top of the bread. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and fresh rosemary leaves.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until slightly golden and puffy. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.