Baker Bettie

How to Make Focaccia Bread

Learn how to make focaccia bread, the classic Italian flat-bread. The process is simple and creates a high quality bread that can be flavored any variety of ways. This recipe is for rosemary focaccia with garlic and parmesan. The dough can also be used as a pizza crust.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie

I’ve been doing a lot of bread baking lately. A lot of baking and reading about bread baking. I am fascinated with it. It is so crazy to me what wonderful things can come from such simple ingredients.

Not only wonderful things, but such a variety of things. I feel like I could devote my life to learning everything possible about creating glorious bread from such humble ingredients and I would never run out of things to learn or grow tired of learning about it.

Today I want to teach you how to make a very simple and versatile bread: focaccia. I also want to talk to you about a technique I just learned that can greatly improve the flavor and texture of any bread you are making. It is called the autolyse method and it sounds complicated but is so disgustingly easy you might question its validity. But trust me.

Before we jump into the method of making this focaccia bread, let’s review the purpose of the autolyse method first. Check out this post about the method if you want all of the intricate geeky sciencey stuff behind it, but in short, to use the autolyse method you will mix together only the water and the flour in any bread recipe and let it sit for about 20-30 minutes before any of the other ingredients are added.

This one simple little step improves the flavor, texture, and increases the ease of handling the dough. Again, read this post to geek out about how this works. Or if you don’t care about all of that, just put your blind faith in me 🙂



In the bowl of the stand mixer “autolyse” the flour and water. Basically mix the two together and let them sit for about 20 minutes. You can do this with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer, or use a spoon, or even your hands.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


Add the yeast, oil, honey, salt, and knead with the dough hook until very smooth, shiny and elastic. This will take about 8 minutes on medium speed. If you do not have a stand mixer, mix in the bowl by hand until the dough comes together well then knead on a clean work surface by hand.

Because we used the autolyse method this will not take quite as long and the dough will be easier to handle. (I also added chopped fresh rosemary into this dough.)

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


Allow the dough to rise for 2 hours, punching down and turning the dough once after the first hour. This recipe makes 1 half sheet pan. I suggest oiling the sheet pan and letting the dough rise on the pan covered with plastic wrap. This make it easier to shape and pan once the fermentation is over.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


Flip the dough over on the oiled pan so that both sides are coated, then pat the dough out to fit the sheet pan, making sure to get the dough into the corners.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof for about 30 minutes, until puffy, then dimple the dough all over with your fingertips. Cover with plastic wrap and let the proofing complete, until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


Once the dough is finished proofing, add your toppings. If you want to keep it simple you can simple drizzle with olive oil and a light sprinkle of salt and be done.

For this batch I sprinkled fresh rosemary, a bit of grated parmesan, a sprinkle of garlic powder and sea salt, and I like to dot mine with pieces of butter because I like the flavor it brings.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


While the dough was in the last 20 minutes of proofer, preheat your oven to 425ºF. Place a metal pan (do not use glass) with sides (cake pan, sauce pan, baking dish) on the very bottom wrack of the oven to preheat.

After you put the focaccia in the oven pour 1 cup of hot water into the preheated metal pan and quickly shut the oven. This will help mimic the steam injector of a commercial oven. The steam helps promote “oven spring” (the amount the dough rises at the beginning of baking) and helps crisp the outside crust a bit.

How to Make Focaccia Bread- Baker Bettie


Focaccia can be topped with a whole variety of toppings. Anything from olives, to roasted garlic, to sausage and onions. This dough can easily be used as a pizza crust with any kind of pizza topping and cheese you want, or it could even be used for dessert focaccia with cinnamon/sugar topping or even roasted fruit or nuts.

Rosemary Focaccia with Garlic and Parmesan

Rosemary Focaccia with Garlic and Parmesan

Yield: 1 Loaf
Prep Time: 4 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes

This recipe is for rosemary focaccia with garlic and parmesan. The dough can also be used as a pizza crust.


  • 1 1/3 cups cool water
  • 3 3/4 cup (1 pound) all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (0.25 oz or 2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1/2 TBSP honey
  • 1/2 TBSP kosher salt
  • 1 TBSP finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for topping
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder for sprinkling
  • sea salt for sprinkling
  • grated parmesan cheese for sprinkling
  • 1/2 stick butter, cut into small pieces for topping the dough


  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, or a large bowl, autolyse the water and flour by mixing them together and letting it sit for about 20 minutes. You can use your paddle attachment, a spoon, or even clean hands to mix these two together.
  2. Add the yeast, olive oil, honey, salt, and fresh rosemary into the bowl and knead with the dough hook on medium speed for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and elastic. The dough will clean the sides of the bowl. If you do not have a stand mixer, you can knead by hand on a clean work surface.
  3. Oil a half sheet pan and place the dough on it to rise. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours, punching down and turning the dough after 1 hour.
  4. Flip the dough over on the oiled pan so that both sides are covered and gently press the dough out into the corners of the half sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it proof in a warm place until puffy, about 30 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingertips then cover with plastic wrap again and let it finish proofing until double in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 425ºF and place a metal dish in the bottom of the oven to heat up. Sprinkle your toppings evenly over the dough and dot with pieces of butter.
  6. Place the focaccia into the oven then pour 1 cup of hot water into the preheated metal pan and quickly close the oven door. Keep the door shut for at least the first 10 minutes of baking to trap in the steam. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden and crisp.

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13 comments on “How to Make Focaccia Bread”

  1. I cannot wait to try this !!!! Looks “butterly” delicious !

    • You’ll have to let me know if you do Donna! It is one of my favorites and my husband was obsessed with it. He couldn’t believe that I actually made it myself. (I’m a baker and he couldn’t believe it. Lol!)

  2. Oh yum! This looks incredible!

  3. p.s. I too have become enchanted by the miraculous process that is bread making. I haven’t used the autolyse method yet, but I have heard of the digestive benefits of soaking grains before baking, and clearly there are benefits to those of us using the hand-kneading method as well! I’ll be giving this a try as soon as I buy a new rosemary plant, my last one died.

  4. I wish you had taught me science in school-I can get behind science when used for food ;P

    This focaccia bread looks so gorgeous and perfectly herb-ed up and so chewy and yummy!

  5. I like to do as much two-day prep as possible. Has anyone tried this with the final rise in the refrigerator overnight?

  6. Tried your recipe for focaccia. Honestly it was just ok. Personally I hydrate my dough to about 70%. and I use semolina and bread flour You needed 2 or 3 more Tablespoons of olive oil in the dough
    and the topping you suggested well, I used salt, rosemary and thyme. (sometimes I use fennel seed)
    I think focaccia should be kept simple. After all the purpose of autolyze is actually to bring out the taste of the grain. you start adding too many toppings and there really isn’t any point to it.
    Love your website and I follow you on Instagram (your cat is too cool)

    • Hi Edward,

      Thanks for your comments. I have been meaning to update this recipe and tutorial for some time as it is quite old. I agree, focaccia is delicious simple, but I do love it with toppings! At an Italian restaurant I used to work at our staff meal would frequently be a focaccia pizza of sorts and it was one of my favorite things to make. But everyone has their preferences!

  7. I have refrigerated focaccia dough and it works quite well.
    After the final ferment, shape and pan your dough. Place in a plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
    when you remove the dough set it on a counter and let it come to room temperature. top the dough,
    dimple it, top it, cover it then let it rise. I have kept dough refrigerated up to 4 days

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