Focaccia with Herbs and Olives

An easy-to-make Focaccia with Herbs and Olives which is soft and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Perfect as a starter or as a side dish! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

focaccia with herbs and olives sliced into lengths

Focaccia Bread

When I lived in Australia, focaccia was a staple which was sold in all bakeries and supermarkets. So when I first moved to Switzerland, I was surprised that, despite being next door to Italy, no focaccia bread could be found in sight.

So I set about making my own focaccia at home. It was probably the first time I had made bread at home, and just as well because it is the easiest bread you can make.

What is Focaccia?

Focaccia is a yeasted flat bread which originates from Italy.

It is similar in taste and texture to a pizza base, but it is generally thicker and softer than a pizza dough.

Focaccia is commonly served as a starter or appetiser, and it can even be sliced horizontally to form a sandwich.

focaccia with herbs and olives with bread knife and grey cloth

Why This Recipe Works

  • The focaccia dough only needs about 5 minutes of kneading to produce a soft and smooth dough.
  • There is no need to shape the dough. Simply press it into a large baking tray and that’s it!
  • Customise the toppings to your liking. Swap the olives for cherry tomatoes, add some caramelised onions or roasted garlic … the choices are endless!

Focaccia Recipe

Often when we have friends over for dinner, I like to turn to this focaccia recipe for an easy starter or appetiser. This focaccia recipe is stress-free and fool-proof – just the sort of recipe you need when you are entertaining!

Like all yeasted breads, you need to let the focaccia dough prove twice so that the resulting bread is soft, chewy and flavourful. However, compared to making most other types of bread, the steps involved are much quicker and easier.

focaccia with herbs and olives sliced in large slices

How to Make Focaccia

Step 1

Place all of the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Mix lightly.

dry ingredients for focaccia in white mixing bowl

Step 2

Add the water and oil, and mix until everything comes together into a dough. Keep kneading for about 5 minutes, or until you have a smooth and soft ball of dough.

focaccia dough in white mixing bowl

Step 3

Generously oil a large baking tray measuring approximately 22 cm x 30cm/9″ x 12″.

Place the dough into the tray and use your fingertips to gently stretch the dough until it fills the tray.

The dough will shrink back slightly and relax each time but, with a bit of patience, it will ultimately stretch to fill the pan.

stretching focaccia dough in baking tray

Step 4

Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and place it somewhere warm for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

risen focaccia dough in baking tray

Step 5

Use your fingertips to poke holes in the dough, but don’t go all the way through to the bottom of the pan.

making holes in focaccia dough

Step 6

Fill the holes with whole, pitted olives. If you are not using olives, simply leave the dough as is.

olives in focaccia dough

Step 7

Cover the dough again with a clean tea towel, and leave it somewhere warm for another 1 hour, or until the dough has risen slightly. It shouldn’t double in size with the second proof, but it should still puff up somewhat.

Brush the dough generously with the herb oil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt.

focaccia dough in baking tray before going into oven

Step 8

Bake the focaccia for 15-20 minutes, or until it is nicely golden on top. If it is browning too quickly, cover the focaccia with a sheet of foil.

Once the focaccia is ready, brush it once more with some herb oil, followed by a sprinkle of fresh herbs.

baked focaccia in baking tray

More Bread Recipes

If you are looking for more bread recipes, you might also like:

Butterzopf

Easy No-Knead Bread

Fruit Loaf

Print

Focaccia with Herbs and Olives

An easy-to-make Focaccia with Herbs and Olives which is soft and chewy on the inside and crisp on the outside. Perfect as a starter or as a side dish! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

  • Resting Time: 2 hours
  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Italian

Ingredients

For the Focaccia

  • 320 g (2 cups plus 3 tablespoons) strong white bread flour
  • 7 g (3 teaspoons) instant dried yeast (see Kitchen Notes)
  • 1 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Toppings

  • 1/2 cup black olives, pitted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • sea salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

BEGIN THIS RECIPE ABOUT 3 HOURS BEFORE SERVING

To Make the Focaccia Dough

  1. Measure the flour, yeast, salt and sugar into the bowl of an electric stand mixer.
  2. Lightly mix the dry ingredients together with the dough hook.
  3. Measure the water and olive oil into a small measuring jug.
  4. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  5. Knead the dough on low-medium speed until the mixture comes together into a smooth and soft ball of dough. This step should take about 5 minutes.

First Proof

  1. Lightly oil a baking tray measuring 22 cm x 30 cm/9 inches x 12 inches.
  2. Place the dough onto the oiled baking tray and gently stretch it to fill the tray. The dough will shrink back and relax as you do this but, with a bit of patience, you should be able to stretch the dough ultimately.
  3. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and place the tray somewhere warm for about 1 hour, or until the dough has risen and doubled in height.

Second Proof

  1. Use your fingers to make random indents in the dough.
  2. Place the olives into the indents.
  3. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and place the tray somewhere warm for another 1 hour, or until the dough has risen and puffed up.

To Bake the Focaccia

  1. Place most of the chopped rosemary into a small bowl with the olive oil and let it infuse. I usually do this during the second proof, but a short infusing time is also ok.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220°C/430°F.
  3. Place a metal baking sheet on the middle shelf of the oven.
  4. Brush the dough generously with the herb oil.
  5. Sprinkle over some coarse sea salt.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the focaccia is lightly golden.
  7. Brush the cooked focaccia with some more herb oil.
  8. Garnish with the chopped parsley and reserved rosemary.
  9. Slice and serve immediately.

Kitchen Notes

VARIATIONS
* Omit the olives to make a simple herb focaccia.
* Replace the olives with halved cherry tomatoes.
* Replace the olives with roasted garlic cloves.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FLOUR
* For Swiss readers: I use Zopfmehl (or farine pour tresse) when making bread and enriched dough.

DIFFERENT TYPES OF YEAST
* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first (usually in some warm liquid).

PROOFING THE DOUGH
Dough needs a warm environment for the yeast to activate and cause the dough to rise. If you don’t have a warm place in your home, try one of the following ideas:
* In the oven with the oven light switched on (works only for some ovens).
* In the oven with a tray of boiling water on the bottom shelf.
* In the oven at a low temperature of about 25-30°C (77-86°F).
* On the open oven door, with the oven turned on at 100°C (212°F).

OVEN TEMPERATURES
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment below and share your photos by tagging @eatlittlebird on Instagram and using #eatlittlebird

SHOP THIS RECIPE

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.