This delicious focaccia bread is so easy to make, has a crispy bottom and fluffy insides, and is beautifully flavored with good extra virgin olive oil, flaky sea salt, and cracked black pepper.
Few things smell better than freshly baked bread. Especially bread that you just made and are presenting to your amazed in laws this holiday season.
Seriously, this focaccia is so easy that I want you to make it the mid-morning of your next dinner party. It’s perfect for a nice sized dinner party and so, so perfect alongside hearty bowls of creamy chicken tomato tortellini soup, plates of rich short rib bolognese and pasta, or dipped into chimichurri sauce.
And oh, yeah. There’s a ton of olive oil. There’s so much, there’s a Gordon Ramsay yelling joke waiting for you in your kitchen.
But this is what makes the focaccia so good. It’s what makes the bottom crispy and delicious. You can taste the flavor of the olive oil in the bread itself, so make sure to channel your inner Barefoot Contessa and get all Ina Garten in the grocery store. Get the good olive oil. It matters.
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This focaccia is nice and classic and simple. You’re not worrying about herbs or garlic burning, the recipe is easy to follow, this really is the perfect beginner bread.
Focaccia is a yeast bread that double rises and is poked all over to give it those signature dimples. The bottoms are crispy and the bread itself is fluffy and well flavored thanks to the nice cracked black pepper, sea salt, and that good extra virgin olive oil.
Just sprinkle on that flaky sea salt and black pepper before baking and you’ve got a showstopper perfect for Sunday supper, a dinner party, or any holiday dinner.
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- 1 3/4 cup warm water around 110-115 degrees F
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 5-6 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil for the dough
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for the pan
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl; stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy on top. If the yeast doesn't foam up and smell yeasty, it's dead and you'll need fresh yeast.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, stir together 5 cups flour and kosher salt on low speed to combine. Add the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil; mix on low speed until the dough comes together, then turn the speed up to medium and continue to knead for 8 minutes, until the dough becomes smooth and soft. It should be kinda tacky, otherwise add more flour, 1 tbsp at a time, and knead for another minute or two.
- Transfer the dough to a large, well-oiled bowl, flipping once so that both the top and bottom of dough are lightly coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, 1 1/2-2 hours.
Coat a 13" x 18" rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup of olive oil from end to end. Put the dough onto the prepared pan, turn the dough over a few a times to coat both sides with olive oil, and begin pressing it out with your hands to press the dough from edge to edge. Do it gently, making sure not to create holes in the dough.
- Once the dough is stretched, use your fingers to make dimples and impressions, pressing down to the bottom of the pan gently, not poking holes through the dough. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the warm, draft-free place until the dough has puffed up and doubled in size for about 45 minutes-1 hour.
- While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F with an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the sea salt and cracked pepper, then lightly drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil on top, if desired.. Bake until golden brown, 18-22 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
- Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board to slice and serve.