Intimidated to bake bread? Start with this recipe for easy No Knead Focaccia! Pillowy soft with a deep golden top, it’s ultra forgiving and perfect for beginner bread bakers.
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Prepare this simple dough and top with your favorite ingredients for a bread that’s low on fuss and will make you feel like you’ve scored bread basket gold at your favorite Italian restaurant.
If you’ve never had homemade focaccia bread, you’re in for a treat.
Among one of the easiest bread recipes to make, no knead focaccia is perfect for beginners and master bakers alike.
Some of my favorite things about this focaccia:
- Soft, golden and airy consistency.
- Rich, earthy flavor that comes from the olive oil.
- No-knead method—making it nearly impossible to overwork the dough.
- Complete customizability with topping possibilities that are only limited by your imagination.
- In addition to endless topping possibilites, you can spread your favorites on top before eating. I love spreading Roasted Garlic on mine!
5 Star Review
“This bread is one of my favorites!”— Jessica —
This particular recipe always brings me back to my travels through Europe where the smells of freshly-baked bread, seasonal herbs, and fresh produce regularly mingle together in bustling food halls and open-air markets.
The Difference Between Focaccia and Ciabatta
While they may appear similar, at a glance, focaccia and ciabatta are more like distant (Italian) cousins as opposed to brothers.
- Has a lighter, cake-like consistency that’s similar to a deep dish pizza dough.
- Made with olive oil baked into the dough and drizzled on top.
- Baked as a flatbread.
- Often scattered with herbs, marinated veggies and other toppings.
- Chewier texture with an open crumb structure.
- A leaner dough that, traditionally, does not contain olive oil.
- Baked as loaves.
- Often used as sandwich bread.
Both focaccia and ciabatta are DELISH. Today I’m focusing on focaccia, which is much easier to make, even if you’ve never baked bread before.
How to Make No Knead Focaccia
To make focaccia bread from scratch, all we need is a sturdy mixer and a few ingredients.
- Olive Oil. Be sure you use a good olive oil—you can really taste it, so it’s worth spending a few extra dollars on the bottle. (I’m a big fan of this one.)
- Flour. I used 50% white whole wheat flour and 50% all-purpose flour and thought the texture was brilliant and the flavor rich and hearty. Plus, whole grains provide benefits like extra fiber and nutrients. My Homemade Whole Wheat Pizza Crust uses the same ratio with great success.
- Yeast. Even though focaccia is considered to be a flatbread, it still requires yeast to help the dough develop its perfectly pillowy texture.
- Water. Warm water activates the yeast.
Always consult your yeast’s packaging and warm your water to the temperature specified by the yeast manufacturer. Too hot and you’ll kill the yeast. Too cold, and it won’t properly activate.
Most brands call for a temperature ranging between 110 degrees F and 130 degrees F.
- Sea Salt. Flavors the bread dough and, when sprinkled on top, adds just the right amount of seasoning to the finished bread.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients and yeast.
- Drizzle in the olive oil and gradually add the water.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and let rise for 1 to 2 hours. Get your toppings ready.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Stretch the dough out onto a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rest until doubled, about 1 hour more. You also can refrigerate it overnight at this point.
- “Dimple” the top of the dough, then drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with flaky salt and add any other desired toppings. Bake no knead focaccia at 375 degrees F until golden and fluffy; about 20 minutes. ENJOY!
The Purpose of Focaccia Dimples
Those cute little dimples are not just for looks. Focaccia dough is dimpled for a few reasons.
- The dimples help catch and pool that final, flavorful drizzle of olive oil
- They gently release excess air in the dough which helps prevent the bread from rising too quickly in the oven and collapsing.
- To Store. This no knead focaccia is best eaten the day it’s made. However, leftovers may be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1-2 days.
- To Freeze. No knead focaccia keeps beautifully in the freezer. Slice it into pieces and store it in a freezer-safe container or gallon-size plastic bag for up to 3 months.
- To Reheat. Defrost overnight and then reheat it on a baking sheet at 300 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Essential Baking Sheets. I love how evenly these bake and use them almost daily.
- Serrated Bread Knife. To slice perfect pieces of this addicting bread.
No Knead Focaccia
For the Focaccia Dough:
- 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Chopped fresh rosemary optional
- Additional desired toppings optional, see above post for ideas
- Big scoop of ice* optional, see note
- In the bowl of a standing mixer or a large mixing bowl, stir together the all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, yeast, and salt. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil. Heat the water to the temperature specified by the yeast manufacturer (check your packet; some brands call for 110 degrees F; others up to 130 degrees F).
- With a hand mixer or the stand mixer’s paddle attachment, beat dough on low speed while gradually pouring in the water. Slowly increase the speed to high, then beat for 1 minute. The dough will be very sticky.
- Transfer to a clean, lightly oiled bowl, turn once to coat, then cover with plastic. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to 2 hours, until the dough becomes puffy, or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.
- Drizzle a large baking sheet generously with olive oil. Gently turn the risen dough out onto the greased baking sheet. Coax and stretch the dough into to a 1/2-inch thick oblong shape (it may not be uniform). With your fingertips, “dimple” the dough by poking it gently all over. Cover and let rest at room temperature until puffy, about 1 hour more (or refrigerate overnight for an even fluffier texture).
- When ready to bake, if your dough is in the refrigerator, remove it and let it come to room temperature. Place a rack in the upper third of your oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Prepare any desired focaccia toppings.
- Generously drizzle olive oil all over the top of the dough, then sprinkle evenly with flaky salt. Add any other desired toppings (see blog post above for suggestions).
- Bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, checking at the 18 minute mark. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- *For the maximum lightly crisp outer crust (similar to a bakery): Place an old metal pan you don’t care too much about (it’s going to get weirdly spotty) on the bottom rack of your oven. Let it preheat with the oven and get hot. IMMEDIATELY before placing the focaccia in the oven, toss a big scoop full of ice into the pan, then quickly add the focaccia and close the oven so as little steam escapes as possible. This is optional; you’ll have delicious bread even if you skip this step.
- TO STORE: This no knead focaccia is best eaten the day it’s made. However, leftovers may be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1-2 days.
- TO FREEZE: No knead focaccia keeps beautifully in the freezer. Slice it into pieces and store it in a freezer-safe container or gallon-size plastic bag for up to 3 months.
- TO REHEAT: You can reheat frozen focaccia by defrosting it overnight in the fridge and then warming it on a baking sheet at 300 degrees F for 5-10 minutes.
- A traditional French Provencal topping for focaccia is caramelized onions, pitted black olives, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. To caramelize onions: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a very large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, then sauté until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and let cook for 20 to 30 minutes more. until deep brown, sweet, and tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in a pinch of red pepper flakes.
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