Italian Focaccia Bread

Marsha Gardner


Plan this the day ahead of baking. The dough is best when it sits in your refrigerator overnight. The cooler the dough, both as it cools in the fridge and as is gradually warms the next day develops s marvelous flavors. This bread is great with past as well as split for a sandwich or formed into bread sticks. I have even used it as a pizza crust.

pinch tips: How to Knead Dough



3 c
high gluten bread flour, divided
1 pkg
instant yeast
1 1/4 c
water, 80 degrees
1 Tbsp
1/2 tsp
kosher salt
1/2 tsp
dough conditioner*
2 Tbsp
olive oil, extra virgin


1/3 c
olive oil, extra virgin
1 Tbsp
1/2 tsp
oregano, dried
1/8 tsp
garlic powder with parsley
kosher salt
2-3 Tbsp
parmesan cheese

Directions Step-By-Step

Place about 1 cup of flour in the bowl of your stand mixer, equipped with the dough hook. Add the yeast and water. Mix with the dough hook for 30 seconds, or until yeast is dissolved and the ingredients begin to combine.
Add the rest of the 3 cups of flour, sugar, salt, dough conditioner, and 2 tablespoons olive oil and continue mixing at medium speed for at least 4 minutes (to develop the gluten). The dough should clear the sides of the the bowl but stick to the bottom. Dough for ciabatta and focaccia should be slightly wetter than most breads.

If you feel the dough is too moist, add 1-2 tablespoons additional flour.

Once the dough is mixed, move the dough to a large greased bowl, turn once to coat both sides, and cover with plastic wrap.
Refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

On the day that you are going to bake your bread, measure 1/3 cup olive oil and stir in the basil, oregano and garlic powder. Set aside to steep.
Remove the dough from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about 3 hours. The dough should rise to nearly double in this time. Once it has risen, coat your hands with flour and lightly dust a work area on the countertop. Holding the dough in your hands, allow the weight of the dough to stretch out the dough until it is about 1 inch thick.
Lay it on the the dusted countertop and fold the ends over itself like you would a letter. Lightly dust the top with flour and cover with plastic wrap. Let double again in size, about 1 hour.
Prepare a 15 inch pizza pan or baking sheet by greasing the surface and dusting with cornmeal. Once the dough has doubled, move it to the prepared pan. Using your fingertips, dimple and spread the dough, then spoon the oil and herb mixture over the dough. Then sprinkl with kosher salt, cover again loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 435-degrees. Place a large, flat metal pan on the bottom rack of the oven to be used to hold water and with which to create steam and condition the crust. Do not use a glass or ceramic pan.
immediately before placing the bread in the oven, mist the sides of the oven using a spray mister and then pour 2 cups of very hot water into the steam pan.
Place bread in the oven and quickly close the door to retain steam, at the end of 15 minutes lover oven to 350-degrees and bake for another 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown and the bread tests done. Bread will test done when the interior temperature reach 210-degrees.
Immediately remove from oven and cool on a wire rack. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese while the bread is still hot. Unused focaccia should be stored in a paper bag at room temperature.
*Available online at

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Savory Breads
Collection: Favorite Breads