Rosemary Focaccia

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) of active dry yeast

  • 1-1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°), divided

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • Warm water: Since we are working with active dry yeast in this recipe, we must use warm water to dissolve it. I highly recommend using a cooking thermometer to double-check the temperature of the water if possible. (It should be around 110°F.)

  • Sugar or honey: Whichever you have on hand, gives the bread a hint of sweetness and helps to activate the yeast.

  • Active dry yeast: You will need one packet (or 2.25 teaspoons) to make this focaccia bread.

  • Flour: Basic all-purpose flour will be great!

  • Olive oil: Some of which we will mix into the bread dough, plus extra for drizzling on top once the focaccia has baked.

  • Flaky sea salt: Some of which we will mix into the bread dough, plus extra for sprinkling on top of the dough before baking. If you don’t have flaky sea salt on hand, you can use fine sea salt, but reduce the amount by half so that the bread isn’t too salty.

  • Fresh rosemary: Sprinkle on the dough and add that delicious earthy rosemary flavor. (Feel free to chop the fresh rosemary if you want smaller sprinkles finely.)

HOW TO MAKE FOCACCIA BREAD:

Here are the basic steps to make this rosemary focaccia bread recipe (full instructions are included in the recipe below, as always):

  1. Proof the yeast. In the warm water and sugar. (I highly recommend using a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water so that it is not too hot or too cold.)

  2. Knead the dough*. Gradually add the flour, olive oil, and salt. Then knead for 5 minutes using the dough attachment or a stand mixer or knead the dough by hand.

  3. First, the dough rises. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased mixing bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Let the dough rest in a warm location for 45-60 minutes or until it has doubled in size.

  4. Second dough rise. Shape the dough into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick*. Cover and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes.

  5. Prepare the dough. Heat oven to 400°F. Transfer the dough to a large parchment-covered baking sheet (or press it into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish). Use your fingers to poke deep dents — like seriously, poke down until you touch the baking sheet — all over the surface of the dough. Then drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.

  6. Bake. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through.

  7. Serve. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with more olive oil if desired. Slice, and serve warm.

*If you do not have a stand mixer, no prob! Just complete step 1 in a large mixing bowl. Gradually stir in the flour, olive oil, and salt until a shaggy dough forms. Then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until smooth, adding extra flour if the dough feels too sticky, and continue with the recipe as directed.