If you are looking for the perfect Italian side dish, this focaccia bread recipe is for you!
A beautiful garlic bread made with focaccia dough, olive oil, fresh garlic and flavourful fresh herbs, and topped with olives and sun-dried tomatoes, it goes great with your favourite pasta.
Don't forget the wine!
Want to make this Focaccia bread? Check out our quick video below to learn how!
How to make Olive and Herb Focaccia Bread
Read more about making Focaccia bread, including substitutes and alternative ingredients.Or jump straight to the recipe card to start cooking.
To make this focaccia bread, you'll want to carefully select the perfect ingredients. From the olive oil to the herbs and the perfect toppings, these ingredients create a mouth-watering masterpiece.
The oil prevents the focaccia bread from drying out. We like the added flavour of olive oil, but you can use whichever oil you prefer. Extra virgin olive oil, sunflower, vegetable or avocado oil are great options.
Garlic adds a beautiful pungent and aromatic flavour to our focaccia bread recipe, giving it depth as a savoury dish. We used garlic puree in our recipe as it's ready to go, but you could use fresh garlic finely chopped, make a garlic confit or even use garlic powder. However, you may want to adjust the quantity to prevent the garlic from becoming overpowering.
Sun-dried tomatoes are dehydrated ripe tomatoes that give the dish a sweet and tangy flavour, giving it depth and adding intensity. Again, we chose a puree for ease, but you could use store-bought sun-dried tomatoes too. Fresh or chopped tomatoes can also be used for those who enjoy a less intense flavour.
Flour is the main ingredient when it comes to forming focaccia dough. We use plain or all-purpose flour in this recipe, but bread flour or wholemeal flour can be used too.
Yeast makes the focaccia dough rise and gives it that wonderful fluffy, airy texture. We used a packet of active dry yeast, but you can use whatever you prefer.
The sugar in honey activates the yeast and makes the focaccia dough rise. You could use granulated sugar instead.
Black olives add a rich, earthy flavour to the focaccia bread; green olives will give a milder, tangy taste.
In this focaccia bread recipe, we used dried mixed herbs for the garlic oil and fresh rosemary to create a lovely rosemary focaccia bread. You could use any herbs you prefer, and experimenting with flavours is a great idea.
We like to use a pinch of good flaky sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste, but whatever you have in your cupboards will be fine.
The equipment needed to make this rosemary focaccia bread recipe is pretty basic. You'll need a large mixing bowl, a baking tin (we used a 24cm cake tin) and a baking sheet for the oven. You'll also need a clean damp towel as a bowl cover while the dough rises and a rubber spatula or something to mix with. A stand mixer can also be used if preferred.
You will have a fantastic side in just a few basic steps; let's get cooking. We'll give you an overview here, but you can also go straight to the recipe card.Jump to the recipe card.
Making the Olive Oil Mix
To make your olive oil mix, combine olive oil, garlic puree, sun-dried tomato puree, dried mixed herbs and black pepper in a bowl. Place this to the side for later.
If you plan to have the Focaccia Bread as a starter, you may want to double the Olive Oil Mix, so you have some for dipping your finished bread.
How to make Focaccia Dough
Take a large mixing bowl and add the active dry yeast, warm water and honey together; this will activate the yeast. Set this aside for five minutes; this is a great chance to check out some of our other amazing recipes.
After five minutes, add your flour to the mixing bowl and add four tablespoons of the olive oil mix, stirring it until it's well mixed.
Put this to the side for another 5 minutes. Check out some more recipes while you wait; we have plenty to look through!
Now, stir in the remaining flour and salt until the dough forms. It will be sticky at this point, but we will soon fix that.
Sprinkle some flour over a board so that it doesn't stick, and then pop the dough on there and start kneading it until it becomes less sticky, forming a rough ball. You can sprinkle more flour if needed, but it should be avoided, as using too much flour will keep the bread from rising.
Take your cooking tin and lightly oil the sides and base to give it a coating and to stop the bread from sticking, once covered you can pop your dough ball into the centre of the prepared pan and cover it with your damp cloth, allowing it to rise for an hour until it has doubled in size.
Keep this in a dry and warm place.
Prepare the Bread
Okay, Olive, that is done (get it? All of = Olive? No?). Once the dough has doubled in size, you'll want to pre-set the oven and gently stretch the dough across the tin. Dimple the bread with your finger/thumb (put some oil on your finger/thumb to stop the bread from sticking to it) and push it all the way down until you hit the base.
Chop your olives in half and take your olive oil mix; start drizzling two tablespoons of the olive oil mix over the bread, allowing it to soak into those dimples you created.
Finally, gently push an olive into each dimple and add some fresh rosemary leaves.
... And there you have it. Your focaccia bread is ready to bake in the oven!
Bake in the oven at 200℃ fan / 220℃ /425℉/ Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes until it's a lovely golden brown, and then glaze the focaccia bread with the remainder of your olive oil mix.
Allow it to sit for ten minutes before carefully removing it from the tin. It's delicious when served warm!
Or sprinkle on some flaky sea salt and parmesan cheese. You could also try it with our Nut Free Pesto Basil Sauce.
📖 Step by Step Recipe
Focaccia Bread (Olive and Herb)
Olive Oil Mix
- 120 ml Olive oil
- 2 teaspoon Gia Garlic Puree or 4 cloves garlic blended together with below
- 1 tablespoon Gia Sundried Tomato Puree or 6 Sundried Tomatoes blended with above
- 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs
- 1 pinch black pepper to taste
Focaccia Bread Mix
- 2 teaspoon Dried yeast
- ½ teaspoon Honey
- 240 ml Warm water
- 300 grams Plain Flour
- 1 pinch Salt
- 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary (Optional)
- 1 handful Black Olives chopped in half
- In a bowl combine the 120 ml Olive oil, 2 teaspoon Gia Garlic Puree, 1 tablespoon Gia Sundried Tomato Puree, 1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs and 1 pinch black pepper and place to one side.
- In a large mixing bowl stir the 2 teaspoon Dried yeast, 240 ml Warm water and ½ teaspoon Honey together and set to one side for 5 minutes.
- Add 120 grams of the plain flour (not all of it) and 4 tablespoon of the oil mix to the large mixing bowl with the yeast, warm water and honey.Stir together until all ingredients in the bowl are mixed in place to one side for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining flour and 1 pinch Salt, until the dough forms together. The dough should be fairly wet and sticky at this point.
- Sprinkle some flour on a board and knead it for 5 minutes, only adding flour to the board if really needed. The kneading should help make it less sticky, you don't want to make it too dry with flour as it will affect the rise of the bread.
- Place 2 tablespoon of the olive oil mix into the cooking tin and spread all over the base and the sides.
- Place the kneaded dough in the centre of an oiled baking tin with a dampened towel over the top and let it spread and rise for 1 hour. It may need longer, keep it somewhere warm, away from draughts. It will be ready when it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 200℃ fan / 220℃ /425℉/ Gas Mark 7.Once the dough has doubled in size. Start to dimple the bread with your finger/thumb (put some oil on your finger/thumb to stop the bread sticking to it) when pushing into the bread push all the way down until you hit the base.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoon of oil mixture over top theof the bread, allowing it to sink into the holes. Push 1 handful Black Olives halved into the dimples slightly.
- Optional* Add leaves from 1 sprig Fresh Rosemary for extra flavour.Bake in the oven at 200℃ fan / 220℃ / 425℉/ Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes.
- Remove from oven and glaze with the leftover oil mix.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before removing from the pan.Slice, serve & enjoy 🙂
This focaccia recipe blog post was originally posted 12/04/2020. It has been updated on 19/06/2023 to include more advice, better pictures and an updated recipe card.
Focaccia bread keeps well; cover it with plastic wrap and keep it at room temperature for up to 48 hours. To freeze your focaccia, place it in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 28 days.
Serve your rosemary focaccia cold or reheat in a 200°C /400F oven for 10 minutes.
Yes, you can make bread dough in advance and store it for later use. After kneading and allowing it to rise, refrigerate the dough for up to 24 hours or freeze it for longer storage. Bring it to room temperature before baking.
Caramelized onions, cherry tomatoes and grated Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese make great toppings.
Yes, you can freeze the focaccia dough for later use. After the first rise, shape the dough into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Focaccia bread is an Italian dish with a long history. It can be traced back to ancient Rome, where it was known as "panis focacius" or Hearth Bread, named after the way it was cooked in the embers of a fireplace. Over time, it changed and became the bread we know today. Focaccia is soft and chewy textured and made with various toppings.
How to pronounce Focaccia Bread
The correct pronunciation of Focaccia Bread is "Foe-Kah-Chee-ah Bread"
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Bread recipes are fantastic. They're filling, hearty and tasty and leave your home smelling amazing, so if you love bread as much as we do, check out these other bread recipes below.