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I’m very much a creature of habit. About every month, my husband and I visit Kneaders and order the turkey, bacon, avocado sandwich on focaccia. I absolutely adore biting into the thick bread, and I can’t get enough of its delightful flavor.
This week I thought I’d try making focaccia myself, and if it turned out well, I could skip the trip to Kneaders and make my favorite sandwich any time I wanted.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any copycat recipes for Kneaders focaccia. I did, however, find a recipe for rosemary focaccia. And I think it turned out much better than I could have expected.
Just look at that crust!
It was crispy when I pulled it out of the oven, and it softened by the next day. Although the focaccia was too thick to turn into sandwich bread and too thin to cut horizontally, it paired well with the spaghetti and meatballs my husband made for dinner. If you’re not a fan of spaghetti, don’t worry. This focaccia bread tastes great on its own or with an extra drizzle of olive oil.
Prep time: 20 to 30 minutes
Rise time: 2-3 hours
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: Approximately 3 to 4 Hours
Focaccia shares many of the same ingredients you’ll find in my other recipes, but it also includes a good amount of olive oil to give it its rich flavor:
- 13 Grams (1 Tablespoon) White Granulated Sugar
- 7 Grams (2 1/4) Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
- 438 Grams (1 3/4 Cups) Warm Water
- 17 Grams and 4 Grams (1 Tablespoon and 3/4 Teaspoon) Kosher Salt, Divided
- 650 Grams (5 Cups) All Purpose Flour*
- 98 Grams (3/4 Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Divided*
- 3 Grams (1 Tablespoon) Fresh Rosemary (or 1 Teaspoon Dried)
Keep in mind that you’ll want a little extra flour for kneading and a little extra oil for drizzling.
Once you have all your ingredients, take a few moments to make sure you have all the right equipment for making your bread:
If you don’t have a standing mixer with a fitted dough hook, don’t worry. I didn’t have one either when I first tried this recipe. You can make the bread by hand, and it will still turn out beautiful.
To start, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water and set aside. Allow the yeast to sit for 10 to 15 minutes, so it has a chance to activate and foam.
While you wait for your yeast, mix flour with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. You want to mix it thoroughly so you don’t get a mouthful of salt later.
Add 1/2 cup of olive oil and the yeast mixture to the flour. Stir until the dough comes together. If you’re using a mixer, turn the speed up to medium and continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes. If you’re doing this recipe by hand, transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead the dough until it feels soft and smooth. Once you’ve finished kneading (or mixing), use your hands to shape the dough into a round ball.
No matter if you have a mixer or a bowl, you may want to stop and clean. Sometimes the dough will come out in one piece, and sometimes a little dough will stick to the sides. Once you’ve cleaned away the leftovers, coat the inside of your bowl or mixer with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
Put your dough ball back into the bowl, and flip the dough once so both sides have an even coating of olive oil. Cover and let your dough rise until it doubles in size (this may take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature).
After your dough has risen, coat a 12-inch by 16-inch baking sheet (I only had an 11 inch by 17 inch sheet, but the results were pretty much the same) with 1/4 cup olive oil. The olive oil helps to crisp the dough, and it makes your dough easier to work with.
Place the dough on the pan and start to stretch it until it reaches the edges of the pan.
As you work the dough, flip it over a few times to ensure each side gets a thorough coating of olive oil.
It’s fine if your dough doesn’t quite reach the edges. However, the dough should come pretty close without too much fuss.
Spread your fingers wide and press into the dough, creating a dimpled surface. You don’t want to poke holes into the dough, just push enough to create little indentations. These indentations give focaccia its unique texture and allow the olive oil to pool.
Cover and let rise until it doubles in size again, about 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, and set the rack to the middle position. While your oven is preheating, lightly drizzle 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over the focaccia. Then, sprinkle the rosemary and remaining 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt over the bread.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan over a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn onto a cutting board and cut into squares.
If you wish, drizzle a little more olive oil over the top before you serve your rosemary focaccia.
Secrets to Success
Despite the lengthy rise times, I didn’t have any problems making this bread the first time around. Usually, I have to practice a recipe two or three times before I get it right, and during the learning process, I discover ways to make each loaf a little better. But this time, the recipe was straightforward enough that it was an instant success.
When I made the loaf pictured above, I didn’t have any kosher salt or fresh rosemary, so I used ordinary table salt and dried rosemary seasoning. I think the kosher salt and fresher ingredients would turn this already successful and tasty creation into something even more amazing and awesome.
After I made this recipe, a friend recommended that I use high-gluten flour rather than all-purpose flour. High gluten flour will give the focaccia a better rise and result in a softer, chewier texture. Since high-gluten flour isn’t as common as all-purpose flour, I’ll have to scout around my local grocery stores and see what’s available. When I try it, I’ll update this post and let you know how it goes.
If you have some additional tips for creating better rosemary focaccia. Please share them in the comments below! I’d love to post them here.
When I originally cut my focaccia for the photos, I kept the slices fairly large so they’d make for better photos. However, when serving this bread to guests, I think it’s much more manageable to go with smaller slices, about 2-inch x 3-inch rectangles. As a result, my nutritional information reflects these smaller serving sizes.
Keep in mind that this information doesn’t include any extra olive oil that you may drizzle over the bread outside of the original recipe. How much oil you use is a matter of personal taste.
Did You Try It?
I had a lot of fun making this recipe, so I’m excited for everyone I know to try it. If you tried it, let me know how it turned out for you! Share your success (or failures) in the comments below.