Rosemary Focaccia is a bread with a crusty outside but smooth and chewy on the inside. The bread is rich in the flavor because of the olive oil; and, the salt and rosemary sprinkled on top give the bread a rustic taste.
My mother was trying to remember a type of bread that she and Dad used to purchase. She was talking to her brother, Clyde, one day and they figured out it was focaccia. Since I love to make bread, I made a loaf. I shared with Mom and she said this was the bread she had been thinking about. Focaccia is a yummy bread.
As far as bread making goes, I think focaccia is fairly simple to make. It needs to rise twice, which is not uncommon, at least for the breads that I have made. The most difficult step for me was pressing the dough into the corners of the jelly roll pan. Well, waiting to eat it was probably the most difficult! Anyway, when pressing the dough into the jelly roll pan, the dough insisted on pulling away from the corners. It took a little patience and persistence to get the dough in the corners. Once the dough is stretched in the jelly roll pan, you poke holes in it, which give the bread its signature appearance and texture. It was kinda fun poking the holes in the bread!
I use rosemary and coarse salt on top of the bread, but you could get creative and use whatever spices you desire.
It is best eaten the day it is baked, but will last a few days before it gets stale. It makes a large loaf, so it makes enough to share!
I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast If you have yeast in packets, one packet will work. One packet of yeast is 2 1/4 teaspoons, a little less yeast is ok.
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 4-5 cups all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading
- 1 tablespoon salt This salt can be table salt, kosher salt, or sea salt. This is for use in the bread dough.
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided, plus a little more for sprinkling on the bread before baking
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt This salt is for sprinkling on the bread, so we want coarse salt.
- Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Put the bowl in a warm, not hot or cool, place until the yeast is bubbling and aromatic, at least 15 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the 2 cups of the flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture. Using a large spoon, mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Slowly add flour 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until dough has formed and is not too sticky or tacky.
- Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand a few times. If the dough is really sticky and tacky, you can sprinkle lightly with flour and knead the flour into the dough.
- Coat the inside of the large bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with greased was paper and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.
- Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Yes, 1/2 cup of olive oil.
- Put the dough onto the jelly roll pan and press it with your fingers so that it is about half the size of the pan. Turn the dough over so the other side gets coated with olive oil. Continue to press the dough so that it fits the size of the pan. As you are pressing the dough, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough.
- Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- When the dough has almost doubled in size, preheat the oven to 425 F.
- Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the coarse sea salt and rosemary then lightly drizzle a little oil on top.
- Bake the dough until the top of the loaf is golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.
- It may seem a bit excessive to add 1/2 cup of oil to the jelly roll pan, but focaccia is an oily crusted bread and the oil makes it so yummy!
- Pressing finger holes into the dough while pressing the dough into the jelly roll pan may seem strange, but when the dough rises again it will create the characteristic rough and uneven looking focaccia. The bread will be smooth if you do not put the holes into it.