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Easy rosemary focaccia recipe

Incredibly easy to make, this no-knead rosemary focaccia recipe is topped with fresh rosemary leaves and black olives. This bread packs a ton of flavor, and it also makes great sandwiches. Focaccia doesn’t require any special equipment and it’s easy enough for any level of baker – even those with zero experience. It’s a great jumping off point into bread baking because you don’t have to be an experienced baker to get great results.

I’ll give you variations and substitutions where I can, plus helpful tips and tricks for success. Read on for this info as well as the recipe. If you’d like to skip straight to the recipe, use the jump to recipe button at the top of the post.

You may also be interested in my Parmesan potato biscuits and my sage onion rolls recipes. For ease of browsing, you can find all of my bread recipes in one place.

Rosemary focaccia with black olives on a black walnut cutting board, with sprigs of rosemary on the sides.

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Rosemary focaccia

Flour, salt, water, yeast. These four basic ingredients that most of us already have in the pantry (plus a splash of olive oil) are all that is needed to make focaccia bread. Adding in fresh herbs and a salty, briny component like olives make this bread extra special.

Slices on bread with rosemary on black cutting board with kitchen towel underneath.

You don’t have to be a seasoned baker to make this overnight focaccia. As a matter of fact, you can have no baking experience whatsoever. This bread is ridiculously easy, I promise.

Ingredients

Rosemary focaccia uses basic pantry ingredients that you likely have in your kitchen right now.

Slices of rosemary focaccia on dark cutting board with black olives on top.
  • All-purpose flour – This is the regular flour you have in the pantry.
    • Substitution: You can use bread flour instead of all-purpose.
  • Yeast – I used instant yeast. During the testing of the recipe, I used active dry and instant, and I actually preferred the instant yeast.
    • Substitution: You can use active dry yeast, if that’s what you have. You’ll need to let the yeast bloom in water for 15 minutes or so before moving on with the recipe.
  • Salt – Please read the notes section on salt. It is not all the same, and can affect the outcome of your focaccia.
  • Rosemary – I am team rosemary all the way. It’s my favorite herb and it brings an amazing aroma and flavor to this bake.
  • Olive oil – Choose an olive oil that you like, because you will taste it in the bread.
  • Black olives – Salty and briny, they give this bread incredible flavor.
Bread on cooling rack with kitchen towel undreneath.
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Measuring ingredients by weight, ESPECIALLY in baking, is much more accurate than cup measurement.

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07/24/2024 02:13 am GMT

How to make

Here’s a quick summary of how to make black olive and rosemary focaccia. Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full recipe. 

Step by step photos showing how to make focaccia.
  1. Prep – Mix all of the ingredients for the dough into a ball, then coat in oil and refrigerate overnight. Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper and drizzle in a tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Deflate the rosemary focaccia dough by gently coaxing it out of the bowl and placing it into the prepared baking pan.
  3. Coat the dough in olive oil, let it rise at room temperature for 3 – 4 hours.
  4. Dough should be bubbly and doubled in size.
Before and after photos of bread in a 9x13 pan.

Finally, sprinkle on the toppings, then dimple the dough with oiled fingertips, and slide it into a hot oven to bake for 30 minutes.

Rosemary focaccia FAQ’s

Can I use dried rosemary?

Yes, you can use 1 tablespoon of dried rosemary in place of fresh herbs.

How do you keep the rosemary on top from burning?

Coat the rosemary leaves in olive oil before sprinkling them on top of the focaccia.

Rosemary and black olive focaccia on black board with rosemary sprigs on the side.

Variations and substitutions

  • Sheet pan – For thinner, crispier focaccia, you can bake the dough in a half sheet pan.
  • Red onion – Swap out olives for thinly sliced red onion.
Rosemary and red onion focaccia in half sheet pan.

What I’ve learned

I have been thinking about making rosemary focaccia for months. But, for one reason or another, talked myself out of it every time… until now. I kept thinking that it was such a hassle (it’s not) and that it would be a process (it hardly qualifies as work) to make it…  blah, blah. It had been awhile since I had made focaccia and I’d forgotten just how ridiculously easy it is. 

In re-testing this recipe (it’s been on my blog for 12 years), I’ve learned that while the difference is hardly noticeable, I prefer instant yeast in this recipe to active yeast that has to bloom. It’s just a speedier process, and I like the end result.

I’ve also learned that next time, I’ll chop up the olives and add them in with the dry ingredients like I do when making sourdough bread. The olives tend to fall off if they aren’t pressed down into the focaccia.

The overnight rest does require you to plan ahead, but it also develops flavor, and that’s totally worth it.

Sliced focaccia on board with fresh rosemary on the side.

Helpful tools and equipment

  • A digital food scale is something I use on a daily basis. If you do any baking, please do yourself a huge favor and get one. It is more accurate than measuring cups and it’s actually faster to weigh ingredients, plus less to clean up.
  • Parchment paper sheets are MUCH easier to use than tearing pieces off of a roll.

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Rosemary focaccia with black olives on a black walnut cutting board, with sprigs of rosemary on the sides.

Rosemary focaccia

Cheryl Bennett
Easy overnight, no knead rosemary focaccia recipe.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 16 hours 50 minutes
Course Bread recipes
Cuisine Italian-American
Servings 12 people
Calories 207 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

  • 500 grams all-purpose flour roughly 4 cups
  • 8 grams kosher salt 2 tsp. *see notes
  • 7 grams instant yeast 1/4 oz. packet
  • 500 ml room temperature water 2 cups
  • 2 oz. olive oil 4 tbsp., divided
  • 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves only
  • 70 grams black olives roughly chopped, 1/2 cup *I used oil-cured

Instructions
 

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Pour in the water, and mix, using a sturdy rubber spatula, until you have a tacky ball of dough. Scrape the sides down to make sure everything is fully mixed in. *It will be sticky, resist the urge to add flour.
  • Slick the surface of the dough ball with olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, or a tight-fitting lid. Place your oil-coated, tightly sealed ball of dough in the refrigerator overnight (or minimum of 12 hours). This will begin the slow fermentation process.
    Focaccia dough rising in bowl.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge.
    Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. Pour half of the olive oil into the bottom of the prepared pan and swirl to coat the bottom.
  • Using a flexible bench scraper, coax the dough out of the bowl. You can also use a rubber spatula if you don't have a bench scraper. *Run the bench scraper down the side of the bowl, turning the bowl each time you do this, until you've gone all the way around, and the dough is now in a rough ball.
    Tip the dough out of the bowl and into the prepared 9×13 pan. Turn the dough to coat in oil.
    Focaccia dough after overnight rise in pan.
  • Let the dough rise for 3 – 4 hours, uncovered, at room temperature. When the dough is puffy and has doubled in size, preheat oven to 425°F // 220°C.
  • Pour remaining olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle rosemary leaves and black olives over the dough. Coat your three middle fingers in olive oil, then press straight down into the dough, all the way to the bottom of the pan, to create dimples all over. *You don't have to dimple every inch, just enough to make some pockets in the dough.
  • Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the pan, and place on a cooling rack. Let the rosemary focaccia cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
    If you plan to use it for sandwiches, let it cool completely before slicing in half lengthwise.
    Baked focaccia in pan.

Notes

A note about salt – I use Diamond Crystal kosher salt. If you use Morton’s kosher salt, or a fine kosher salt, reduce the amount of salt in the recipe. Diamond Crystal flakes are much different and they weigh significantly less. One teaspoon of Diamond Crystal salt weighs 3’ish grams, whereas a teaspoon of Morton’s weighs 5 grams – almost double. If you are concerned about your focaccia being too salty, reduce the amount of salt to 1 1/2 tsp.
A note on yeast – You can use active dry yeast, if that’s what you have. You’ll need to let the yeast bloom in water for 15 minutes or so before moving on with the recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 5gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 418mgPotassium: 69mgFiber: 2gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 95IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 2mg
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Originally published 6/10/12, most recent update 4/22/24.

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