Yeast breads can be tricky and not always a success. But this recipe for Focaccia Bread with Olives and Rosemary is so foolproof, it’s an excellent recipe for beginners. I’ve made this one several times now without fail and yeast breads are not my forte. You can add whatever herbs and toppings you like but I make this version with olives, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and rosemary whenever I can because the variety of flavors is visually appealing and the combination of flavors are bold and rustic. And amazing.
When making the dough, this recipe places the dry yeast directly in the flour so no need to foam up the yeast in water beforehand. After all the ingredients are well combined, this dough becomes perfectly stretchy and elastic with very little effort. To help with the rising process, I place the dough on top of my stove under the overhead light and within an hour or two (I always wait two hours), you’ll have a poofy pillow ready to stretch out on your baking sheet. I like to make it as shown in one piece filling out the entire surface, but you could cut the dough into fourths and make individual focaccia rounds as well.
Using your fingers, spread the dough out until you have one even piece. Punch some wells into the focaccia and drizzle with the olive oil; add olives and rosemary as desired. If adding roasted garlic, take note that it will blacken and harden while baking. We loved it this way, but may not be for everyone (the garlic softens again as it sits and especially the following day).
I serve it with balsamic vinegar and EVOO for dipping, but this would be tasty with pizza sauce or marinara too. Leftovers stored in an airtight container are delicious reheated or even cold the next day.
As I mentioned earlier, this is the perfect recipe for a beginning bread maker. Why not let the kids give this one a try and be creative with the toppings. One last note, don’t skip the dried oregano that goes into the dough before rising… it makes the bread, so if anything, go ahead and be generous with it. Give this a try soon, I bet you find yourself making it again and again.
- 3½ cups All-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus extra for rubbing in bowl and drizzling before baking
- 1⅓ cup lukewarm water
- Olives (Black & Green), pitted
- Fresh Rosemary leaves, chopped, approximately 1 tablespoon
- In a large bowl, sift flour, dry yeast, oregano, sugar, and salt. Add olive oil and water. Mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Transfer onto a floured work surface and knead until you get nice soft and elastic dough (this can take 3 to 5 minutes).
- Oil your bowl with olive oil and place the dough in. Cover with cling wrap and let it rise until it has doubled in size (30 mins – 60mins depending on the room temperature).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, transfer it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Using your hands, spread the dough across the baking sheet. With your fingers make a lot of wells on its surface.
- Pour over some extra virgin olive oil, season with thyme and top with olives (as many as you like).
- Bake in a preheated 375F degree oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden.
- Using a pizza cutter or bread knife, cut into individual servings and serve.
- Leftovers keep for a day when stored in an air tight container.