I fell in love with focaccia bread in the late 90’s when Panini sandwiches became really popular. This recipe for classic Italian rosemary garlic focaccia is very simple, honoring its origins in Italy. Historians believe this dish originated in North Central Italy before the Roman Empire took hold. The name originates from Roman word “panis focacius”. Panis means bread and focacius is related to fireplace.
Focaccia’s started as a country bread, very little yeast was used and it was made with very basic ingredients. This bread was used to feed slaves, later peasants, and eventually it gained status in Italy among the wealthier classes. In modern times, this type of bread can be found in bakeries all over the world. It can be used as a thick pizza dough, as a side to soups, for sandwiches, or simply eaten alone.
I think this recipe is easiest with a mixer that has a dough hook but a regular mixer will get you most of the way and then you can knead by hand. Rosemary is such an abundant herb in so many parts of the world. Chopped and added to the dough, the rosemary in this recipe really imparts a homemade earthy taste to this Italian style bread.
The ability to add toppings on focaccia bread also make it a popular choice for your guests. This recipe uses simple rosemary garnish and coarse salt, but you can top your focaccia bread with cheese, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, olives, basil, prosciutto, etc.
Recipe for homemade rosemary garlic focaccia bread
Yield: one loaf
Equipment: Regular mixer or ideally a mixer with a dough hook, oven, baking sheets,
- 2 cups flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/4 ounce yeast
- 4 garlic cloves and 2-4 springs of rosemary chopped fine
- ⅔ cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
1. First, in a large bowl or Kitchenaid mixer bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, and chopped rosemary and garlic
2. In the center of the dry ingredients create a well and add ⅔ cup warm water and and mix slowly until it creates a soft dough.
3. Knead on floured surface 10-15 minutes by hand ** or replace the paddle with the dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes ON LOW until smooth and elastic and dough starts to crawl up the hook.
4. Place in ceramic, glass, or plastic but not metallic bowl that is WELL OILED and cover with a dish towel.
5. Set a timer for 45 minutes to one hour and forget about it until it has doubled in size.
6. Turn out and knead lightly (or chafe the dough) then roll out into a oval about ½ inch thick
7. Place on oiled baking sheet and cover with oiled plastic wrap and let it rise until it doubles in size again (about 45 minutes).
8. Poke little dents with your fingers and lightly drip, spray or brush olive oil in the dents, let it seep into the hole a little. Add course salt and rosemary sprigs to finish.
9. Bake in preheated over at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes until golden on top. When it is done it should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
**bread tips for using a heavy duty mixer: 1) forget dissolving the yeast with water first 2) use paddle attachment for this step for this quick recipe