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Easy No Knead Focaccia (Same Day or Overnight Rise)

Easy No Knead Focaccia (Same Day or Overnight Rise)

You can count on this Easy No Knead Focaccia Recipe to come out scrumptious every single time you make it. Simply coated with olive oil and course salt, it is amazing all by itself or dunked in your favorite dipping sauce.

Focaccia, a flat Italian bread, has always been my favorite bread in the restaurant bread baskets. I can’t resist it’s crispy outer layer that covers a perfectly soft and chewy center, or the delicious toppings that complete the flavor experience. Now I have a fool proof recipe that I can make at home!

Tomato and Olive Focaccia with oregano sprigs on a butcher block.

I especially love this recipe because as someone that does not spend a lot of time baking bread, this makes me feel like a master baker. Anyone can make this bread. There is absolutely no skill required! Like my Dutch Oven No Knead Bread, there is nothing much to do but combine the ingredients and set it aside. It comes out perfectly every time!

The no knead method of making this bread relies on a slow rising process to create the perfect combination of airy bubbles and gluten that results in the amazing texture of this bread. So although it takes a while to make focaccia, the hands on time required is really minimal.

Ingredients you need for Focaccia and substitutions

Ingredients for making focaccia with labels.

All purpose flour: You can also use bread flour if you like. Since AP flour is always in my pantry I tested this recipe to make sure it would work with it.

Dry Active Yeast: This is a yeast dough so you will need to use it. You can use Instant/Fast Rising Yeast as well. If you use the instant yeast you don’t need to bloom it so you can just add it to your flour and proceed from there. Whatever type of yeast you use. just make sure that it has not expired or the focaccia will not rise.

Sugar: The sugar is needed to help activate the yeast and it results creating a dough that is riddled with air bubbles. You can substitute honey if you like.

Water: Warm water is needed to bloom the yeast. Don’t make it too hot or it will kill the yeast.

Salt: I used Kosher salt in this recipe.

Extra Virgin Olive oil: You will need olive oil to coat the bowl the bread will rise in and the pan that you are baking the focaccia in. You will also need it to drizzle over the top of the focaccia before you bake it. All of this oil is going to flavor your dough, so it is important that you use a good quality extra virgin olive oil.

Two proofing methods for making No Knead Focaccia

As I mentioned this is a very easy recipe for making focaccia and the secret to this no knead dough is the long rise time that we give the dough. There are two ways to do this. The first is to chill the dough and allow it to rise very slowly for 12 – 24 hours. The second method is to proof the dough in a warm area for 1-3 hours. Both versions will require a second rise before baking it, so most of the steps for making this bread are the same.

After having tested both methods, I don’t see a big difference in the focaccia produced between the two. Both proofing methods resulted in deliciously crispy dough with a soft tender center. The chilled method did create a focaccia that was a bit more fluffy, but if you don’t have time for the overnight rise, you will not be disappointed.

Step by step instructions for making Focaccia

# photos of blooming yeast, mixing dough and dough that has been turned in oil.
  • Bloom the yeast: Add the yeast and sugar to the warm water. Stir and let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast starts to get foamy.
  • Mix the dough: Combine the yeast mixture with the dry ingredients. Mix with with a spatula until a sticky dough is formed.
  • Proof the dough: Using a spatula scrape the dough into a well oiled bowl and turn it to coat.

Same day proofing method

4 photos of dough that has proofed, put in a pan, risen again and ready for the oven.
  1. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place. Allow it to rise until it is doubled in size. This will take anywhere from 2 – 3 1/2 hours.
    • Using a spatula pull one side of the dough toward you and fold it over itself. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and fold the dough over itself again. Do this two more times until you have fold the dough over on all sides. This helps to deflate the dough just enough to help create gluten.
  2. Grease a rimmed 9×9 baking pan with butter. Pour 2 tbsp of olive oil in the center of the pan. Pour the dough into the greased baking pan. There is no need to stretch the dough out as it will expand to fit the pan during the next rise.
  3. Leave the dough uncovered and place in a warm area for the second rise. This will take between 1 1/2 -2 hours.
  4. When the dough has doubled again and filled in the pan, drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil over the top and dress with whatever toppings you like.
    • Using you fingers press down into the dough creating dimples that reach to the bottom of the pan. Do this all over the dough.
  5. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Over night chill method

  1. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The dough should be doubled in size.
  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature as you grease the baking pan and preheat the oven.
  3. Follow steps 2-8 above.
Several pieces of rosemary focaccia with sprigs of rosemary around them.

Traditional Focaccia toppings

Traditional Italian focaccia is topped with different herbs, vegetables and seasonings all over Italy. In Genoa focaccia is sprinkled with an olive oil, salt and water brine before it is left to rise for the last time. In Liguria one of the versions you will find is focaccia di Recco, where stracchino cheese is sandwiched between two layers of very thin focaccia. Other variations include the addition of sauces or meats to the focaccia or even sweet toppings such as sugar or honey.

The most common focaccia recipe is made with olive oil, salt and rosemary.

Focaccia dough covered with tomatoes and olives ready for the oven.

More Focaccia topping ideas

I made the same day rise focaccia with rosemary and I topped the overnight rise dough with cherry tomatoes, olives, onion and oregano. There is no right or wrong here. Ultimately the sky is the limit as far as toppings are concerned. Here are some additional combinations you might want to try:

  • Jalapeno and cheddar cheese
  • Tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella
  • Olive oil, garlic and parmesan cheese
  • Prosciutto, figs, tarragon and served with a drizzle of honey

What kind of pan should you use?

You can really use any baking pan to make focaccia. Make sure it has a high enough rim to hold the dough once it rises. If you are using a pan that is not non-stick then I recommend greasing the sides and bottom of the pan with butter before adding the olive oil. The dough is very sticky and it will stick to the pan otherwise.

I used a buttered Le Creuset stoneware baking dish and found it created a nice crust and the focaccia came right out!. But you can use any baking dish you like or even a cast iron pan. I would suggest avoiding a glass baking pan if you want a crispy bottom crust. Glass does not conduct heat as well as metal, iron or stone.

Focaccia with tomatoes, onion and olives.

Pan size considerations

As written this recipe works well for a thick 9″x9″ loaf of focaccia. You can use a 9″ x 13″ pan if you want a thin loaf. You will need to stretch the dough out lengthwise to almost the edge before the final rise so that it will fill out the pan.

Storage, freezing and reheating recommendations

Focaccia is best eaten warm out of the oven. But if you have any left over, you can store it in a plastic bag, at room temperature, for 2 days. It can also be frozen for up to a month.

To reheat it, just place it in the microwave for a few seconds or in a 350 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes or until it is just heated through. If it was frozen, let it thaw for about 30-40 minutes before reheating it.

Slices of tomatoe and olive focaccia with sprigs of oregano on a butcher block.

Frequently asked questions

Can you add ingredients into focaccia dough

Yes you can! Just add whatever filling you like when you are initially mixing the dough. Garlic, olives, herbs, or even raisins would make tasty filling for focaccia.

What can you do with focaccia bread?

Focaccia is very versatile. It can be served as an appetizer, as bread accompanying a main course, or as a whole meal all by itself. Sliced horizontally and filled with mortadella or other deli meats, it makes an amazing sandwich. If you have focaccia that is a day or two old, cut it up and make a Panzanella salad. Put your favorite pizza toppings on it for one of the best pizzas you will ever eat!

What temperature should you bake focaccia at?

Focaccia is a bread that you want to bake at a higher temperature so that you quickly produce a crunchy crust and soft center. This recipe works for me at 425F degrees. If your oven runs cool, then I would suggest bringing the temperature up to 450 or even 500F and watch it to make sure it does not burn.

Other bread recipes you may want to try

After trying your hand at Focaccia you may find that you want to try another bread recipe. My pizza dough is a good place to start. You can even take that step further and make Stromboli . If you want to go in a completely different direction, why not try this exceptionally moist cornbread. You won’t be sorry you did!

I love to get your feedback so if you tried this No Knead Focaccia or any other recipes on this website, please leave me a comment below.  I hope you enjoy our recipes and look forward to hearing from you!

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Slices of tomatoe and olive focaccia with sprigs of oregano on a butcher block.

No Knead Focaccia

You can count on this easy No Knead Focaccia recipe to come out scrumptious every single time you make it. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, it will become your favorite bread recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Bread Rise Time 15 hrs
Total Time 15 hrs 45 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 226 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 9" x 9" rimmed baking pan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups Flour All purpose
  • 1⅓ cups Water Warm
  • tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 1 tsp Granulated Sugar or honey
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 3-4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Butter to grease the pan
  • Sea Salt or Kosher salt for sprinkling on the dough

Instructions
 

  • Combine the warm water, sugar and yeast in a small bowl or measuring cup. Stir and set aside until frothy, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Combine flour and salt in another large bowl. When the yeast mixture is ready, mix it into the flour. Gently stir until the flour is completely mixed in. The dough will be sticky.
  • Using a spatula, scrap the dough into the bowl with the olive oil and turn to coat it on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, approximately 3-4 hours.
  • Butter a 9"x9" baking dish and pour 1 tbsp of olive oil in the center of the pan.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, a two spatulas to pull the dough up and toward you, folding into itself. Turn the bowl ¼ turn and fold the dough into itself again. Repeat this two more times until you are back where you started. This will sufficiently deflate the dough.
  • Scrape the dough into the center of the baking dish and pour any oil remaining in the bowl over the dough. Place the dough in a warm area and allow to rise, uncovered, until doubled in size, approximately for 1½-2 hours. The dough should fill in to fit the pan.
  • Pre-heat your oven to 425°. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil over the top of the dough, sprinkle with Kosher or Sea salt flakes and any other toppings you desire. Using your fingers press down into the dough creating deep dimples that reach the bottom of the pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Notes

Over night chill method

  1. Follow directions for making dough up to first rise.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 12 hours and up to 24 hours. The dough should be doubled in size when ready.
  3. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature as you grease the baking pan and preheat the oven.
  4. Follow directions above for turning the dough onto itself, second rise and baking.
How to tell if the dough is ready to bake
  1. The should have doubled in size.
  2. If you press into the dough with your finger it should spring back slowly and leave an indentation.  

Nutrition

Serving: 8servingsCalories: 226kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 6gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 295mgPotassium: 72mgFiber: 2gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Bread, Easy, no knead, flour, olive oil, yeast
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

1 thought on “Easy No Knead Focaccia (Same Day or Overnight Rise)”

  • 5 stars
    This is such a wonderful bread! The toppings give it that wonderful Mediterranean flavor. I love it with just a glass of red wine.

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