Focaccia bread is so easy to make, yet so delish! Not to mention, it is SO satisfying to make. Having the bread rise, drenching it in olive oil, and then pressing your fingertips into the dough is like poetry. This focaccia is generously topped with flaky sea salt and rosemary. The aroma fills the house with a distinct lemon-pine scent. It is truly irresistible!
Focaccia bread holds a special place in my heart. When I was in college, I was a procrastinator, to say the least. This usually was good for me because I produce some of my best work under pressure; however, that wasn't the case when I didn't sign up for classes until the last minute. In the final semester of my bachelor's degree, it was required that I take an elective course to graduate, and there I was… faced with guitar tuning or Mediterranean cooking.
I didn't know anything about Mediterranean cooking, so I thought, why not! I learned about oils, salt, fish, vegetables, and the benefits of them all. Our "textbook" was just a cookbook that I read cover to cover. Needless to say, that class really sparked something in me that I had not realized up until that point that I enjoyed so much.
The final assignment is what lit my fire and revealed my love language. I was required to cook a 3 course Mediterranean meal for family. I had to note how I obtained the ingredients and how that encouraged the sense of community, how it felt to create and transform raw foods into an incredible meal, and how it connected the family over one table and fortified conversation.
I made the meal for my now, soon-to-be in-laws. My courses were a roasted vegetable antipasto with local cheese, sausage gnocchi bake, and handmade rosemary focaccia bread. I used the same method and recipe I learned in class to make the recipe that I am posting on my food blog today. It is remarkable how life works, bringing experiences and people into our lives to show us what ignites us. When making this recipe, I hope you're flooded with the moments that led you to where you are now.
Rosemary Focaccia Bread
- 1 ⅓ cups water lukewarm
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 package active dry yeast .25 ounce
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons flaky sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- In a glass bowl, combine the water, yeast, and honey. Give a quick stir, and let sit for a couple minutes to activate the yeast. You will know your yeast is activated when there is foam on top of the liquid.
- In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, olive oil, and salt. Then pour the yeast mixture into the bowl. Using your hands or the dough attachment on the stand mixer, knead until the dough comes together, about 5 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and use your hands to shape it into a ball. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm area to rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- After the dough's first rise, turn onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a large rectangle or circle about ½ inch thick. Cover the dough again with a damp towel and let rise for an additional 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- After the dough's second rise, place it into a large 9x13 baking dish. Generously drizzle olive oil all over the top of the dough. Then using your fingers, poke deep indents all over the surface. Sprinkle with fresh rosemary and flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden.
- Remove from the oven and drizzle with additional olive oil. Enjoy a slice warm!