focaccia bread

The Easiest No-Knead Focaccia Bread Recipe

Focaccia is the easiest and most delicious bread one could make

I first fell in love with focaccia bread when I met my friend Ike. We had been living in Germany for only a few months, and God sent me an angel.

You see, living abroad is not as glamorous as one might think. It’s lonely, and until you feel as though you belong, you have to try and find ways to distract from the lonely.

That’s when I met Ike.

Lucky for me, she loves Americans.

I met her at a dinner party for my husband’s job. She and her husband quickly became some of our best friends, and there was one thing we both had in common that definitely played a part in our instant bond — the love of food.

Ike and her husband Ziggi are incredible cooks. And after going to their house for dinner and having handmade pasta, and almost everything made from scratch, my love for Italian food grew even more.

One day we planned a day trip to the Austrian alps and brought our own food. I brought ham and cheese sandwiches. Ike brought focaccia bread. Of course, she brought enough for everyone, knowing we would most definitely want some. 

IT WAS AMAZING.

Other times I had had focaccia bread, it was used as a piece of bread for sandwiches, was dry, chewy, and not too enticing. But THIS. This is something different.

This focaccia bread stands alone. Like, you simply don’t need anything else with it other than a salad and a glass or two of red wine. Yes, even if on a day trip in the mountains.

Ever since I tasted a slice of Ike’s amazing focaccia bread, I couldn’t get enough. The flavor is out of this world. It has since become a staple of ours.

The perfect balance of moist, savory, tinge of sweet, not too spongy, not too dry, flavorful, and just plain Italian.

The best part is, you can top it with whatever you like AND it’s a no-knead, super easy bread that pairs well with just about any dish. 

My favorite topping combination is onions, artichokes, and thinly sliced fresh tomatoes topped with a little lemon zest. The simplicity is mind-blowing.

Another great combo is olives, leeks, and fresh rosemary, and flaky sea salt.

Fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, and garlic is also another good combo.

So whether you’re having a dinner party with friends or a movie night with the fam, this healthy Italian focaccia bread recipe is sure to please and will instantly become a go-to staple in your home.  

This version is a little different than hers – her instructions were many times based on feel and texture, so I had to give it some numbers to follow more easily. But that’s something to keep in mind.

So often, altitude, type of flour we use, or the weather that day has to do with how something will turn out. Try and be attentive to that and use the recipe, but also use your common sense. If the texture feels dry, add more liquid and vice versa.

The most beautiful thing about Italian food is that it has no boundaries, but it has guidelines. So use this recipe as a guideline, but also leave room for your own creativity.

Simple No-Knead, Vegan, Homemade Focaccia Bread Recipe

Makes a 9×13 lasagna pan to serve 6 – 10 people — depending on how hungry everyone is. 

Dough Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Bread Flour (All-Purpose flour is also okay)
  • 2 ¾ Teaspoons Active Dry Yeast (about 1 ½ packets) 
  • Dash of sugar or squirt of honey to activate yeast with a few TBSP of warm water
  • ¾ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Cup Olive Oil
  • Glass of Warm Water (about 1 CUP)

Garlic and Olive Oil Topping (won’t be put on until after baking):

  • ¼ Cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Garlic Cloves 
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian Seasonings

Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat over to 200 C or 425 F

Mix yeast with 3 TBSP water and dash of sugar or honey to activate until dissolved and bubbly.

With a stand mixer or simply by hand, mix flour and salt and in a large bowl.

Make a dent in the middle of the bread flour and pour the yeast mixture into the center.

Add olive oil.

Start mixing with a wooden spoon as you add your warm water. 

Keep stirring and adding water until you get a sticky and slimy dough. You want it sticky and wet! Not a pizza dough consistency. And remember, no kneading!

Cover bowl with plastic wrap sprayed with PAM on the inside and let the dough rise about an hour — you want it to double in size.

After it’s done rising, scrape dough in a deep baking sheet or lasagna pan lined with parchment paper, drizzled with olive oil.

Don’t use any extra flour! It needs to be really sticky.

Pour more olive oil on top and make dimples on the top of the dough with your finger.

Top it with whatever you like. Here are some yummy options, but don’t overcrowd!

  • Olives
  • Artichokes
  • Capers
  • Onions
  • Dried Figs
  • Tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Canned Red Peppers
  • Lemon Zest
  • Fresh or Dries Herbs i.e. Basil, Rosemary, Thyme,  Oregano, Red Pepper Flakes, or any Italian Spice. 
  • Dates

Or basically anything you would put on a pizza.

Bake in the oven for a total of 20 Minutes. For the last 7 minutes or so turn up heat to 230 C (450 Fahrenheit) and bake until golden brown.

After you take it out of the oven, immediately pour the garlic and herb olive oil mix over top and let cool on a cooling rack to room temperature. 

Sprinkle with lemon zest (don’t forget this step). Cut into large squares and serve aside a bowl of marinara sauce to dip your bread into!

Bon Appetit’s focaccia bread recipe has got NOTHING on this one. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. It’s the easiest way to make savory bread that can be brought to the mountains when you’re on a hike, or enjoyed at the beach. 

Whatever joy life brings you, be sure to make this easy focaccia recipe and it will make your experience that much better. Good food makes everything better.

Author

Hillary Gruener is a wife, mother, writer, and musician. If she's not at her desk writing content on family life, she's adventuring the world with her husband and two boys.

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