My famously easy focaccia bread recipe baked up in a skillet and topped with juicy tomatoes and olives ~ change the toppings out to suit your taste!
a focaccia bread recipe baked in a skillet
If I had to assign a season to focaccia bread, it would have to be summer. For one thing, it’s practically effortless to make, and goes so well with all the Mediterranean food we’re loving right now. This easy focaccia bread recipe is baked up in a cast iron skillet for a pretty round shape that makes a lovely presentation. Slice it into strips or wedges, it’s your call.
did you know?
Focaccia is a flat, dimpled no-knead bread that originated in the Liguria region of Italy. It’s soft and chewy on the inside with a slightly crisp exterior. Focaccia is often called a type of flatbread, but it’s not a true flatbread because it’s made with yeast ~ similar to a pizza dough.
ingredients for an easy focaccia bread recipe
- I love this recipe because you can make it with all purpose flour or bread flour. I most often use all purpose.
- I use rapid-rise instant yeast but regular active dry yeast will work too.
- olive oil
- a fruity & robust extra virgin olive oil will add lots of flavor to this simple bread.
- kosher or sea salt
- salt combined with the olive oil is the predominant flavor profile in this bread: use a coarse salt.
- Italian seasoning
- cherry tomatoes
- choose smaller cherry tomatoes, and leave them whole.
- black olives
- any type is fine, black or green, just make sure they’re pitted.
what makes focaccia focaccia?
In short, it’s the dimples. The little pockets of olive oil you create all over the surface of the dough with your fingers before baking. This adds moisture to the dough, as well as lots of fruity olive flavor. Do this first before adding any toppings. It’s what makes this focaccia bread recipe sing!
more focaccia bread recipes:
5 step focaccia bread recipe (no knead!)
- Mix up your dough. I do this in my stand mixer but you can easily do it in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.
- Let it rise.
- Press it into your pan.
- Dimple the surface with olive oil and add toppings of your choice.
focaccia recipe FAQs
Can I make focaccia dough in advance?
- Yes, you can make the focaccia dough in advance. After the dough has risen, you can punch it down, shape it into a ball, and refrigerate it overnight. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, then proceed with shaping, topping, and baking as usual.
Can I use whole wheat flour or other types of flour in this focaccia bread recipe?
- Yes, you can experiment with different types of flour in your focaccia recipe. While traditional focaccia is made with all-purpose flour, you can substitute part or all of it with whole wheat flour, bread flour, or even a combination of flours.
Why don’t you proof your yeast?
- According to my research that’s no longer necessary because modern yeast is more reliable, especially if it’s within its expiration date and has been stored properly.
Don’t I need to knead my focaccia dough?
- No, kneading is not necessary for making focaccia bread. Unlike some other bread recipes that require kneading to develop gluten and create structure, focaccia dough is typically a wetter and more slack dough that bakes up into a soft and airy texture.
Why don’t I prove my yeast?
- There is new thinking on this in the baking world, and with modern reliable yeasts that are used within their expiration date there is no need to dissolve or prove them first. I’ve been doing it this way for years without any issues. But go ahead and dissolve first if you’re more comfortable with that.
Can I freeze focaccia?
- Yes, you can freeze focaccia. It is best to freeze it after it has cooled completely. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in a freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Thaw the frozen focaccia at room temperature or reheat it in a preheated oven for a few minutes to revive its texture before serving.
How do I store leftover focaccia?
- If you have leftover focaccia, store it in an airtight container or wrap it in plastic wrap or foil. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Focaccia Bread Recipe
- 10" cast iron skillet
- 4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 tsp or a 1/4 ounce packet of instant or regular dry active yeast. I use instant yeast.
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for topping the dough
- 2 cups warm water (not hot!)
- 12 cherry tomatoes, approximately.
- 24 black olives, approximately. Oil cured or Kalamata will have the most flavor.
- Put the flour, yeast, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also do this by hand) and mix to combine.
- With the mixer on low add the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, mixing until a soft wet dough forms. It will be sticky.
- Cover and let rise for an hour in a warm place. It should be puffed up slightly.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425F. Oil your pan and line with a circle of parchment paper to prevent sticking.
- Turn the dough into your prepared skillet. Note: if your dough seems excessively sticky you can dust it with a little extra flour to make it easier to handle. Use your fingers to press it out to fill the skillet.
- Put some olive oil in a small bowl and dip your fingers into the oil, and then poke little indents all over the bread, leaving little pools of oil. Do this all over the surface. Don’t skimp; this will result in great flavor after the bread is baked.
- Arrange the tomatoes and olives across the top, pressing them into the dough slightly, then scatter a bit of Italian seasoning and sea salt over the surface.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crusty.
- Remove the bread from the pan to cool on a rack. Slice with a sharp knife, and feel free to enjoy while warm!