Rosemary and Olive No Knead Focaccia Bread with paper thin slices of Meyer lemon is an easy yeast bread you’ll come back to again and again. With only a quick hand mixing and 40 minutes to rise, you can have it on the table, (or in your mouth!) in just over an hour.
This focaccia (“foh-KA-cha”) bread recipe is near and dear to my heart, it’s one of the first yeast breads I learned to make, and is still a favorite because it’s simple and foolproof. Sometimes I make it plain, sometimes just with the rosemary and salt…I’ve topped it with everything from pine nuts to cherry tomatoes, and I’m still experimenting after so many years.
Make it once and it’ll become a family institution…my kids used to beg for rosemary bread like it was candy.
Who doesn’t crave homemade bread? The smell alone drives me nuts. It’s so frustrating that most of us don’t get the chance to experience that thrill much anymore, but guess what ~ with this quick and easy focaccia recipe you can reconnect with your inner baker any time you want.
The shaggy dough is mixed up right in a bowl, just like a batter, no kneading required. It only needs to rise for 4o minutes in a warm spot. Since I finally got an Instant Pot, I used that, and it works like a charm. I set it on the low ‘Yogurt’ setting for 40 minutes and the dough puffs up beautifully. Even here in sunny Southern California I have trouble finding a warm enough place to let dough rise, our houses are mostly un-insulated and so drafty, so the Instant Pot is a life saver.
The bread gets hand patted out onto an oiled baking sheet, topped with flavorful goodies, and popped into a hot (425F) oven for about 20 minutes. Yum. The combination of flavors and that wonderful crusty texture is pretty great. I especially love the burst of citrus when I bite into one of those lemon bits.
Meyer lemons are awesome, so grab them when you see them, you won’t be sorry. They’re smaller, sweeter, and thinner skinned than regular lemons, from China originally, as a cross between a lemon and either a mandarin orange or a common orange, nobody knows for sure. What is for sure is that these lemons are incredibly delicious.
Be sure to slice your lemon paper thin, and remove any seeds. I like to use my mandoline slicer for the job.
- 2 tsp (one packet or 1/4 ounce) dry yeast, make sure it's fresh!
- 2 cups warm water (105-110F)
- 2 tsp table salt
- 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour (I usually use all-purpose)
- extra virgin olive oil, about 1/4 cup plus extra for oiling the bowl and baking pan
- fresh rosemary leaves (approximately 4 Tbsp)
- 1 Meyer lemon, sliced paper thin, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup pitted oil cured, Kalamata, or other flavorful black olives, not the kind in the can.
- kosher or sea salt for sprinkling over the top
- Mix the yeast and the warm water in a large bowl. Stir in the salt and 2 cups of the flour and mix into a soft sticky dough.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix well, the dough will still be somewhat sticky and shaggy.
- Oil a clean bowl and transfer the dough to the oiled bowl. Cover with plastic and let sit in a warm spot for 40 minutes. I put mine in my Instant Pot that I had preheated on the Yogurt setting. Your kitchen counter will typically not be warm enough for rising dough, see notes above for suggestions)
- Set the oven to 425F
- Turn the risen dough out onto an oiled baking sheet. Press it out gently with floured fingers into a rectangle, about 10x15, approximately.
- Using your fingers, dip them into the olive oil and then make little dimples all over the dough. The oil will pool in the little indentations. Don't skimp here, that oil will flavor the dough and give it great texture as it bakes, too.
- Top with the sliced lemons, rosemary leaves, and olives, pushing them into the dough just gently. Dab a little more olive oil on top if you think you don't have enough. Shower lightly with sea salt.
- Make sure your oven is at the correct temperature, and bake for about 20-22 minutes, until the bread is just golden. Rotate the baking sheet halfway through if the bread is baking unevenly.
- Let cool slightly before slicing and devouring.
Make it your own ~
- This bread is easy to make your own, there are lots of different toppings to try, so experiment with what you like.
- You can mix dried herbs right into the dough for an herb bread.
- Try this with half whole wheat flour for a nutrition boost.
- If you don’t have Meyer lemons you can use regular lemons if you can get small, thin skinned ones. Thicker skinned lemons will be too bitter.
Don’t forget to pin this Rosemary And Olive No Knead Focaccia Bread!
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