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 no knead 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.
What you’ll need for this no knead focaccia bread:
- a packet of yeast
- I like to use instant yeast, it’s super quick to rise, but regular is fine too
- I usually use all purpose flour, but you can also use bread flour
- olive oil
- fresh rosemary
- Meyer lemon
- you can use a thin skinned regular lemon if you like.
- black and pitted!
Easy no knead method:
- After you’ve mixed the shaggy dough together, you’ll let it rise for about 40 minutes.
- Punch it down and then pat it out onto an oiled baking sheet, it will be sticky.
- Use your fingers dipped in olive oil to make little dimples all over the surface of the dough. These will hold little pools of olive oil that will bake up into the characteristic crunchy and flavorful crust.
- Topped the dough with the flavorful goodies.
- Pop it 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.
Yes, you can eat the whole lemon slices!
Be sure to slice your lemon paper thin, and remove any seeds. I like to use my mandoline slicer for the job.
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.
Where’s the best place to let my dough rise?
The ideal temperature for bread dough to rise, not surprisingly, is at body temperature, about 98.6F ~ yeast is a living organism, after all. Dough will rise at a variety of temperatures, even in the refrigerator, but it will be a much slower process. Here are some good spots for rising dough~
- in an appliance like a proofing box, or an Instant Pot that can maintain a specific temperature. The yogurt setting (on ‘low’) works perfectly in the Instant Pot.
- in front of a sunny window where the sunbeams can shine right on the covered dough.
- in an oven that’s been heated to 150F, then turned off.
- in an oven with the oven light on. Some people like to add a 9×13 pan half full of boiling water to the bottom shelf.
- in a microwave where you’ve boiled water for several minutes just before putting your dough inside.
- in a warm spot in the basement near a furnace.
- on top of a running dryer ~ I used to put my youngest daughter there when she was a baby to get her to sleep 😉
- under your down comforter ~ it works!
- overnight in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temperature before proceeding.
Rosemary and Olive No Knead Focaccia Bread
- 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
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling the bowl and baking pan
- 4 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves,
- 1 Meyer lemon, sliced paper thin, seeds removed
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and oil cured, 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 10×15, 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.
- 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.
Questions and Reviews
I *really* wanted to love this recipe. The dough was both light and fluffy, and perfectly crispy in all the right places. The kalamata olives and rosemary were wonderful. However, the lemons were so bitter that the bitterness lingered in the mouth and permeated into the sinuses. I double checked the bag, and it is Sunkist Meyer Lemons “a cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange.” My slices were so thin that a number of them were just rings of rind as the center fell out; I had to place the center of each fruit slice into the rind ring on the dough before cooking. They smelled wonderful while slicing. Is there something I’ve missed? Any suggestions? I still really want to love this recipe.
It might be that you just don’t love the lemon rind ‘experience’ and that’s fine. Everybody is different in the way they perceive flavors. I would just make it again with the toppings you like…I’ve got several different focaccia bread options on the site, and you can make up your own as well. If you want a milder lemon experience you could add grated zest to the dough.
cut the pith off of a thicker skinned lemon. no skin.
Heads up to those changing the #servings before printing. The recipe changes the ingredient amounts but NOT the recipe so the instructions are inconsistent with the amount of ingredients. I had forgotten that I had changed the #servings and added way too much flour.
I’m not at all happy with the automatic servings changer, I’m thinking of disabling it, it’s too confusing. Sorry you had trouble with it S.
I have a question. Could I bake this without the olives and lemons and slice it horizontally to make panini? Thanks for your help.
Yes, but the way I make it it’s pretty thin. You might want to shape it a little thicker if you plan to slice it horizontally.
Will do! Can’t wait to try this! Love panini but can’t buy it around here. Thanks!