Sage Focaccia Bread

sage focaccia bread topped with sage leaves

Sage focaccia is topped with fresh sage leaves that bake up to a deliciously crisp topping on this chewy no-knead bread. Slice it up as an appetizer or serve make it part of a healthy Mediterranean meal.

slices of sage focaccia, topped with fresh sage leaves

sage focaccia bread

Have you ever had fried sage leaves? Sometimes you’ll get them in a rustic pasta dish in an Italian restaurant, or even wrapped around cheese and fried as an appetizer. If you’ve had them you know how utterly delicious they are. They’re the star of this easy to make, no-knead classic Italian bread. This is a fun recipe to serve to guests, and actually a great project to do with kids because it’s creative, and quite simple.

making sage focaccia dough

what you’ll need

This bread is super simple as written, and makes a great accompaniment to all kinds of meals.

  • all purpose flour
  • a 1/4-ounce package of active dry yeast.
  • warm water activates the yeast and makes a soft dough
  • salt gets mixed into the dough and sprinkled on top before baking.
  • olive oil adds great richness and flavor, it’s what makes focaccia so delicious!
  • fresh sage leaves are responsible for all the delicious flavor in this recipe. My garden went crazy with sage this summer, but you can definitely buy it fresh in the store, too. It’s nice to have a mix of different sized leaves so that you can nestle them together on top of the focaccia dough.
a loaf of sage focaccia on parchment paper

how to laminate herbs on focaccia bread

Fresh herbs and chewy, salty, olive-oil-enriched focaccia bread were made to be paired….

  • Adding herbs will be the last thing you do before sliding your bread into the oven.
  • After you’ve patted out your bread and added the olive oil and salt, you can arrange the herbs over the surface.
  • Gently pat them down into the surface of the bread. The key is to press them lightly onto the raw dough, just until they adhere.
  • Sage leaves stick relatively well to the bread, and even adhere pretty well to the bread once it’s baked and cut, but they will shrink and lift a little bit in the oven, so keep that in mind.
  • Other herbs, like thyme, parsley, and chives, will work well too. Thyme and parsley leaves tend to be more delicate than sage and get a little more ‘well done’ in the oven.
fresh garden sage

the flavor of fried sage

Sage is one of the most pungent herbs, but sadly we Americans mostly know it as the musty powdered stuff we keep at the back of our pantry for our annual stuffing recipes. Fresh sage is a lovely sensual experience. Rub one of the velvety leaves between your fingers to release the aroma.

Fried sage takes that experience up a notch. The flavor itself is mellowed, and the texture is shatteringly crisp. So while the sage leaves on your focaccia might lose some of their fresh green color in the oven, they’ll more than make up for it in flavor.

You can fry fresh sage leaves in a little olive oil in a skillet to use as a garnish, or eat as a snack! Heat the oil and drop in the leaves, they’ll crisp almost instantly. Drain on a paper towel and give them a shower of sea salt. Heaven.

slices of sage focaccia bread, stacked

more recipes for herb garden gluts

a loaf of sage focaccia bread with fresh sage leaves
4.5 from 4 votes

Sage Focaccia

Sage focaccia is topped with fresh sage leaves that bake up to a deliciously crisp topping on this chewy bread. Slice it up as an appetizer or serve make it part of a healthy Mediterranean meal.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Calories 144kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 1/4 ounce package active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (110-115F)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • fresh sage leaves, for topping


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, salt, and warm water.
    mixing yeast into focaccia batter
  • Mix in the flour, starting with 2 cups, and then adding the rest, until a sticky, shaggy dough forms.
    making focaccia dough
  • Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to rise for about 1 hour, until at least doubled in size and very bubbly. Preheat oven to 400F while it is rising.
    focaccia dough rising
  • Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Turn the focaccia dough onto the lined baking sheet and gently spread it out with your fingers into a large rectange or oval.
  • Dipping your fingers in the olive oil, make dimples over the top of the bread, and top with a bit more flaky salt. Note: don't be shy with the olive oil, it gives the bread great flavor and creates a crunchy crust.
    pressing out focaccia dough onto a baking sheet
  • Gently press the fresh sage leaves on top of the bread.
    topping foc
  • Bake for about 25 minutes until puffed and starting to turn golden.
    a loaf of sage focaccia bread with fresh sage leaves


Calories: 144kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 291mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    January 12, 2022 at 11:02 am

    Hi Sue! Just started reading your site and I’m already a huge fan! I’m going to try this recipe, but I wonder, in light of MHW’s comment below, is it possible the instructions omit adding a portion of the olive oil to the actual dough itself?
    Thank you for a beautiful and inspiring website!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      January 12, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Anne, and welcome in! This recipe doesn’t use oil in the dough, just on top.

  • Reply
    August 9, 2021 at 8:05 am

    3 stars
    This recipe makes a VERY chewy flatbread, not focaccia. I would suggest adding some olive oil to the dough itself to make it more tender and letting the stretched dough have a second rise to make an airier texture. It’s beautiful though!

  • Reply
    August 8, 2021 at 11:47 am

    I have bread flour that I would like to use up. Can it be used instead of all purpose flour?

  • Reply
    August 6, 2021 at 9:18 am

    I don’t particularly like save so I tried thinly sliced onions and some dill.. That worked. Then I got a brainstorm and added rumbled feta before baking. THAT did it! Great with stew or soups!love your cooking!!! My kitchen must be a lot like yours…experimental always. Thanks for experimenting for all of us! Jan Louise Adams

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 6, 2021 at 10:32 am

      Quick work Jan, thank you!!

    • Reply
      August 6, 2021 at 10:43 am

      5 stars
      I do love this sage focaccia, but however….love your idea also,
      Will be making both creations.
      Awesome ideas for both of these.

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