Rosemary, Onion, and Olive Focaccia

squares of Rosemary, Onion, and Olive Focaccia on parchment paper

Yaaasss, homemade bread! I know some of you are doing it, or at least thinking about it, during these strange days of #stayinghome. If satisfaction, and maybe a little distraction, are what you’re seeking, make some dang focaccia. You’ll be so, so proud of you! And, at the end of the day, you’ll get to enjoy fresh, olive oily, crispy outside, chewy inside, yeasty bread studded with roasty red onions, fragrant rosemary, and briny olives. Swoon ❤️

Rosemary Onion Olive Focaccia on a baking sheet

Making this gorgeous, golden fluff of bread is just like making pizza dough except you give it a little extra time to rest, rise, and become amazing. And, there’s no sauce or cheese on it but thinly sliced red onions, rosemary leaves, and oil-cured olives instead. Those toppings are negotiable- use whatever you like. Chives, dill, thyme, thinly sliced tomatoes, garlic; whatever makes you happy.

Do give yourself a day to make this; you can’t rush the beauty that is this focaccia. Begin by making the dough; just combine flour, yeast, salt, sugar, water, and olive oil. Knead it on a clean counter and pop it in a bowl for the first rise. It’ll look about like this:

Focaccia dough in a stainless steel bowl, before the first rise
Focaccia dough, before the first rise.

An hour later, it’ll have doubled in size:

Focaccia dough on its second rise in a stainless steel bowl
Focaccia dough, after the first rise.

Turn it out on the counter again and knead it a few more times, then pop it back in the bowl for rise #2. 40 minutes later, it’ll look like this, again 😊:

Focaccia dough on its second rise in a stainless steel bowl
Focaccia after the second rise… identical to the first rise…

One more rise to go. Oil a baking sheet and stretch the dough into a focaccia-ish shape; it doesn’t have to be perfect. If the dough, resists and wants to shrink back, just be patient. Let it rest a few minutes more and then continue to stretch it out. Be sweet and gentle. Let it rise for another 45 minutes, until it looks about like this:

Focaccia dough stretched out on an oiled baking sheet, after its last rise.
Focaccia after the third, final rise.

Now – the oddly satisfying part of making focaccia – poke all ten of your fingers into the dough, all over the surface to make little dents for oil, salt, flavor, and goodness to gather in. I love this part so much… poking and prodding soft, pillowy dough… 🤤 Next, scatter the top with red onion, rosemary, and olives, drizzle the whole thing generously with olive oil, and sprinkle with big flaky sea salt, like Maldon salt.

focaccia dough with toppings added, ready to go in the oven.

Bake your focaccia baby at 425 degrees for about 35 minutes or until it’s beautifully golden.

Rosemary Onion Olive Focaccia on a baking sheet

Let it cool for a few minutes, then… EAT IT. Right Now. It will still be delicious in an hour, and it does freeze especially well (I’ll tell you how in the notes), but please do not deny yourself fresh out of the oven, just-baked focaccia. Eat it now. Even if your husband is not home yet and you still have hours before dinner. I promise you, you deserve it. Revel in the buttery crispness of it all. Then, enjoy it again when you sit down to dinner with your pasta, your wine, your salad, or whatever else you love to eat with incredibly delicious, perfectly crafted by you, homemade bread. It’s the best and so are you.

*This post contains Amazon Affiliate links to Maldon sea salt, which is the best flaky salt on earth. I may earn an income from these links!

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Rosemary, Onion, and Olive Focaccia

squares of Rosemary, Onion, and Olive Focaccia on parchment paper

Deliciously crisp on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside Rosemary, Onion, and Olive Focaccia bread with easy, step-by-step, recipe instructions.

  • Author: Megan
  • Prep Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings 1x
  • Category: Bread, Side Dish, Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 C bread flour, plus more for kneading
  • 2 1/4 tsp or 1 envelope of instant dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 C warm water – 110 degrees 
  • 3 TBS olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • about 16 oil-cured black olives (see notes for a tip on pitting them) or whatever olives you like
  • flaky sea salt, like Maldon salt

Instructions

  1. Add the bread flour, yeast, sugar, and salt to a bowl and whisk to combine. Slowly pour the warm water into the flour mixture while you mix with your other hand. Placing a damp paper towel under the bowl will help keep it still while you do this. Pour in the 3 TBS of olive oil while you continue to mix with your hand.
  2. Turn the mixture over with your hands until it forms a messy ball. Sprinkle some flour on a clean countertop and dump the bowl onto it. Knead the dough together by pushing the heel of your hand into it and stretching it out. Fold it back onto itself and rotate it a quarter-turn. Add more flour when the dough gets sticky. Repeat this process for 5 minutes, until the dough is a nice smooth ball and is no longer sticky. Don’t stop! It really does take 5 minutes.
  3. Drizzle a little oil into a bowl and spread it around and up the sides. Put the ball of dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm spot; I like to set mine on a heating pad (see notes). Let the dough rise for 1 hour; it should double in size.
  4. Turn the dough back out onto the counter and knead again for a minute or two, just until it forms a ball. Return the dough to the oiled bowl, cover it again, and let it rise in a warm spot for another 40 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Generously oil a baking sheet and turn the dough out onto it. Stretch the dough to sort of fit the shape of the pan – it doesn’t have to completely fill up the pan; it will expand as it rises. If the dough is resisting and keeps springing back to its original shape, just give it a few more minutes and try again. Once it’s stretched enough, cover it with plastic wrap, place the pan in a warm spot, and let the dough rise one final time for 45 minutes. 
  6. Poke the surface of the dough all over with your fingers to create little indentations. Scatter the sliced onions, the rosemary leaves, and olives all over the surface. Drizzle olive oil on top and sprinkle with flaky sea salt.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes, or until it is beautifully golden brown. Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even browning. Let it cool for a few minutes then slice and serve! See notes for freezing leftovers.

Notes

  • If your olives are not already pitted and you don’t have an olive pitter, you can use a star-shaped piping tip. Just push the star end into the olives and it’ll pull the pits right out for you.
  • I use a heating pad set to the lowest setting (86 degrees) to help my dough rise. You don’t want it much warmer than that. If you think yours is too hot or if you are using a metal bowl, which will conduct heat, place a dish towel on top of the heating pad as a buffer.
  • To freeze leftover focaccia, cool it completely, wrap it in plastic wrap, then wrap it in foil. You can thaw it at room temp or thaw/reheat it in the oven.

Keywords: Homemade focaccia bread, easy focaccia bread

If you are looking to make a meal out of your homemade bread-making skills, try this pizza recipe with roasted garlic pizza dough!

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