Herb & Olive Focaccia

A few weeks ago I FINALLY got myself a KitchenAid stand mixer. Where has this thing been on my life?! At the store I suppose? I've always loved Focaccia bread. It's perfect for dipping in olive oil and the best balsamic vinegar. Before getting my stand mixer, I had tried making focaccia a few times before, using a handheld mixer, but it just didn't work. The stand mixer is the only way to go.

Below is a super-simple recipe AND VIDEO! This was my first time making a video and I had so much fun! It's not perfect but I hope it gives you an nice overview of the focaccia-making process. The biggest thing is to make sure you LET THE DOUGH RISE. If it doesn't double in size, you'll end up with really dense bread. Giving it enough time to rise will give you a light, airy Focaccia. Rising times will vary based on the temperature and humidity.

Click the photo to watch the video below!

Ingredients

  • 5 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt and coarse sea salt for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 cup warm water  
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for drizzling)
  • 4 tablespoons dried rosemary, divided
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Directions:

Combine the warm water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or large measuring cup. Put the bowl in a warm place until the yeast starts to create a foam, at least 15 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour, 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, 1/2 cup olive oil and the yeast mixture on low speed to mix. Once the dough has come together, continue to knead for 5 to 6 minutes on level 2 (never knead above level 2 on your KitchenAid), until it becomes soft and smooth and the dough has pulled away from the sides. If needed, give dough a sprinkle of flour if it is still sticky.

Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface, then knead it by hand 1 or 2 times, giving it another sprinkle of flour, if the dough is still tacky. Fold in the garlic and half of the rosemary.

Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with olive oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size, at least 1 hour. Based on the temperature and humidity level of your house, this could take up to 2 hours. Make sure the dough has DOUBLED in size.

Coat a sheet pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil.

Put the dough onto the sheet pan and begin pressing it out to fit the size of the pan. Turn the dough over to coat the other side with the olive oil. Continue to stretch the dough to fit the pan. As you are doing so, spread your fingers out and make finger holes all the way through the dough.

Put the dough in the warm place until it has doubled in size, at least 1 hour. While the dough is rising a second time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with sea salt and lightly drizzle some olive oil on top. Add the olives and remaining rosemary and bake until the bread is golden brown, 17-20 minutes. Remove from oven and let it cool before cutting and serving.

Herb & Olive Focaccia Bread