History in the Baking with Nathan Richie: Focaccia Bread

Herbed Italian Focaccia Bread


  • 1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
  • 1 package active-dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary


Add warm water (about 110°F) to bowl. Combine sugar and yeast in water. Allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is foamy.

Stir in the olive oil, salt, and gradually add flour until a shaggy dough begins to form.  Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until smooth. Add extra flour if the dough feels too sticky.

Form dough into ball and coat lightly with oil. Allow dough to rise for 45-60 minutes in warm place until it has nearly doubled in size.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until the dough is about 1/2-inch thick.  Cover the dough again with a damp towel and let the dough rise for another 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Transfer the dough to a large parchment-covered baking sheet or press it into a large baking dish.  Use your fingers to poke deep dents all over the surface of the dough (press to the baking sheet, but don’t puncture the dough).  Drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with the fresh rosemary and sea salt.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through.