This is one of those recipes that I always go back to. Simple, straightforward, and as far as bread things go, it certainly qualifies as quick, as you can have it on a cooling rack 1 hour after your focaccia craving hits.

It comes from  “No Need to Knead”, a book published in 1999, years before the “no-knead-bread fever” hit the US.

For dinner parties I make the full recipe, for me and hubby I make half and cook it in a cast iron pan. Works like a charm….


(adapted from Suzanne Dunaway’s “No Need to Knead”)

2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp active dry yeast
4 cups unbleached bread flour
3 tsp salt
2-3  tsp olive oil
2 T chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp kosher salt

Measure the water in a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water and stir until dissolved. Using a strong wooden spoon mix 2 cups of flour and salt until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour, stirring for 2 more minutes, just until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and the flour is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 30 to 40 minutes.

Heat the oven to 500F. Oil one or two non-stick 13×18 inch baking sheets.

Pour the dough onto the sheet(s),  brush the surface with 2 tsp olive oil. Dip your fingers in cold water or olive oil and make indentations all over the dough, working to stretch the dough as you go. If you are using a single sheet, the dough should cover it. Brush the surface with another teaspoon of olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and  salt.

Place in the oven and reduce the temperature to 450F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

My comments:

Stirring the dough after the second addition of flour is not very easy, even if you have strong biceps, be prepared to sweat a little  🙂 .
I use a slightly different method to make life easier: after adding all the ingredients and mixing until it is a shaggy mass, both me and the dough rest for 5 or 10 minutes. I then use the wooden spoon to stir it a few times, not more than 30 seconds. The dough is easier to stir if you give the initial time for the flour and water to “get friendly”.

I increase the amount of olive oil, to at least 2 tablespoons for a full recipe, and push some of the rosemary bits into the dough before baking.

When making half the recipe, I simply pour the dough into a cast iron pan (sprayed slightly with olive oil to make sure nothing sticks), and bake exactly as described.

Here are some photos of the focaccia “in the making”

Full recipe

Half recipe, ready for the oven


Focaccia, crumb

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33 thoughts on “FOCACCIA

  1. Sally, this is my favorite focaccia too. I like to make 1/2 recipe and bake it in my toaster oven.
    It’s quick and easy. I know I’m going to love your blog!!


    • The toaster oven is definitely a great idea, particularly in the Summer, right? I baked my focaccia early in the morning to avoid heating up the house too much, but next time I make a half batch, will try your approach….


  2. Sally, great job and glad the labor wasn’t too terrible! The growing will be easier, I’m sure.

    I made two breads today….one wheat and corn meal (I forgot to put in the salt!) and a sourdough English muffin (half of which I made into muffins and the other half one large muffin. The large muffin was made into a pizza. Fun!) Forgetting the salt is something I will pay for for a few days.

    Good luck!


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    • Hi, Dona

      this is in fact one and a half….

      The full recipe made the focaccia squares shown inside the red bowl, and the half recipe is in the iron cast pan

      We had a dinner party that day for 12, I rather have leftovers than not enough… 😉


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  6. I just came across your website and tried this recipe tonight – it’s amazing! Thanks so much for posting and for the tutorial – I’m going to go buy her book, I’m so impressed with this focaccia.


    • Hi, Jessica!
      So glad you enjoyed this recipe, it’s my favorite by far, I’ve made it so many times that I think I could pull it with my eyes closed! (well, almost… 😉

      the book is wonderful, I NEED to try the ciabatta, because I heard it’s excellent, but I’ve been distracted by other recipes.

      Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it!


  7. I just found the last copy of the book at Powell’s online for a steal – apparently it’s out of print, because I couldn’t find a new copy anywhere. I’ll let you know if I try the ciabatta – do you have any other personal recommendations from the book? I can’t wait to try out a few more!


  8. I don’t have the book with me right now, but I remember the rosemary and kalamata filoncinos, and dinner rolls – I think they are called “crusty” or maybe “rustic” dinner rolls? Anyway, those are all great… Have fun with it, and please drop me an email or a comment if you fall in love with one of the recipes…


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  10. just found this post on pinterest- it looks so easy! I love focaccia, just never realised how easy it could be! Gonna be a bad thing for my hips, I think! lol



    • THanks so much for letting me know, Donna!

      Indeed, this recipe is my default for focaccia, I don’t even need the recipe anymore, could probably make it in my sleep! It always work… and we all need a bunch of recipes like that! 😉


  11. I keep coming back to this recipe, and here I am again. It’s been a success every time I’ve tried it. This time I’ll be making it for friends who’ve never had this focaccia, and I’m sure they’ll love it as well. This is how good this recipe is – it makes you predict the future. And a delicious future that is!


  12. I took a bread class taught by Suzanne. Great class. I use the recipe to make loaves of bread. She suggested using a wooden spoon with a hole in the middle, which she learned to use in Italy. I’ve been using one ever since!


  13. I love this recipe. I have used it sooo many times. I have added to it a bit. I add 1 T of both Chopped Rosemary and Chopped Thyme and 1 tsp of granulated garlic to the dough.I then mix my dough in my bread hard mixing for me!! I also let it rise in the machine. Once it’s done rising, I follow your directions for baking. This Focaccia has won rave reviews at many a party/get together!


    • Serendipity at its best! I was just looking at that post wondering if I should bake a focaccia tomorrow to wait for my stepson’s arrival!

      it’s such a nice recipe, and your add-ons PERFECT!


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