Easy No-Knead Focaccia

May 26, 2023 | 6 comments

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Did you like the look of the avocado, tomato and orange salad yesterday? It’s one of my absolute favourites, and when we have it, it is often with this delicious no-knead focaccia. The focaccia is at its very best, straight from the oven, as many things are. It will slurp up an extra little drizzle of olive oil making it extra yummy.

A baked focaccia bread, on a wooden board, with a stainless steel knife on the board. A grey, patterned tea-towel underneath.

Years ago, I used to make it with double zero (00) flour, and you do get a different flavour with it, but I just use the cheap flour now, and it’s still really good.

Where does focaccia come from?

Focaccia is a flat, leavened, oven baked bread originating in Italy. Sometimes called pizza bianca (white pizza). Focaccia bread is usually served as a side dish, but can be used a sandwich bread and is wonderful toasted.

Widely associated with Ligurian cuisine, the first use of the word focaccia which is derived from the Latin ‘focus – hearth, place for baking’, can be traced right back to the 14th century.

Along the coast of Liguria, there are many variation of focaccia from a biscuity hard type; to a corn flour, soft and oily version; a very thin type, sandwiched with cheese; or with ham or sauce on top.

The version in this recipe is more common in the region of Genoa where it is often dipped in milk or cappuccino and eaten at breakfast.

How do I pronounce focaccia?

As focaccia is an Italian word, you might not be sure how to say it – FUH KACH EE UH

The correct pronunciation of focaccia in Italian can be written as foh-cahtch-ah. The key element of pronouncing focaccia properly is the way you pronounce the vowels. The “o” at the beginning should be pronounced like half the sound of the letter “o”, when pronounced on its own. Instead the “a” sounds must be pronounced with an open sound like when you say “ah”, keeping your mouth quite open. A final point is the double “c” sound which equates to the “tch” sound like in the word catch, but with added stress.

Pronounce It Right 

What do I need to make focaccia?

Fococcia bread, cut Ito pieces, on a wooden board.

On reflection, this makes 4 servings, rather than 2, even tho we eat it all between us
1/2 tsp yeast
140ml warm water
250g flour, double zero if you have it, bread flour or just ordinary value flour which works just fine
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp olive oil for the dough. This really needs to be olive oil, If you don’t have olive oil, use any other oil and it will still be delicious, just not a focaccia
Another tbslp oil to drizzle over
If you have any crunchy salt, sprinkle a pinch over the top
A sprig of rosemary if you have it

How to make focaccia

  • Put the yeast, flour, salt, 2 tbslp oil and warm water in a bowl.
  • Mix until amalgamated then give it a little squish to ensure all the ingredients are amalgamated, no need to do much.
  • Cover with cling film or a plate and leave in a warm place for half an hour to rise. I put the oven on 40 degrees C for 2 minutes, switch it off and leave the covered dough in there
  • Punch the dough back and put on a baking tray, shaped into an oval the same kind of area as a small dinner plate. Leave it to puff up for 20 minutes or so in a warm place – again I use a 40 degree oven, uncovered dough this time.

An unbaked focaccia bread, before applying olive oil.

  • Push your finger into the top, to make lots of dimples.
  • Push little pieces of rosemary in here and there if you have any.
  • Drizzle with 2 tbslp of oil. Make sure you drizzle oil over the herb, or it will just dry out in the oven instead of crisping up deliciously.

An unbaked focaccia bread, with dimples filled with olive oil.

  • Bake in a hot oven at 220 fan/200c/425F/Gas 6 for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  • Immediately on taking out of the oven, drizzle over the final tblsp of oil

This is seriously good with the salad, or all kinds of soups. When cold it is delicious because of the oil, and it’s lovely toasted.

Focaccia toppings

Focaccia toppings can be many and varied.

I haven’t used it this time, but I often place tiny sprigs of rosemary in the olive oily dimples where it bakes to a delicious crispy morsel. Rosemary is the most common herb used in Italy and the focaccia is then called focaccia al rosmarino, but sage is also sometimes used and that variation is name focaccia alla salvia. I haven’t tried it with sage yet, but it’s definitely on my ‘to make’ list.

In the North West of Italy, a focaccia may contain raisins or honey and be sprinkled with sugar, when it would be focaccia dolce (sweet focaccia) – this sounds rather wonderful and I will be trying this for sure, my husband will love it!

Other things you could try

  • whole or sliced black or green olives on the top
  • slivers of sun dried tomato
  • other herbs, including lemon balm, chives any of the thymes, or even mint
  • broad beans and blue cheese
  • caramelised onions
  • red onions, grapes and feta
  • tomato sauce
  • pesto and mozzarella
  • sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese and onions
  • anchovies
  • sausages
  • soft, spreadable cheese with herbs
  • apples, rosemary and gruyere
  • grapes, sugar and fennel seeds
  • sugar
  • figs and perhaps a little honey
  • banana, walnuts and chocolate chips
  • nutella

Focaccia is one of those recipes that can use up all sorts of bits and pieces, much like pies, soups and risottos.

The world is basically your oyster – try whatever you have in and make something truly delectable with it!

Other bread recipes you might like

What to do with leftover bread

Tomato & Chive Soda Bread

Lentil flour and the simplest bread I’ve ever made

On our sister site, cheap family recipes, there is an extensive post on how to make easy, no knead bread

 

A baked focaccia bread, on a wooden board, with a stainless steel knife on the board. A grey, patterned tea-towel underneath.

Easy No-Knead Focaccia

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
20 minute proving x 2: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Course:
Lunch
,
Main Course
,
Snack
Cuisine:
Italian
Vegan
,
Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Cost per portion 47p the whole thing, 12p a portion
Calories: 327kcal
Click on the check box to cross off Equipment, Ingredients or Recipe Steps completed.
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Ingredients

  • ¾ tsp yeast 100g, £1.50=7p
  • 140 ml warm water
  • 250 g flour 1.5kg, 79p=13p
  • ½ tsp salt used in the dough
  • pinch crunchy salt sprinkled on the top, optional
  • 2 tblsp olive oil oil for dough, £5.95, 1 litre=18p

Topping

  • 1 tblsp oil to drizzle over, £5.95, 1 litre=9p
  • sprig rosemary optional

Instructions

  • Put the yeast, flour, salt, 2 tbslp oil and warm water in a bowl. Mix until amalgamated then give it a little knead, no need to do much.
    ¾ tsp yeast, 140 ml warm water, 250 g flour, ½ tsp salt, 2 tblsp olive oil
  • Cover with cling film or a plate and leave in a warm place for half an hour to rise.
  • Punch the dough back and put on a baking tray, shaped into an oval the same kind of area as a small dinner plate.
  • Leave it to puff up for 20 minutes or so in a warm place.
  • Push your finger into the top, to make lots of dimples. Push little pieces of rosemary in here and there if you have any.
    sprig rosemary
  • Drizzle with 1 tbslp of oil. Make sure you drizzle oil over the herb, or it will just dry out in the oven instead of crisping up deliciously.
    1 tblsp oil
  • If yo have any crunchy salt, sprinkle a pinch on the top. Optional
  • Bake in a hot oven at 220fan/200c/425F/Gas 6 for 20-25 minutes until golden.
  • Immediately on taking out of the oven, drizzle over the final tblsp of oil

Notes

Other toppings
  • rosemary or sage
  • whole or sliced black or green olives on the top
  • slivers of sun dried tomato
  • other herbs, including lemon balm, chives any of the thymes, or even mint
  • broad beans and blue cheese
  • caramelised onions
  • red onions, grapes and feta
  • tomato sauce
  • pesto and mozzarella
  • sun dried tomatoes, goat cheese and onions
  • anchovies
  • sausages
  • soft, spreadable cheese with herbs
  • apples, rosemary and gruyere
  • grapes, sugar and fennel seeds
  • sugar
  • figs and perhaps a little honey
  • banana, walnuts and chocolate chips
  • nutella
priced at Sainsbury May 2023

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy No-Knead Focaccia
Amount per Serving
Calories
327
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
12
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
1
g
6
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
8
g
Sodium
 
297
mg
13
%
Potassium
 
73
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
48
g
16
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
0.2
g
0
%
Protein
 
7
g
14
%
Vitamin C
 
0.003
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
10
mg
1
%
Iron
 
3
mg
17
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @ThriftyLesley or tag #ThriftyLesley !

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Thrifty Lesley

    Hi Gillian – no, I haven’t tried it with wholemeal flour. It would give a very different result. This focaccia is light and airy, whereas wholemeal tends to give a denser, more solid bread. Certainly worth giving it a go, and I may well try that next time I make it!

  2. gillian

    This looks lively. Have you tried it with wholemeal flour, please?

  3. Lesley

    haha, made me feel quite greedy when I realised!

  4. jill in nyc

    No, serves two is good….or one if nobody is looking!….not that I would do anything like that mind you….

  5. Lesley

    Like you, I have always had access to a rosemary plant, so I’ve never actually used any of the dried. We love focaccia too, that’s why I initially posted it as serves two, and on thinking about it, realised it should really be four!

  6. Sue

    Oh I LOVE Focaccia, when I don’t have fresh Rosemary (which is rare, I love Rosemary plants) I simply scatter some dried over before drizzling the oil, it tastes almost as good 🙂

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