A type of flavored flatbread. The focaccia evolved from the Etruscan version of flatbread, and has always been made in the area known today as Italy - it has been a well-known food in Rome for a very long time. Before ovens, it was simply baked on a hot stone under a mound of hot ashes. It may have been the precursor of pizza, as it also can have more toppings than just herbs. It is often eaten brushed with, or dipped in olive oil.

The word itself is derived from the Latin word "focus", or hearth.

For the best focaccia, high gluten flour is recommended, though bread flour will often do rather well. Also, fresh herbs are highly recommended to get the true aroma of the bread going - and if you are going to use basil, only use fresh.

Standard Foccacia Recipe:

2 3/4 C high gluten or bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 C water
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Note: this recipe does not mention any herbs or other toppings you may wish to put on the bread - this is just a starting point. Recommendations include fresh basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and garlic.

In a bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, and any herbs you may want to use. Mix in 1 tbsp olive oil and water. Mix into a dough (add tiny amounts of flour or water if it's too wet/dry)

Once it's come together into a dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, and place the dough into the bowl, turning until it's completely coated. (This will help prevent a "skin" forming on the dough) Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for about 20 minutes.

In the meantime, preheat the oven to about 450 degrees F.

After the 20 minutes, punch down the dough, and place into a baking tray with raised edges. Spread out until even thickness, ideally about 1/2 inch. Brush with olive oil, and add any toppings you may want - more fresh herbs, perhaps, or garlic, sun-dried tomato, onion, or freshly grated cheeses such as parmesan or mozzarella.

Bake for about 15 minutes, should be a nice golden brown. Serve warm, with olive oil for dipping.

Here is what is supposedly the focaccia served at Romano's Macaroni Grill. (Like the Penne Rustica recipe, there are copies of this all around the net) It does appear to be prepared a little more traditionally, flat in a pan, instead of just as a round loaf.

Romano's Macaroni Grill Foccacia:

9 T Olive oil, divided
3 C unsifted all purpose flour
3/4 C unsifted semolina flour (note that regular semolina is NOT semolina flour)
2/3 t salt, divided
1 1/2 T quick-rising dry yeast
1 1/2 C hot (between 120 and 130° F.) milk
1 T fresh rosemary leaves

Pour a scant tablespoon of the olive oil into a 9 inch square cake pan; spread evenly to cover bottom and sides. Place all purpose flour, semolina flour, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and all of the yeast in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Blend ingredients on medium speed. Reduce speed to low and slowly add hot milk. Raise the speed to medium and continue mixing for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle bottom of cake pan with a little flour. Remove dough from bowl and spread out evenly in pan. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400° F.

Remove towel. Brush dough with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle top with additional salt and rosemary. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with remaining oil. Makes 6 - 8 servings.

Note: There is no substitute for the semolina.

Focaccia with Onions and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Adapted from the "Basic Focaccia" recipe from Focaccia: Simple Breads From The Italian Oven by Carol Field
Measurements are metric; U.S. equivalents provided in parentheses.

Makes two 30 cm round focacce (12 inches)


Stir the yeast into the warm water in a mixing bowl. Leave until creamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Dampen a tea towel with warm water from the tap and cover the bowl with it. Let rise until bubbly and doubled, about 45 minutes.


Stir the yeast into the warm water in a small bowl. Let stand as above until creamy. With a wooden spoon, stir the yeast mixture and olive oil into the sponge. Chop the dried tomatoes into small bits and add them. Add the sea salt to the flour and stir that into the sponge mixture, 100 g at a time, or in about five goes. Keep mixing until everything is well-blended. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on a lightly floured cutting board for about 8 to 10 minutes. By that time it should be a coherent ball. It will stick to your fingers and the cutting board, but not too much.

Leave the dough on the cutting board while you clean out the mixing bowl and dry it. Then put a small amount of olive oil in the bowl and spread it around with your fingertips. Put the ball of dough back into the mixing bowl, and cover it back up with the tea towel. Let it rise until doubled, at least 1 ¼ hours. It can do no harm to leave it longer.

After rising, scoop out half the dough (it will deflate, so don't handle it over much) and...

If you are fortunate enough to have a pizza stone: ...cut a square of wax paper or baking paper about the size of your pizza stone, sprinkle it with cornmeal (optional) and press the dough out on it, in the shape of the pizza stone. You would do well to flour, oil or wet your hands. It may not stretch all at once, in which case leave it alone for ten minutes and then do it again. Cover it with the tea towel again and let rise for about an hour.

If you do not have a pizza stone: ...oil a baking tray and press the dough out on it, proceeding as above.

Do the same with the other half of the dough, although you could use one half one day and the other half the next (keep covered but do not refrigerate) or just wait until the one half is off the baking pan before putting the other half on it. Or you could of course use two baking trays if you feel like washing up more.


  • small amount of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary (more is good too)

Half an hour before the dough is done rising, preheat your oven, with the pizza stone inside if you have it, to 200 °C (425 °F). Chop the onions into strips and fry them in the oil, with the rosemary, until they start to become translucent. Dimple the dough with your fingertips and sprinkle the sea salt on top. Spread half of the onions on top of the dough, and the other half on the other one if you have already flattened it out.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden. If you have a pizza stone, it probably came with a wooden paddle. Use that to slide the wax paper on and off the pizza stone. The onions will get quite crispy. Depending on your oven (and your taste for crispy onions) you may want to delay putting the onions on until halfway done baking. When done baking, remove immediately from the pan or wax paper and let it cool on a rack, otherwise the bottom will become soggy.

Serve immediately.

Note: different countries have different flours. I live in the Netherlands, so if you don't, or even if you do, you may need significantly more or significantly less flour.

Another note: I haven't had much luck with doubling this recipe yet. My best result so far was to leave the sponge like it is and do one-and-a-half times the rest of the ingredients, making three focacce.

Still another note: You can make and knead the dough in a mixer (not the sponge though). However, I have no experience with that.

One last note: With olive oil, less is more.

A very easy and very delicious focaccia recipe that my Mom often makes (she's Italian). Before you can question the use of pizza dough, let me assure you: it's as good as most homemade focaccia bread and much quicker to make.

The word "focaccia" is Italian and is derived from the Latin word for "hearth".

Tomato Rosemary Focaccia
From: Taste of Home Magazine Aug/Sep 2000

1 tube (10 oz.) refrigerated pizza crust
2 tbsp. olive or vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tsp. crushed dried rosemary)
2-3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Unroll pizza crust onto a greased baking sheet. Combine the oil, garlic, salt and half of the rosemary; spread over crust. Top with tomatoes and onion; sprinkle with remaining rosemary. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Cut into rectangles.
Makes 6 servings.

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