This Italian Focaccia Recipe is the perfect yeast bread to serve with soups and stews. You can also create some of the best Italian appetizers with this Rosemary Focaccia bread.
If you are looking for an Italian Focaccia recipe with a soft, chewy texture with a high rise, this is the bread for you!
Focaccia, unlike Pizza, is made with a very wet dough.
If you have made this recipe for Screppelle (aka Italian donuts or if you prefer, zeppole), you know a thing or two about a wet dough.
Another difference between these two popular Italian foods is the use of potatoes. If you recall, I have already shared a Potato Pizza recipe where thin slices of potato are spread over the top of the pizza.
In this easy focaccia recipe, the potato is in the actual dough.
That’s right! A potato dough!
Since potatoes have more starch and less protein than flour, our focaccia will be soft, moist and tender.
Let me show you how easy this recipe is to make.
You are going to love it!
Ingredients for focaccia bread
Here is a list of some of the ingredients you need. Just a quick reminder that there is a printable recipe card, found at the bottom of the page, with specific amounts for each ingredient.
- Flour: All-purpose flour.
- Yeast: This recipe calls for active dry yeast.
- Water. The ideal temperature is 105 °F-110 °F.
- Olive Oil: Use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil as we shall be using it in the dough, as part of the topping and also to coat our pan to provide a little crunch to the bottom crust.
- Salt: An essential ingredient for this recipe.
- Potato: Creates a softer, slightly sweeter dough.
- Dried Rosemary: Included in the special topping to give this pizza a wonderful golden color.
How to make Focaccia
One of the ingredients we need to prep for this recipe is a potato. Place a medium russet potato, with the skin, in a steamer basket, in a small pot with a lid. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until a knife can easily pierce through the skin. Remove the skin. Use a potato ricer and reserve 1 cup (about 150 grams).
If you don’t have a potato ricer, use the large holes of a cheese grater. In the meanwhile, let’s prepare the sponge.
To make the focaccia sponge
To make the focaccia dough
Once the sponge is ready, wet your fingertips and lift the sticky edges towards the center. Repeat 4-5 times. You can also use a spatula.
Add the rest of the dough ingredients. More specifically, 2½ cups of all-purpose flour, 1 cup of lukewarm water (105 °F-110 °F), the riced potato (about 150 grams), 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and 1¼ teaspoons of Kosher salt.
With the paddle attachment, mix all the ingredients on low speed until the mixture comes together. Switch to a dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth.
While we wait, let’s prepare the pan.
To ensure a crispy bottom, spread 1 teaspoon of room temperature butter over the entire surface of the rimmed sheet pan measuring 10 x 15. Then, spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Dampen hands with water and transfer the wet dough to the baking sheet. With wet hands, use the palm of your hands to spread the dough in the pan.
Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the entire surface.
Cover lightly with plastic film and let rise, in a draft-free area, until doubled in size, approximately 2 hours.
To make the herb topping
While the dough is resting, combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl and set aside. More specifically: 1½ tablespoons of olive oil, 1½ tablespoons water, 2 teaspoons of rosemary (dried), and ⅛ teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Feel free to use your preferred herbs and spices… chili pepper, oregano, thyme, etc…
The combination of the water and the oil will create a crispy surface.
The final steps
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C) and place the oven grate in the bottom third of the oven. The oven needs to preheat for at least one hour so plan accordingly.
Dip fingertips in the herb topping and gently create dimples in the bread.
Brush the herb topping over the entire surface of the bread.
Finally, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of coarse salt over the top.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 23-26 minutes. You begin to smell the aroma at 18 minutes!
When golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve warm.
If desired, garnish with chopped fresh rosemary.
What to serve with focaccia bread?
- White Bean Soup
- Vegetable Veal Stew
- Pasta and Lentils
- Italian Salad Recipe
- Italian Tomato Cucumber Salad
- Escarole and White Bean Soup
Can I replace the all-purpose flour with bread flour?
You can, but bread flour has slightly more protein. As a result, the final product will not be as tender.
How can I get a crispy bottom?
Spread about 1 teaspoon of butter over the bottom of the sheet pan. Then brush about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the surface.
How do you store leftover focaccia?
Leftovers can be stored at room temperature, in a paper bag for up to 2 days. To serve: reheat in a low oven for about 10 minutes.
Can I freeze focaccia?
Yes. Simply wrap individual portions in plastic film and then in aluminum foil. To reheat, simply remove the plastic film, wrap in the foil and heat it in the oven. Keeps frozen for up to 3 months.
As you may have guessed, it’s back to my youth for this recipe.
My mom would usually make a simple herb bread recipe for Sunday supper. We would usually slice the bread lengthwise and layer it with roasted peppers, my dad’s homemade cold cuts, and soppressata.
The perfect bread to make Italian-style sandwiches.
This focaccia pizza, which was a variation of her homemade pizza dough included potatoes, extra water and a little more olive oil in the dough.
I would like to quickly mention that if you like potato yeast bread, you have to try this Italian Sweet Bread recipe!
The recipe I am sharing with you today is a variation of my mom’s rosemary focaccia recipe.
Over the years, I have tried other methods of making this Italian flatbread. Some of these methods include different proof times for the initial sponge, different methods to knead this very wet dough and different rise times.
Recently, I read this article that eliminates the second rise. Needless to say, I just had to try it. I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
My family and friends think this is the best focaccia recipe.
If you have ever wondered how to make focaccia bread fluffy, with a crumb that has medium-sized air pockets, achieved without a second rise, this is the recipe for you.
If you have a cast-iron pan, you may want to see how easy it is to make this recipe for cast iron focaccia bread. I’ve included 4 different toppings!
THANKS SO MUCH for following and being part of the She Loves Biscotti community where you will find Simple & Tasty Family-Friendly Recipes with an Italian Twist.
Ciao for now,
★★★★★ If you have made this Potato Rosemary Focaccia, I would love to hear about it in the comments below and be sure to rate the recipe!
Italian Focaccia Recipe
To make the focaccia sponge:
- ½ cup all purpose flour 71 grams
- ½ cup water 105 °F-110 °F
- 1½ teaspoons dry active yeast
To make the focaccia dough:
- 2½ cups all purpose flour 355 grams, sifted or whisked
- 1 cup water 105 °F-110 °F
- 1 medium potato steamed, riced about 150 grams
- 2 tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
To make the herb topping:
- 1½ tablespoons olive oil extra virgin
- 1½ tablespoons lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons rosemary dried
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper freshly ground
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt to sprinkle over the top
To grease the pan:
- 1 teaspoon butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- extra teaspoon of olive oil to brush on surface
For the focaccia sponge:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together the flour and the dry yeast.
- Add the lukewarm water and manually whisk together for about 30 seconds.
- Cover with plastic film and set aside for 30 minutes.
For the focaccia dough:
- Lift the edges of the sponge and bring it towards the center.
- Add the rest of the ingredients for the focaccia dough and with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the mixture comes together. Switch to a dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes until smooth.
- While we wait, spread the room temperature butter over the entire surface of the rimmed sheet pan measuring 10 x 15. Then, spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Dampen hands with water and transfer the wet dough on the baking sheet. Using the palm of your hands, spread the dough in the pan.
- Brush 1 teaspoon of olive oil over the entire surface.
- Cover lightly with plastic film and let rise until double in size, approximately 2 hours.
For the Herb Topping:
- While the dough is resting, combine all of the ingredients for the topping (except for the salt) in a small bowl and set aside.
The Final Steps:
- Preheat your oven to 400 °F (200 °C) and place the oven grate in the bottom third of the oven. The oven needs to preheat for at least one hour so plan accordingly.
- Dip fingertips in the herb topping and gently create dimples in the bread.
- Brush the rest of the herb topping over the entire surface of the bread.
- Finally, sprinkle ½ teaspoon of coarse salt over the top.
- Bake in a preheated oven for about 23-26 minutes.
- When golden brown and crisp, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
- Allow to cool for about 10 minutes, then slice and serve warm.
- Garnish with chopped fresh rosemary.
Thank you for the fish and bread recipes. Housework now but will give it a try when possible. Looks very good. M
My pleasure Marlene! Enjoy!
Deborah Lochli Mcgrath
Maria do you have recipe not using potatoes?
Thanks so much for your interest Deb! If you have a cast iron pan, you will love this cast iron focaccia recipe
It comes together so easily! Enjoy!!!
I am searching for a good focaccia bread recipe and definitely will try this. I am just wondering if I can put cherry tomato on the top along with rosemary, have you tried this?
Thanks for your interest Attila. It really is a question of taste. I prefer to use oregano, basil or even parsley with tomatoes as these are the flavor combinations of my childhood. Enjoy.
I don’t own a potato ricer. If I mash the potato with a fork and weigh the mash to make sure I have the right amount, will that work? The texture of riced potatoes is lighter, so I’m wondering.
Yes, that will work as long as you do not over manipulate the potatoes you can use a fork Thanks for stopping by Leslie!
Could the preparation be done in a bread maker and if so what steps would be taken.
Thanks for your interest, Mary. Unfortunately, I have no experience using a bread maker as I do not own one. Perhaps there is a reader that can help out. Thanks again for stopping by.
would I be able to use instant mash potato as a substitute
That is a great question, Michelle. I have never tried. I honestly don’t think the final product will have the same texture. Perhaps there is someone that has tried and will respond.
If you do decide to try it I would love to hear about your results. Thanks for stopping by.
I’ve made it both ways now and you can use mashed potato flakes as long as you rehydrate them.
The smell of this and how soft ….best bread I’ve had …lots of love from kenya .. thank you
How wonderful Fredah! Thanks for sharing!
I made this but something happened it did not rise. It became a flat pizza crust. It was still yummy. I won’t give up I will try it again.
I’m sorry to hear this Mary. It sounds like the yeast might not have been active. Did the dough not rise at all?
Bringing this to my boys and grandsons. Looks like yours. Hopefully it tastes just as good. Thanks for the trick with the potatoes. My Nonna used to make it this way too. Unfortunately we never acquired any of her recipes so I’m very grateful to you and your mom. Grazie mille! An Italian from Woodbridge Ontario
How wonderful Louisa! Hope your family enjoys it as much as mine. Thanks so much for taking the time to share.
i am in the process of making this right now. i don’t know why you have to preheat the oven for one hour? what is the reason for this? it’s been in the PROOF part of my oven for a bit over an hour and it is already doubled in size. hmmmmm…..what to do. i turned off lthe proof temp for the next hour. just worried it’s going to overflow.
As you probably know, all ovens are different. A very hot oven is an important factor in making successful focaccia… that is why I indicate 1 hour…
I have no experience with an oven that has a “proof temp” section but from what you describe, it seems like it is ready to bake. I would go ahead and bake it. Enjoy!
I look forward to trying this recipe….can I make this using my hands only …I do not have a Food mixer nor the potato ricer. It looks so delicious!
Thanks for your interest Jasmine. Yes, my mom would make it by hand. It is a very forgiving dough. Have fun!