A dense bread with a generous amount of herb infused olive oil drizzled on top, this focaccia bakes up crispy on the outside, but super soft on the inside.
- 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp yeast)
- 1.5 cups lukewarm water
- 4 cups all purpose flour + more for flouring work surface
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons + 1/2 cup olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
- Add yeast to a large bowl. Pour water over yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add flour, salt and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Use a fork to stir it together.
- Once the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.
- Knead dough for 5 minutes. Coat ball of dough with a drizzle of olive oil, place in the large bowl, cover with saran wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let rise for 1 hour in the warmest part of your kitchen.
- While the dough is working it’s magic, combine olive oil with garlic and thyme in a small saucepan over low heat.
- Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The garlic and time should become fragrant, but it should not brown at all. Set aside.
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle one tablespoon of olive oil and herb mixture onto a half sheet pan and use your hands to grease the pan with oil.
- Use your hands to work the dough into the bottom of the pan, creating an even layer of dough. Use your finger tips to gently press dimples into the surface of the dough.
- Cover with saran wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another half hour.
- Gently pressing grape tomatoes into the dough, placing them about an inch or so apart.
- Drizzle remaining olive oil and herb mixture over the dough in an even layer.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top of the bread starts to get golden brown.
- Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes, then slice and serve warm!
Don’t rush the process. It’s bread and it needs to rise. This focaccia will rest for a total of 1.5 hours. This time is crucial in making sure that you get a fluffy bread without big air bubbles. This also gives the gluten enough time to properly set up.
All these recipes say “let bread rise in the warmest part of your kitchen”. But how do you know where that is? My tip of the day is to let the bread rise in your oven! Just before kneading the bread I’ll turn my oven on to the lowest temp for just a minute or so – just enough to get it ever so slightly warmed up. Then after I’m done kneading the dough, I’ll let it rise in the oven. It’s important to remember that you can’t let the oven actually get hot or it will bake the bread and it will not rise properly. I will do the same for the second rise – letting it heat up for just a minute or so.
You can totally make this bread ahead of time. After the first rise (which lasts for an hour) you can refrigerate the dough in an air tight container for up to a week. Then when you’re ready to bake, remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30-60 minutes so it can come to room temp. Then follow the directions on the recipe card below starting with #4.
Keywords: herb focaccia, easy bread recipe, focaccia bread