When it comes to baking, there’s nothing quite as satisfying as biting into a slice of freshly baked focaccia bread. Its golden crust, olive oil-infused interior, and aromatic herbs make it a delightful treat. But let’s be honest, we don’t always have the luxury of waiting 18-24 hours for dough to rise, and sometimes, we don’t need a massive batch of bread. That’s where my quick and easy focaccia recipe comes in! In just three hours, you can whip up a small but scrumptious batch of this Italian classic that pairs perfectly with a cozy fall meal like chicken stew. Let’s get started!
Being a parent means you have to sometimes make things on the fly. I want a homemade dough for tonight’s dinner – but I didn’t meal plan and go to the grocery store until this morning. So while, in an ideal world, I have all the time in the world to let my dough rise….my current reality is I need something quicker.
If you find yourself in the same boat – this is the PERFECT focaccia recipe for you!
Here’s what you need:
- Dry Active Yeast
- Olive Oil
- Butter (for the pan)
- Toppings – below are some examples!
- Pizza seasoning
- Italian seasoning
- Everything but the bagel seasoning
- Just rosemary
- Just salt
- THE LIST CAN KEEP GOING!
Ok – and here’s what you do:
First things first – if you want this dough to rise – you need yeast. I always have a jar of “active dry yeast” in my fridge. I keep it in there to keep it alive and fresh.
To the mixing bowl add 2 teaspoons of dry active yeast, 2 teaspoons of honey, and 1 and 1/4 cups of lukewarm water. Gently mix to combine and set aside for 5-10 minutes. It will start to bloom. If it doesn’t – sorry to say, but your yeast is dead. It should look like the pic below once it blooms:
Mix the dough with the dough hook for about 5 minutes, until all flour and water are combined and it has turned into a ball. It should be soft and springy when you poke the dough, not sticky.
Now, you can use another bowl – or….if you are into conserving your energy like I am (aka lazy) you can just remove your dough, and add in 2 Tablespoons of olive oil, add the dough ball back to the bowl, and mix it around so the entire ball is covered in olive oil.
Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel (I just slightly moisten a towel with warm water and wring out the extra water (you don’t want it dripping wet at all).
Set-aside for 1-2 hours.
After 2 hours it should look like this:
Now it’s time to season your dough and do a quick 2nd rise before backing. Add your dough to a 9×13 pan that has 2 Tablespoons of melted butter on the bottom. You can omit the butter and just use olive oil if you’d prefer – but I like the combo.
And now come the best part! using your fingers to dimple the dough. AHH it’s so satisfying! Simply place the dough in the pan – using your hands, spread the dough out so it is spread evenly in a layer. Using your fingers – put indentations into the dough. Sprinkle with whatever seasoning or herb you want (I went for half Italian seasoning and half plain salt).
Start to pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F.
While your oven is pre-heating, allow your dough to rest and slightly rise again. Cover with the towel (carefully as to not let the towel touch the top of the dough).
Once it has sat for 20-30 minutes and your oven is ready – place the pan in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the top is a nice brown color and the dough is completely cooked through.
This is fantastic. It’s chewy, light, flavorful, crunchy – just perfect for an impressive and quick bread recipe. My family all commented “this bread is great!” as they ate dinner – which is a win in my book.
If you make it, please let me know what you think!
Quick and Easy Focaccia RecipeCourse: BreadCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp active dry yeast (or about 3/4 of the packet if using a packet)
1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F/43°C)
2 tsp honey
2 tsp salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T. butter, melted, for the pan
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning(or your favorite seasoning or herb)
Coarse sea salt for topping
- Activate the Yeast: In a small bowl, combine warm water, honey, and yeast. Stir gently and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes frothy. This step is crucial for a good rise in a short amount of time.
- Mix the Dough: In a standing mixer, combine the flour and salt. Pour in the activated yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Stir until the ingredients come together into a shaggy dough.
- Knead the Dough: Continuing with the stand mixer – use a dough hook and mix the dough until it forms a ball and all the flour has been incorporated. There should be nothing remaining on the sides of the bowl and the dough should feel springy to the touch and not sticky.
- First Rise: To a large bowl (it needs room to rise!) add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Place the dough back into the bowl and cover it with a clean kitchen towel (I add a little warm water to the towel before adding on top of the bowl). Allow it to rise for 1-2 hours in a warm, draft-free place. It should roughly double in size during this time.
- Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil.
- Shape the Focaccia: Gently press the dough into the greased baking dish, spreading it to cover the entire bottom. Use your fingertips to create dimples in the dough. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top, letting it collect in the dimples.
- Add Flavor: Sprinkle dried rosemary (or your choice of herbs) evenly over the surface. Finish with a generous sprinkle of coarse sea salt.
- Second Rise: Let the focaccia rest for an additional 20-30 minutes. This will allow it to puff up a bit more.
- Bake: Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the focaccia is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Serve: Allow the focaccia to cool slightly before slicing it into squares or rectangles. Serve it alongside your delicious fall chicken stew for a warm, comforting meal.
All nutritional information on this site is based on estimates and is not meant to be exact.