Do you love bread, but hate all the work? Especially the mess that comes along with kneading the bread and then cleaning up after that? Well, the world has a solution for you. No-Knead Bread recipes. Yep, they’re for real!
After making my first successful loaf of no-knead “artisan” bread… I moved on and put together this recipe for No-Knead Focaccia Bread. Why? Because the world needs more fresh homemade bread for dinner!
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Sometimes you will hear this method of bread-making described as fermenting. You allow the yeast to work for a long period of time much like making a fine sparkling wine… well not quite that long, but you see where I’m going. Mark Bittman recently published his newest book all about No-Knead bread using the fermenting method.
What Exactly Is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia (pronounced: foh-cathtch-ah) is the second most famous Italian flatbread (pizza comes in at #1). This flat, but leavened bread is even sometimes called pizza bianca.
This lovely bread can be either sweet or savory and is the most common street food in Italy. The Genovese style is usually sold in slices either plain with just salt or lightly sprinkled with onions.
However, you will find focaccia bread with a multitude of toppings ranging from onions and tomatoes to peppers, cheese, and prosciutto lining the front windows of fornos (bakeries) throughout Italy.
Items You Need To Make This No-Knead Focaccia Bread
You don’t need any fancy kitchen tools to make my no-knead focaccia bread. Many of which you may already have in your kitchen
You will need two (2) mixing bowls. One to mix the dough in and one to place the dough in for rising. Make sure the second bowl is large. This dough will rise a lot!
A Large Rimmed Baking Sheet – 18″ x 13″ works best for this recipe. This is also what the pros call a “half-sheet.”
Measuring cups and spoons along with a good strong mixing spoon fill out the hardware. My recipe does call for the flour to be measured by the cup(s), but also gives the weight in grams. Most bakers will tell you that weighing your dry ingredients is more accurate, but this recipe will work either way.
If you have always wanted a good kitchen scale, I recommend this one. It is easy to read and rechargeable (no more searching for batteries when you need them most.) Best of all it’s waterproof, so clean-up is easy!
Making This Focaccia Bread With Garlic, Rosemary, Tomato & Onion
This recipe is savory no-knead focaccia bread. I have flavored the dough with olive oil infused with garlic and fresh rosemary. In addition, topping off the bread with thinly sliced tomato and red onion makes this a stand-alone snack or great appetizer. This bread is something you will find at any good Italian forno (bakery).
To start, I gently infuse the olive oil with garlic and rosemary. To do this I use a small pan on the stove at a low temperature. I sometimes do this the night before I make the bread. You want the oil to be at room temperature when you add it to your dough.
Next, prep your yeast and make the dough. To prepare the yeast, combine the yeast, water, and honey. I use an instant-read thermometer to check the water of the yeast. Too cold and the yeast won’t wake up, too hot can kill the yeast. Give the mixture about 5 to 10 minutes to get going. You will know when to add the flour and other ingredients when you see bubbles or foam in the water.
Coat a clean bowl with about a tablespoon of the infused olive oil and transfer the dough to the new bowl to rise until doubled in size. You can let this rise on the countertop for about 4 – 5 hours or in the refrigerator. The rise in the frig will take around 8 hours, but no more than 24 hours.
This is the fun part of No-Knead Focaccia bread… After the first rise, you place it in the pan for the second rise. No messy flour and kneading for 10 to 15 minutes. Let the dough rise again until it fills up the pan. Make some nice dimples in the dough, arrange your toppings, sprinkle with the last bit of infused olive oil on top, and pop it in the oven.
An easy-to-make focaccia bread that you don't have to knead.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 1 - 1/4 oz envelope active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water (around 110 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 5 cups (625 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 roma tomato, thinly sliced
- 1/2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- Place the olive oil into a cold medium-size skillet and add the chopped garlic, rosemary, and fresh pepper. Cook over low heat for about 5 - 10 minutes to infuse the olive oil with the aromatics. Watch carefully to avoid browning the garlic. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the yeast, honey, 1/4 cup of the infused olive oil, and warm water and let sit for five (5) minutes. This activates the yeast. At the end of five minutes, the liquid in your bowl should look foamy. This means the yeast is working.
- Add the flour and salt to the mixing bowl and mix with a rubber spatula until no dry flour is seen. You will now have a "shaggy" dough.
- Place two (2) tablespoons of the remaining olive oil into the bottom of a large bowl. You will need a lot of room for the dough to rise. Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn it to fully coat with the olive oil.
- Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap and place it in your refrigerator until the dough is doubled in size. At least 8 hours and up to 1 day.
- While your dough is completing its first rise, slice the tomato and onion
- With the remaining 2 tablespoons of infused olive oil, grease a 13"x 18" rimmed baking sheet.
- Remove the dough from the refrigerator. To prepare it for its second rise, keep the dough in the bowl, but begin to turn the dough from the edges into the center about a quarter at a time. Using two forks to move the dough and hold the dough works better than your hands.
- You may need to work the dough in the bowl up to two times to form a rough ball. Then transfer the ball of dough to your prepared baking sheet and allow it to rise again until doubled in size. This may take anywhere from 1 1/2 to 4 hours.
- Preheat your Oven to 450* Fahrenheit.
- To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. The dough should spring back slowly, leaving a small indentation,
- Lightly oil your hands, gently stretch out the dough to fill the baking sheet. Dimple the focaccia all over with your fingers. Create very deep impressions all the way to the bottom of the pan.
- Arrange the tomato and red onion over the top, drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of infused olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.
- Place the pan on the middle baking rack in the oven and bake for 20 - 30 minutes. Begining checking the focaccia around 20 minutes for doneness, you are looking for a bread that is puffy and golden brown all over.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 188Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 214mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 4g
Nutritional Information is an estimate and will vary depending on the specific ingredients used
Focaccia Bread Toppings
Once you have the basic recipe down, feel free to experiment. You can put almost anything on top of the focaccia. Olives, red peppers, zucchini, salami, prosciutto, and of course onions and tomatoes are all great toppings.
If you are looking to make your Focaccia sweet instead of savory, I would recommend not using garlic in the olive oil. Instead, add some cinnamon and sugar to the dough to make it sweeter. Then you can top the bread with figs, berries, plums, peaches, and nuts.
With focaccia bread, the toppings are limited only by your imagination.