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Monday, October 30, 2023

Herb & Parmesan Focaccia Recipe

When I make scratch pizza, stromboli, calzone, French/Italian bread or focaccia, I use this dough for the bread part. That recipe will make enough dough for 2 large pizzas. When I made focaccia last week for the 4 of us (yielding 2 large squares each), I made a half recipe, using:

3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1  1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 to 1 tablespoons oil (the oil tenderizes the dough, so if you like a chewier crust, use the lesser amount, and if you prefer a softer bread crust, use the greater)
about 2 cups of flour (half white, half wheat is my preference)

1) In a large mixing bowl pour water and sprinkle with yeast. Stir in salt and sugar.

2) Mix in 1 cup of flour and the oil.  Add remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough is just a tad bit soft still. If it's too stiff, it's difficult to stretch on the baking sheet.

3) Knead right in the bowl, for about 3-4 minutes. Allow to sit for about 40 minutes.

4) Grease your baking sheet.

5) Punch down dough. Stretch onto the prepared baking sheet.

Focaccia is more of a bread than a pizza crust. You'll want to press the dough out until about 1/2-inch thick all over, as opposed to stretching a pizza crust as thin as you can get it without tearing. Dimple the top of the crust with a fingertip.

6) Allow the pressed dough to rise at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Now for the topping part.

For the herb and Parmesan topping:

generous amounts of olive oil (see my notes below for saving on olive oil)
chopped fresh (or frozen) rosemary
crushed dried oregano
shaved Parmesan cheese
optional -- some folks add a sprinkling of coarse salt to the topping
optional -- you can add some freshly cracked black pepper, if desired

Preheat the oven to 405 degrees F.

After the dough has risen, drizzle it with olive oil. It will puddle in the dimples. Sprinkle with lots of the herbs. Shave generous amounts of Parmesan over the top. I use a vegetable peeler to shave block Parmesan. If Parmesan is not your thing, you could substitute some shredded mozzarella or provolone cheese.

Bake for about 16 to 18 minutes, until the focaccia is golden. Cut into sticks or squares.

Interesting, while the olive oil still sits in pools while baking, shortly after removing from the oven, the bread absorbs the oil. Delicious.

My method for stretching expensive olive oil -- I blend half and half olive oil with vegetable oil in a bottle kept in the pantry. This is what we use for salad dressings and cooking. When I really want the flavor of the olive oil to stand out, I will use undiluted olive oil.

My rosemary survives winter about half the time. During the summer months, I chop and freeze rosemary. In this focaccia, I didn't feel like chopping some fresh rosemary, instead I used frozen chopped rosemary. It keeps its flavor in freezing.

Buon appetito!


  1. This looks very good. I'll have to give it a try. I am growing rosemary for the first time this year, and I've been wondering if I can get it to overwinter. More research is needed.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I've had mixed success with overwintering rosemary. I had a plant in the ground that lasted several years, and a few tries in pots and troughs that lasted 2 to 3 years. I've also brought small potted plants indoors to overwinter in windowsills. This year, I brought 3 small herbs plants indoors and placed under grow lights to see if I can get them to survive and then still go outdoors in early spring. Good luck with yours. You may be able to insulate your plant with plant protectors.

  2. That looks amazing! I tried a focaccia dough for pizza on Saturday and it was delicious. I omited the oil on top of the crust because I made it into pizza (should I still have added the oil?). I added pizza sauce and because I made two pizzas out of the dough, I put hubby's favorite on one and my favorites on the other. Delicious!

    1. Hi Alice,
      I think you did the right thing with leaving the oil off the top of the crust. Pizza toppings usually add plenty of fat to a pizza crust. I'm glad your pizza turned out so well!

  3. Thanks much! I plan to make both this bread and pizza. Excited!

    1. Hi Linda,
      Enjoy the focaccia and pizza!

  4. We like focaccia the same way but with freshly cracked black pepper also.

    1. I think the addition of black pepper (especially if freshly cracked so you have bits and not powder) does enhance the flavor. I don't often have peppercorns. But maybe I should pick some up just for focaccia.


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