Focaccia al Rosmarino

This scrumptious and savory flatbread with a porous and tender crumb is infused and slathered with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and topped with Fresh Rosemary, Coarse Sea Salt, and the best imported Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese you can find. Focaccia al Rosmarino is delicious alone as a snack or appetizer with a glass of wine or served as an accompaniment to a full meal.

Focaccia (pronounced “fuh-KA-cha”) is a type of Italian yeast bread baked as a flat sheet or in a disk. The name comes from the Latin ‘focacia‘ meaning hearth or fireside. The Focaccia dough is deeply flavored with extra virgin olive oil and topped with more extra virgin olive oil coarse sea salt, cheese,  herbs and sometimes other vegetables. Common focaccia bread toppings include olives, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, or tomatoes. After the dough proofs, the baker brushes a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and then uses their fingertips to dimple the entire surface of the focaccia dough. The focaccia dough is then topped lightly with coarse salt, cheese, and herbs, frequently rosemary is used.

The Focaccia Toppings – Use the Best!

You can’t make great tasting food from ingredients that are not of the best quality. This is a perfect opportunity to visit your local specialty food store or Italian Market to check out the Coarse Sea Salt, Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses they have to offer. Ask for a taste and suggestions from the staff at the deli counter or owners.  Here in the Detroit Metro Area, we are lucky to have wonderful imported food emporiums like Zingerman’s Deli, Zingerman’s Creamery, and Cantoro’s Italian Market.

What is a “Poolish?” aka (Biga or Preferment)

Italian bakers use a stiff preferment known as a biga in Italy. This recipe uses a poolish which uses an equal weight of flour and water making the hydration at 100%. This process of fermenting flour, water and a very small amount of yeast for an 8 to 10 hour period before incorporating it into the final dough develops the natural sweetness of the flour without the use of any refined sugar or sweetener in the final bread. The poolish also develops the final texture of the crumb and helps to preserve the bread by making it less perishable. To make the poolish is short work for the baker. Combine the water, flour, and yeast beat to combine, cover and let ferment for 8 to 10 hours. You, the baker will be rewarded with amazing flavor and texture in your bread for just a few minutes of your time the night or morning before you plan to bake this bread.

As with all baking recipe I recommend you weigh the ingredients for the Focaccia al Rosmarino. Weighing ensures you have a consistent dough each and every time. As bakers, we are always striving to remove any variables from the process of baking.

The full instructional video for Focaccia al Rosmarino is at the bottom of this blog post. Follow this link to “LIKE” and “SUBSCRIBE” to my YouTube Channel “Just One Bite, Please?”

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Poolish (Preferment) – Mix 8 to 10 hours before mixing the final dough

  • Measured          Grams             Ingredients
  • 1 cup                       227 g.            Water (room temperature)
  • 1-1/2 cup                227 g.            All-Purpose Flour (unbleached, unbromated)
  • 1/4 tsp.                 1/4 tsp.            Instant Yeast

Mixing the Poolish (Preferment)

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the water, instant yeast, and all-purpose flour
  2. Mix the ingredients with a rubber spatula to combine and then beat well.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and clean off the spatula.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (cling film) and let ferment at room temperature 68º-74ºF (20º-23ºC) for 8 to 10 hours.

Final Dough

  • Measured          Grams             Ingredients
  • 2-½ cup                   454 g.           Poolish (from above)
  • ½ cup                      113 g.           Water (room temperature)
  • ½ tsp.                          2 g.            Instant Yeast
  • 1/3 cup                     70 g.            Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2-½ cups                340 g.            All Purpose Flour (unbleached, unbromated)
  • 1-½ tsp.                    14 g.            Sea Salt (fine)

Mixing the dough:

  1. Combine the water with the fermented poolish and scrape the bowl to loosen the poolish.
  2. Pour the poolish into a large mixing bowl and add the olive oil, instant yeast, and half of the all-purpose flour.
  3. Mix using a rubber spatula to incorporate the ingredients and then beat until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Add the remaining all-purpose flour and sea salt and fold to combine.
  5. Mix until the dough becomes a shaggy mass.
  6. Scrape down the bowl and scrape off the rubber spatula with a plastic scrape and turn the dough onto the work surface.
  7. Knead the dough together for 2 to 3 minutes to incorporate the ingredients. The dough will be sticky. Do not add any flour to the work surface.”
  8. Continue to knead the dough for 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough is strong and elastic.
  9. Round the dough into a ball.
  10. Spray a bowl with non-stick spray or oil and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  11. Ferment the dough for 1 hour at room temperature 68ºF-74ºF (20ºC-23ºC)
  12. After 1 hour, uncover the dough.
  13. Lightly oil the work surface with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and turn the dough onto the oiled work surface.
  14. Degas the dough and stretch and fold the dough.
  15. Place the folded dough back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
  16. Ferment the dough 1 hour at room temperature 68ºF-74ºF (20ºC-23ºC)

Pre-heat the oven and Baking Stone to 475ºF (246ºC) 1 hour before baking the focaccia


Pre-shaping, Final Shaping, and Baking the Focaccia:

  1. Place a 1/2-sheet of parchment paper on the cutting board.
  2. Sprinkle the parchment paper with cornmeal and then set aside until needed.
  3. After the dough has fermented 1 hour. Lightly oil the work surface with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  4. Uncover the dough and turn it onto the oiled work surface.
  5. Degas the and press the dough into a 10” x 16” (25 cm x 40 cm) rectangle.
  6. Fold the short sides into the center of the dough.
  7. Fold and pinch the seams together to seal the dough.
  8. Turn the dough over and lightly press into an 8” x 12” (20 cm x 30 cm) rectangle.
  9. Place the dough onto the cornmeal coated parchment paper.
  10. Stretch and press to reform the dough into the 8” x 12” (20 cm x 30 cm) rectangle if necessary.
  11. Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap.
  12. Proof the focaccia for 1 hour at room temperature 68ºF-74ºF (20ºC-23ºC) or until the dough holds an indentation from your fingertip.
  13. After 1 hour, uncover the focaccia and brush the top with Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
  14. Use your fingertips, press and dimple the surface of the focaccia to expand the focaccia into a 10” x 14” (25 cm x 35 cm) rectangle.
  15. Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the coarse sea salt and the grated Parmesan cheese.
  16. Use the bakers’ peel and slide the focaccia onto the preheated baking stone.
  17. Bake the focaccia at 475ºF (246ºC) for 20 to 24 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Turn the focaccia during baking if necessary to get even browning.
  18. Remove the focaccia from the oven and place on a wire cooling rack.
  19. Immediately brush the baked focaccia with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle the top with the chopped rosemary.
  20. Cool the focaccia for 20 minutes before cutting and eating.
  21. Enjoy!

Note: The Focaccia is best eaten within 3 days from the baking date. Store the Focaccia wrapped in plastic at room temperature or freeze. Thaw to room temperature and reheat in the oven to enjoy.

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190 thoughts on “Focaccia al Rosmarino

  1. Nitin

    Hi ,Absolute novice here. I have tried this recipe a few times and have come out very well by my standards. I never understood the science behind most of it just followed instructions. Would you be able to explain what would need to be done differently if the poolish was left lot longer than 8-10 hours as is the case right now. It rose and has gone down to the same measure as it was when I started. Is is still useable or would I need to do / add something to rectify?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Nitin, It is my pleasure to meet you. Welcome to the “Just One Bite, Please?” community. The longer fermented poolish is still usable with this style of bread dough as we are adding more yeast when mixing the final dough. I’d love to hear about your baking adventure-making the focaccia. Please let me know if you should have any other questions. Thank you for writing and have a great day!

  2. Matej

    Hi Alejandro,
    I am so glad I found your recipe on Youtube.
    I followed your recipe with 2 exceptions:
    i. I reduced amount of oil added in the dough by half (but compensated the liquid loss with water)
    ii. I didn’t add the cheese, but some walnuts, black olives and cumin seeds.

    Need to tell you that the outcome was fantastic!
    The dough was super soft and delicious.

    Big thanks and keep up the good work!


    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Matej,

      It is my pleasure to meet you!

      I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your baking adventure and ideas with me and the Just One Bite, Please? community. It is always wonderful to hear how each person makes the recipe their own by using the ingredients they love and enjoy.

      Thank you so much and have a great day! Cheers!

      1. Bonnie

        Thank you for such a informative video and recipe. What are your thoughts on using a stand mixer? My hands are extremely week so I have been using the mixer (step 5) and a dough hook. (step 7).

        1. Alejandro Ramon

          Hello Bonnie, I appreciate you waiting for my response. Yes, you can use a stand mixer and dough hook for kneading the dough. Kneading time will take 6 to 8 minutes or until the dough comes away from the bowl freely. The steps of folding the dough will continue to help strengthen the dough. Thank you for taking the time to ask your question. Have a great day.
          P.S. I’d love to hear about your baking adventure making the focaccia!

  3. Beth Bilous

    Hello friend. This the second time I have made your recipe for foccacia. The first time came out stellar and was so darn good. The second time yesterday, I followed your instructions when i asked how to retard the rising till i was ready to go past step 10. I refrigerated it, and let it come to room temp for two hours then followed the rest of the recipe. The Foccacis came out way too dry. I used the same flour as previous time and all amounts were in grams. The only thing i can attribute the dryness of my second foccacia is the refrigerated thing i did. The previous susccesful time followed thru with the entire recipe. It came out perfect. moist, well risen and delish. Can I get your thoughts on stoping the rise in the fridge after step 10?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Beth, When retarding yeast doughs it takes much longer for fermentation to get underway once removed from the refrigerator. It sounds like the dough was underproofed from your description of the crumb structure and texture. As bakers we want to minimize the variables of the process of baking. Retarding dough is a great way of extending when you want to bake the baked good but it also adds the variable of time for the yeast to fully reactivate and ferment the dough. This is where experience comes into play. The time table for final (proof) fermentation is extended also as it takes sometime double the time to fully proof the dough. What did the first focaccia look like compared to your second focaccia as it went into the oven?

      1. Beth Bilous

        The first time I tried your Foccacia, I made the poolish at 8 pm went to sleep got up the next morning to make the complete recipe. I let the poolish on the counter for 10 hours. The second time I left it for 8 hours. Might just be the issue, and whden it came out of fridge at the 10 step, I let it come to room temp for 2 hours. then baked as usual. Don’t know why the second came out way dryer than first. Could be oven or humidity or something else that affected it. I will give a third try and do the same procedure as my first endeavor. Fingers crossed an will keep you posted on the result.

  4. Betty Reynolds

    Hello! This recipe looks wonderful! Could bread flour be substituted for the all purpose flour?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Betty, It is nice to meet you. Yes, you can use Bread Flour in place of the All-Purpose Flour. You’ll find the dough will be firmer and the final texture of the baked focaccia will be chewier due to the higher protein content of the Bread Flour. I’d love to hear about your results. Thank you for taking the time to write. Happy Baking!

  5. Malavika

    Hi if I had to use a cast iron skillet for bakinghow would I go about that ?
    And is it necessary to add cornmeal if I don’t have any?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Malavika, It is nice to meet you. When using a cast iron pan we’re going to use the pan upside down and use the bottom to bake the focaccia on. We want final the focaccia to be the size and shape of the bottom of the pan. Cut the parchment paper to the size and shape of the cast iron pan bottom. You’ll follow the recipe and directions as written. Preheat the pan in the oven for at least 45 minutes before baking the focaccia. Once the focaccia is fully fermented you’ll side it onto the bottom of the cast iron pan. Baking time will be about the same. I’d love to hear more about your baking adventure when you make the recipe. Thank you for writing and have a great day!

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