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 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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184 thoughts on “Focaccia al Rosmarino

  1. Susan Roelofs

    Hello Alejandro, Thank you for the recipe, I can’t wait to try it. Can I put the poolish into the fridge overnight, then continue from Mixing the dough step 1 tomorrow morning?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Susan, It is nice to meet you. I appreciate you waiting for my response. Yes, the poolish can be fully fermented at room termperature for 8 to 10 hours and then placed into the refrigerator oven night or up to 2 days. You can use the poolish directily from the refrigerator to mix the final dough. Thank you for writing and I look forward to heaing about your baking experince making the focaccia. Have great day!

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Sujud, It is so nice to meet you. I’m so happy you enjoyed the recipe. Thank you for taking the time to write. Have a wonderful day!

  2. mamatong

    HI there! thanks for sharing this recipe. Your recipe specifically states not to add extra flour during kneading process. I’ve knead it for 30 minutes and the dough still sticks to my hands even though I measure everything precisely. What I am doing wrong?


    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello mamatong, It is nice to meet you. There is a learning curve when working with sticky doughs for the first time. I have found using only my palm to knead rather than my fingers and use of a plastic scraper to gather the dough together from the work surface is very helpful. I recommend kneading the dough for 3 to 4 minutes to fully incorporate the ingredients then scrape off your hand and gather the dough into a cohesive mass and cover it with a bowl and let it rest for 30 minutes. When you return you’ll find the dough will have gain strength as the flour had time to fully hydrate and start bonding and developing the gluten structure as it sat. The dough will dictate how much pressure to use when kneading. Our goal as the baker is to develop the gluten without tearing ripping the dough. I’d love to hear how your next baking adventure goes using this techique. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and ask your question. Have a great day!

      1. Erica

        Thank you so much for this explanation. I just made my poolish and can’t wait to knead it in the morning.

        1. Alejandro Ramon

          Hello Erica, I appreciate you waiting for my response. How did the mixing and kneading go for you?

  3. Gregor policarpo conejo

    Muchas felicidades mi estimado Alejandro Ramón quisiera pedirte que tus excelentes contenidos en de tus vídeos sean narrados en castellano ,para tus fieles al seguidores latinos , como es mi caso en Perú . Mil gracias Alejandro , muchas bendiciones en estos momentos difíciles.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hola Gregor, es un placer conocerte. Aquí está la recetas completa y las instrucciones detalladas traducidas al español:
      Me complace enviarle las versiones traducidas de todas mis publicaciones de recetas. Veré cómo traducir los videos a otros idiomas. Muchas gracias por tomarte el tiempo de escribir. Cuídate y te deseo lo mejor. ¡Salud!

  4. Marco Soto

    Hello Alejandro, I followed all the instructions of your recipe, but when I made the final dough this was so sticky in comparation with the dough you made in the video. So I said, I’m going to let it make autolysis and I let it rest around one hour and a half, but it didn’t. But I made the recipe anyways, the result was really good but wasnt swollen like your bread. What do you thing how I can solve it?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Marco, It is nice to hear about your results making the Focaccia recipe. One factor that affects fermentation is room temperature. I have found that the final proof time will vary greatly depending on how cool or warm my home is. I would recommend looking for visual clues to how the fermenation is going with your yeasted doughs. You noted that your dough didn’t have the same volume after one and a half hours of proofing compared to what you saw in the video. As bakers, we watch for the clues to tell us if we should process with the next step. I hope you have had a chance to make the recipe again. I’d love to hear about your progress as you continue to learn to perfect your focaccia making skills. Thank you so much for taking the time to write. Have a great day!

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