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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134 thoughts on “Focaccia al Rosmarino

  1. Earl Randall

    After looking at other comments, I see the recipe measurements are messed up. The volume and metric(weight) are not equivalent. A cup of all purpose flour weights 120g. A cup of water is 137g. Salt is 5.6g/tsp. So most every ingredient is wrong. Maybe if you make this using imperial volume measurements, it might be OK. I used weight as specified and not so good.
    btw.. check out:

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello Earl,

      It is nice to meet you. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your experience making the recipe. I’m so sorry to hear you’re having difficulty with the recipe.

      Manufacturers of measuring cups are not standardized so there is a difference between how much volume you’ll have. Each time one measures a recipe there can be variables in our measurements. This is why when baking weighing the ingredients is important. This removes the proportion variable in the formulation of the recipe.

      Another variable is the type of flour we use. This recipe calls for All-Purpose Flour which has a protein content between 11% to 12%. Gold Medal All-Purpose Flour (unbleached, unbromated) has a protein content of 11.3% whereas King Arthur All-Purpose Flour has a protein content of 11.7%. The lower protein flour will not absorb water as readily as the higher protein flour. The focaccia made with Gold Medal will feel wetter and stickier than focaccia made with King Arthur All-Purpose flour.

      I’d like to help you have success with the recipe. I have a few questions for you:

      Where all the ingredients were weighed in grams?
      What type of flour did you use for the focaccia?
      When stretching and folding the dough throughout the fermentation did the dough gain strength and structure?

      I look forward to hearing your responses. Thank you.

  2. Earl Randall

    Made this today w/lots of problems. The poolish was fine, but the dough was way too wet. I tried to knead, but it was very sticky. I had more on my hands than on the table. After 25 minutes of this, I started adding more flour, about 30g. It finally became tacky and I could mold into a ball. I expect it was still too wet. The dough did little rising during the succeeding proofing steps and was very difficult(impossible) to stretch into rectangle. I did get a lot of oven rise(using black porcelain baking stone). I did measure everything very carefully(weighed all ingredients). I’ll try a different recipe next time.

  3. bdnshade

    Since I moved from CA to MN I’ve had nothing but problems baking bread! No rise. Anyway I thought I’d make some focaccia, I used KAF’s recipe and it turned out like a flat bread/cracker, that you better eat hot! I ran across your video on YouTube and made it again and it was perfect. Showing how ‘wet’ the poolish should be was the secret to the success of the focaccia. Thanks so much.

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello bdnshade, It is wonderful to meet you. I’m so happy you found the process and recipe for the Focaccia helpful. You are right, maintaining the exact proportions of the ingredients in a baking recipe will produce the best baked good possible. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with making the Focaccia al Rosmarino. Please let me know if you should ever have any questions I may help you with. Have a great day!

  4. TM

    I just returned from Italy where I had Focaccia in Rome, Florence and Venice – sometimes with Pizza, other times with Panini. The Focaccia taste and texture varied significantly during the trip – not sure if it was regional preference or just the specific shops we visited. I really liked the Focaccia with a good crunchy surface, but light and airy inside with large holes, terrific flavor/less filling. What are the key factors in creating this result vs a heavier more filling crumb? It seems the bakeries there were using much higher oven temperatures. How does that impact the result?

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello TM, It is nice to meet you. Your visit to Italy sounds just wonderful. I love that you experienced a variety of focaccia throughout your visit to the different regions of Italy. Most bakeries in Italy use 00 Italian Flour which produces a crunchy crust with a denser crumb structure. Some bakeries use American flour with a higher protein content which produces focaccia with a softer more open crumb structure and crust. The hydration in the recipe determines the crumb structure. More water larger holes with lighter crumb structure. Less water denser more uniformed crumb structure. A hotter oven will produce a better oven spring for the focaccia. In Italy, they use a black steel pan that transfers the heat really well to the dough when it is placed into the oven and baked directly on the oven hearth. I purchased these pans on my last visit to Torino, Italy and baked focaccia in them and found a dramatic difference in the color, texture, and volume of the focaccia compared to the aluminum pans I have used before. I’ve made my recipe with all-purpose flour and 00 Italian flour and each flour produced a very different result. I’d love to hear about your experience when you make the recipe. Have a great day and Happy Baking!

  5. 🍕🍕RK🍕🍕

    Poolish is 227 gms Water and 227 gms APF. But it does not measure 1-1/2 cup APF as mentioned in the recipe. 1-1/2 cup APF is 375 gms APF and 1 cup Water is 227 gms Water. Metric value and ML values don’t match

    1. Alejandro Ramon

      Hello RK, I appreciate you waiting for my response to your message. When measuring by volume it is very hard for the home baker to have the accuracy that creates the recipe formulation.
      When measuring with volume measuring tools for the All Purpose Flour I get 76 grams per 1/2 cup for a total of 228 grams for 1-1/2 cups.
      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.
      Please let me know if you should have any questions about this or any other of my recipes. Happy Baking!

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