Rosemary olive focaccia bread

Is there anything better than the smell of freshly baked bread? (No)

I’ve resisted many low carb diets over the years – South Beach, keto, paleo, whole 30, and the like. I’m a carb girl through and through, and my favorite is bread.

Bread making can be intimidating though. All that kneading and proofing and starter nurturing. It’s a lot. Luckily, this recipe is fairly easy and good for bread baking newbies (like me). It just requires a little patience.

This recipe is a slight adaption of Samin Nosrat’s famous Ligurian focaccia. In addition to adding rosemary and olives, I baked my focaccia in a 9×13 pan instead of an 18×13 inch baking sheet. The result is a thick, soft, fluffy focaccia that’s perfect for snacking or sandwiches.

You start by making the dough. Dissolve honey and yeast in warm water, then combine with flour, salt, and olive oil.

You let it sit 12 hours. This is a great thing to do overnight, so you can bake your bread in the morning. It should double in size.๏ฟผ

Next, you line your pan with olive oil, place your dough in the pan, layering in the rosemary, and let it sit some more.

Finally, you top it with more rosemary, some olives, more olive oil, and flaky sea salt and bake it at high heat: 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

The result: absolute perfection. The bread has this nice toasty golden brown color on the outside and a pillowy, airy texture on the inside. Best of all, your whole house will smell like rosemary, which I find extremely therapeutic.

Enjoy!

Ingredients – dough

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Ingredients – brine

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/3 cup warm water

Ingredients – finishing

  • 3 + 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 6 ounces green olives, cut in half
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and stem discarded

Instructions 

  1. In a medium bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir until dissolved.
  2. In a very large bowl, whisk together flour and salt, then add olive oil and honey-yeast mixture. Stir with a rubber or silicone spatula until incorporated. The dough is very sticky; you do not want to use your hands or a wooden spoon, or you’ll lose a lot of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in your oven with the light on for 12 hours. The dough will ferment and double in size.
  3. Spoon 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a 9×13 pan and shake until bottom of pan is evenly coated. Using a spatula, pour half of dough into pan, and sprinkle half your rosemary evenly across dough. Pour remaining dough into pan, then top with remaining rosemary and olives. Spoon another 2 tablespoons of olive oil over dough and spread across, using a silicone pastry brush or metal spoon. Use your fingers to press down on the dough and ‘dimple’ it.
  4. Make a brine by whisking together salt and warm water until salt is dissolved. Pour the brine over the dough. Wait for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, making sure your oven rack is in the center. Place a large baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven and let it preheat as well.
  6. When oven is 450 degrees, sprinkle focaccia dough with flaky sea salt and bake for 30  minutes directly on top of stone or baking sheet. It should be golden brown on the top and on the sides.
  7. Remove bread from the oven and brush on 3 more tablespoons of olive oil over the top. The bread will absorb the oil as it cools. Let cool for 5 minutes, then remove the focaccia from pan and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  8. Serve warm with your favorite olive oil or pesto!

To store, keep in an airtight container at room temperature.

To veganize this recipe

Use brown sugar instead of honey.

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