Make delicious garlic focaccia bread at home in less than 4 hours. This easy garlic herb and spring onion focaccia is everything you want from this traditional Italian flatbread- it's light, crispy on the outside, and coated in a generous blend of fresh herbs, garlic, spring onions and coarse sea salt. This post was made in partnership with Paderno, however all thoughts and opinions are my own (as usual). Thank you for supporting brands that help make The Simple Green possible.
What is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia is a traditional Italian flatbread similar in texture to pizza dough- it's golden and crispy on the outside with a remarkably soft and light crumb. It's perfect on its own, however, it also makes for great sandwiches, paninis, or as a side for antipasto. It's no wonder this bread has been beloved by Italians for centuries.
Flavour aside, one of my favourite things about focaccia is its versatility. The base of any focaccia bread is the same as any bread- flour, water, yeast, and salt. However, to give it that super soft interior and classic golden exterior, olive oil is added to directly to the dough and generously brushed on top prior to baking. Traditional focaccia are laden with fresh or dried herbs and sprinkled with coarse or flaky sea salt- both of which this recipe has.
I'm partnering with Paderno again to share the recipe for this beautiful garlic herb and spring onion focaccia. This recipe is simple to make, but add to it the efficiency of the new Paderno small appliance line, and it comes together that much faster. I love working with these appliances - they're versatile, beautiful and practical for everyday use at home.
For this recipe, the Paderno 3-Cup Food Chopper swiftly chops fresh herbs - simply add them to the container, process on speed 1 and within seconds, everything is perfectly prepared. This appliance is lightweight and easy to use; I find myself using it regularly at home to chop garlic and onions (two things I don't like doing). Moreover, if you're not a fan of kneading dough by hand, the Paderno 10-Speed Hand Mixer fitted with the dough hooks makes mixing and kneading dough effortless- my hands aren't usually this clean when I make bread!
Any Easy Garlic Focaccia Bread Base
If you've never made focaccia before, this recipe is a perfect base for you to get creative with. Choose any seasonal herbs you wish- fresh basil, oregano, rosemary, garlic, or thyme make wonderful combinations. I'm particularly fond of parsley, basil and garlic; together they're superbly aromatic!
This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart's onion and leek focaccia however this version yields a good sized 10x15" bread. Of course, if you're having a large gathering, you can double the recipe and make two or one large bread with a 13x18" pan.
Tips for making the best Garlic Focaccia Bread
- Like most bread recipes, it's important to make sure your yeast is fresh. Active dry or instant yeasts have a usual shelf life of about 6 months once opened. If in doubt, purchase new yeast.
- Be sure to generously oil the baking pan and surface of the bread for a perfectly golden and crispy crust.
- Also, use the freshest herbs available (again, you can mix and match any herbs you like for this recipe).
- Lastly, focaccia dough can be sticky and troublesome to handle. If this happens, there are directions below to help prevent excessive sticking.
Be mindful that fresh garlic added directly to the dough at the wrong time can kill off yeast. This will result in bread that doesn't rise. For that fresh garlicky flavour, either baste it on the top of your bread with some olive oil, use dried garlic, or incorporate fresh garlic into your dough after it has already risen.
Sending another big thank you to Paderno for partnering with me for this post. You can view their entire small appliance line by visiting their website, or following along on social media #itsacookingthing or @padernokitchenware (Facebook, Instagram) and @padernocookware (Twitter).
If you give this recipe a go, don't forget to leave me a comment below!
Easy Garlic Herb & Spring Onion Focaccia
Make beautiful and delicious focaccia at home in less than 4 hours. This is easy herb and spring onion focaccia is everything you want from this traditional Italian bread- it's light, crispy on the outside, and coated in a generous blend of fresh parsley, basil, garlic and coarse sea salt. Sliced spring onions take this up a notch and make this a perfect sharing bread for your next gathering.
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 8 oz warm water (100'F)
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 ¼ -2 ½ cups unbleached all purpose flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ⅔ cup Italian parsley
- 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves
- 1 clove garlic
- 3-4 spring onions roots removed
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil plus more for the pan
- 1 tsp coarse or flaky sea salt
Prepare the dough
In a large bowl combine the yeast, water and sugar. Allow to stand for about 5 minutes or until starting to foam.
Add the flour, salt and olive oil to the yeast mixture. Using an electric mixer fitted with dough hooks, mix the dough on low speed until all the flour is incorporated. Continue mixing and kneading for 1 minute total. If the dough is very sticky and wet, add the remaining ¼ cup of flour. Alternatively, if you prefer to mix by hand, use a wooden spoon and stir until the dough is combined, then knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 1 minute. The surface of the dough should spring back when it's touched- this means it's ready to proof.
With lightly floured hands, shape the dough into a ball and place back into the mixing bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. Depending on the freshness of your yeast and the outside temperature, the dough may take less time to double in volume.
Shape the Dough
Generously oil a 10x15" baking sheet. Once the dough has doubled in volume, punch it down and scrape it out of the bowl onto the prepared baking sheet. If the dough is too sticky to handle, lightly dust it with flour directly in the bowl.
Allow the dough to rest on the baking sheet for 10 minutes to allow the gluten strands to relax (this will assist in shaping the dough). Then, using your hands, gently press the dough into a rectangular shape towards the edges of the baking pan. If the dough springs back, let it rest for another 5-10 minutes, then shape again. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for 1 hour.
Prepare the Toppings
To the Paderno 3 Cup Food Chopper (or a small food processor) add the parsley, basil and garlic. Process on speed 1 until finely chopped (about 8 seconds). Place the chopped herbs into a small bowl and stir in the olive oil. Slice each spring onion in half lengthwise. Set aside.
Top and Bake
Preheat the oven to 450'F. Remove the dough from the fridge and remove the cover. Using two fingers, create dimples in the surface of the dough, spacing them about 1-1 ½" apart.
Generously apply the olive oil and herb mixture with a pastry brush onto the top of the dough. Make sure the entire surface is well coated in olive oil (note you may not need all of the mixture). Arrange the spring onions on top and gently press them into the dough. Sprinkle with coarse salt.
Bake the prepared focaccia in the preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool. Finish the bread with a light brushing of olive oil. Slice into desired sizes and enjoy.
You can prepare and shape the foccacia dough up to 24 hours before you plan to bake it. Once you've proofed then shaped dough on the baking sheet, you can cover and leave it in the fridge for up to 24 hours, then proceed with the final steps as above. Baked focaccia is best served warm the same day, however it can be covered and stored for two to three days and reheated if desired.