basil focaccia bread recipe, how to make basil focaccia bread recipe

basil focaccia

basil focaccia or any focaccia is one bread that would often get picked up by me at the bread shops or bread counters in super stores.

so when i made this basil focaccia, i was in for a surprise. it was much much better than the focaccia i have had from outside. even the husband was surprised and have asked me to make focaccia again.

there was another element that added to the surprise – whole wheat flour. i had made the focaccia using whole wheat flour and it was so soft and had a great texture. i have used organic stone ground flour or atta which is made from hard durum wheat.

i have used 2 cups of water for 4 cups of whole wheat flour. depending on the quality of the flour, you may have to add less or more of the water. a point to be kept in mind when making focaccia or pizza bread, is that the dough should be smooth, flexible, elastic and a little sticky. if you use all purpose flour, than you may have to add less amount of water while kneading.

basil focaccia recipe

i have adapted the focaccia bread from my pizza bread recipe. the proportions in this recipe would yield 2 large focaccia bread. you can also halve the recipe proportionately.

i kneaded the whole dough at once in a stand mixer. you can also knead by your hands or in a food processor. you can check the pizza post on how the bread is first mixed and then kneaded by hands.

i have used fresh basil in this bread. if you do not have basil easily available, then use any herb or a mix of herbs. even herbs like coriander and mint which are easily available in india, can be used. however, remember that these herbs will impart their flavor. fresh herbs are best, but even dry herbs can be added in the oil.

focaccia tastes best when served warm or fresh. the next day the taste changes somewhat. with this recipe, you can use the remaining half of the dough the next day. keep the dough in the fridge after its leavened for the first time, if you want to make the bread the next day.

i have used a large tray to make the focaccia. however, you can also make small breads and baking these will take less time as compared to a large bread.

some of my readers requested me to post bread recipes as well as artisan breads and hence this post. there are a few bread recipes in the drafts that i will post soon.

i did make a video demonstrating the making of the focaccia, so that it helps you in making this lovely italian bread at home. the video is shot in the night but still helpful.

basil focaccia bread video:

if you are looking for more bread recipes then do check italian herb bread, brown bread, eggless banana bread, pita bread and garlic bread.

italian basil focaccia bread recipe below:

3.3 from 3 reviews
italian basil focaccia bread recipe
basil focaccia - italian focaccia made with basil oil.
CUISINE: italian, world
INGREDIENTS (measuring cup used, 1 cup = 250 ml)
for the focaccia dough:
  • 4 cups whole wheat flour/atta
  • 2 cups water
  • 2.5 to 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp dry active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt or 1.5 tsp salt (i added 1.5 tsp)
for the herb oil:
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil or any fresh herb or a mix of herbs
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ or ½ tsp red chili powder or paprika
preparing the herb oil:
  1. rinse, dry and chop the basil leaves. warm the olive oil in a bowl.
  2. add the basil leaves, red chili powder or paprika.
  3. stir well and let the basil leaves steep in the warm oil for atleast 30 minutes.
preparing the focaccia bread:
  1. warm the 2 cups water in a bowl. dissolve the sugar in the water.
  2. add the active dry yeast and stir.
  3. allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 10-12 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy and bubbles up.
  4. if kneading in a stand mixer - in a mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook attachment, add the flour, salt and oil. mix at the lower speed of the mixer. add the yeast solution.
  5. then with the speed level required for your mixer for kneading dough, knead the dough for some minutes, till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
  6. if kneading by hands, then first add about 2 cups flour, salt and oil in the bowl.
  7. mix with a wooden spoon. then add ½ of the yeast solution and mix again.
  8. add 1 cup flour and remaining half of the yeast mixture. continue to mix and stir.
  9. add the last 1 cup flour and stir till the mixture begins to hold itself.
  10. remove from the bowl and on a smooth work surface, knead the dough till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
  11. keep the dough in a greased deep bowl. cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or lid or plastic wrap.
  12. you can also lightly coat the dough with olive oil or water and then keep in a deep bowl and cover the bowl.
  13. allow the dough to leaven for 1:30 mins or 2 hours.
  14. when the dough is leavened and doubled, remove from the bowl.
  15. flatten the dough on your work surface.
  16. divide into two equal parts for making two large focaccia.
  17. grease the pan with olive oil. flatten one part of the dough lightly and place on the pan. flatten a bit on the pan.
  18. now pour ¼ or ½ of the herb oil on the dough.
  19. with your fingers, indent or dimple the flour keeping approx ½ inch width in the bread and continue to flatten as you do so.
  20. cover with a lid or kitchen towel and allow to leaven again for 30-40 minutes.
  21. preheat the oven to at least 20 minutes before you bake the focaccia. preheat to 200 degrees C.
  22. after 30-40 minutes, you can add ¼ of the oil again and dimple lightly.
  23. if you have added ½ of the oil before, then no need to add oil again.
  24. the remaining ½ of the oil you will use for the second focaccia loaf. sprinkle some salt on the bread.
  25. now bake the bread in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes or till the surface has become golden.
  26. remove from the pan and allow the bread to cool on wired racks.
  27. slice the basil focaccia when warm or cooled down and serve immediately.

{ 26 Responses }

  1. Petra says

    What is the process to bake the bread using the refrigerated dough? Should it be brought to room temperature and let it rise for second time? TIA.

      • Petra says

        Thanks for the reply. So. I will try this. Let me know if I got it wrong. After the first rise, I will deflate the dough and keep the deflated dough covered properly in the refrigerator. When I want to bake it, I will take out the dough and let it come to room temperature. Once it is at room temperature, I will flatten it to fit the rectangular pan, dimple it and season with herb and oil. Then let it rise for the second time and then bake. Is this correct? I baked bread couple of times, but never baked a refrigerated dough.

  2. Petra says

    If I want to make half loaf, can I just halve all ingredients? Or with yeast is it different ration all together to halve the recipe?

  3. Prema says

    Can I use any other flour in place of stone ground? I have bread flour, apf, wholemeal flour, hi-Protein flour and normal arts. With so much stock,I don’t want to buy anything new. If so, what adjustments can I make?

  4. shawn says

    What size baking pan should you use for this recipe and could you use 100 percent stone ground whole wheat flour for this recipe?

  5. ramya says

    Hi Dassana,

    Could you please help me with the ingredients in grams and ml calculation? It would be easy to stick to the required quantities and probability of error can be minimized.


    • says

      there is no substitute for yeast… instead of dry yeast one can use fresh yeast… but again its yeast. there are bread recipes that can be made without yeast, but they rely on using baking soda, yogurt, buttermilk. so a lot of changes have to be done in the whole recipe.

  6. says

    wow look at this so soft and yumm. Never had one in my life always thought they had eggs in them wow got to try this one too.

  7. suhani says

    The basil focaccia looks so perfect..must hv tasted yummy..and video was amazing with the beautiful background music..