focaccia bread recipe, how to make focaccia bread

basil focaccia recipe - italian focaccia made with basil oil.
4 from 6 votes

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

basil focaccia

so when i made this focaccia bread, 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.

do note that 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, then 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. i have embedded the video in the recipe card below. the video is shot in the night but still helpful.

if you are looking for more bread recipes then do check:

focaccia bread

Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:3 hours
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:3 hours 30 minutes
Servings (change the number to scale):4
4 from 6 votes
focaccia bread
basil focaccia recipe - italian focaccia made with basil oil.

INGREDIENTS FOR focaccia bread

(1 CUP = 250 ML)

for the focaccia dough

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1.25 to 1.5 cups water - add water as required
  • 2.5 to 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1.5 teaspoon dry active yeast or 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt or 1.5 teaspoon salt. i added 1.5 tsp

for the herb oil

  • 2 tablespoon chopped basil or any fresh herb or a mix of herbs
  • 4-5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ΒΌ or Β½ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder) or paprika

HOW TO MAKE focaccia bread

preparing the herb oil for focaccia bread

  • rinse, dry and chop the basil leaves. warm the olive oil in a bowl.
  • add the basil leaves, red chili powder or paprika.
  • stir well and let the basil leaves steep in the warm oil for atleast 30 minutes.

preparing the focaccia bread dough

  • warm the 1.25 cup water in a bowl. dissolve the sugar in the water.
  • add the active dry yeast and stir.
  • allow this mixture to sit at room temperature for 10 to 12 minutes or till the mixture becomes frothy and bubbles up.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • if kneading by hands, then first add about 2 cups flour, salt and oil in the bowl.
  • mix with a wooden spoon. then add 1/2 of the yeast solution and mix again.
  • add 1 cup flour and remaining half of the yeast mixture. continue to mix and stir.
  • add the last 1 cup flour and stir till the mixture begins to hold itself.
  • remove from the bowl and on a smooth work surface, knead the dough till its smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky. if the dough becomes too sticky, then add some flour and knead. if the dough looks dry and crumbly, then add a few tablespoons of water and knead. 
  • keep the dough in a greased deep bowl. cover the bowl with a kitchen towel or lid or plastic wrap.
  • you can also lightly coat the dough with olive oil or water and then keep in a deep bowl and cover the bowl.
  • allow the dough to leaven for 1:30 mins or 2 hours.
  • when the dough is leavened and doubled, remove from the bowl.

making focaccia bread

  • flatten the dough on your work surface.
  • divide into two equal parts for making two large focaccia.
  • grease the pan with olive oil. flatten one part of the dough lightly and place on the pan. flatten a bit on the pan.
  • now pour 1/4 or 1/2 of the herb oil on the dough.
  • with your fingers, indent or dimple the flour keeping approx 1/2 inch width in the bread and continue to flatten as you do so.
  • cover with a lid or kitchen towel and allow to leaven again for 30-40 minutes.
  • preheat the oven to at least 20 minutes before you bake the focaccia. preheat to 200 degrees C.
  • after 30-40 minutes, you can add 1/4 of the oil again and dimple lightly.
  • if you have added 1/2 of the oil before, then no need to add oil again.
  • the remaining 1/2 of the oil you will use for the second focaccia loaf. sprinkle some salt on the bread.

baking focaccia bread

  • now bake the bread in the hot oven for 20-30 minutes or till the surface has become golden.
  • remove from the pan and allow the bread to cool on wired racks.
  • slice the basil focaccia when warm or cooled down and serve immediately.


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dassana amit

Founder, Chef, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer >> MORE ABOUT US

namaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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46 comments/reviews

  1. Hi,
    I absolutely loved this recipe! My kiddo loved the bread as well! I was looking for a whole wheat Focaccia recipe, and your recipe was perfect! I made the dough using a bread machine, and then followed the rest of your process.
    Btw, your writing is also very crisp and to the point, while also including all tips and tricks!
    I now plan to to try your other recipes as well.

    • thanks deepa. this is also our favorite focaccia. using the same base recipe, you can play around adding various herbs, spices and even olives in the focaccia bread. do try the other recipes as well.

  2. Hi
    Have tried several receipes of yours and they are simply amazing thankss so much for making cooking look easy and tasty also. You are such a great chef!!!
    With the above receipe and other baking ones can you suggest the best yeast available in India. This will be of big help.

    Thank you

    • thanks a lot jigna. i use mauripan/gloripan brand of yeast. i have used both their dry active yeast and instant yeast. very effective and gives great results every time. i have also used all the indian brands of yeast and the least said the better. out of the indian brands, there was muksha brand whose dry active yeast averaged better than the other brands. the other brands give low to mediocre results.

  3. Hi I regularly follow your recipes and love how you try using wheat flour wherever possible as I try doing the same in order to make it healthy. However my bread doesnt turn spongy on using wheat flour. It gets dense as wheat flour is heavier than all purpose flour. What must I do to make my bread spongy?

    • hitangi, for breads made with atta, the dough has to be kneaded very well. also try to add more water while kneading. a slight sticky dough is fine. the dough has to be kneaded for at least 9 to 10 minutes. it should be softer like a chapati dough.

  4. Hi…
    I am planning to make this for my son’s birthday party…So if i bake this in the morning,shall i reheat it in the microwave before serving?
    Will it become hard?
    Thanks in advance

  5. Hi I totally loved it.gonna to give a try soon.
    what all focaccia can be accompanied with?
    I am planning to roasted red bell pepper soup.
    Need suggestions.

    • thanks. i usually accompany focaccia with tomato soup. though any creamy or thick soup goes very well. a side dish of soup and some pasta or spaghetti also goes well. you can even have it plain as a snack.

  6. Thanks for the recipe. I tried it last weekend and it was the most amazing bread I have ever made. It was so soft and moist. I’m going to make it again soon πŸ™‚

  7. I am a fan of your is my go to place for recipes…I tried making the bread but the yeast did not froth ..but I went ahead and made the bread anyway and the dough wasn’t airy…could you give me suggestions as to how to ensure frothing.

    • the yeast has to bubble and froth. never attempt baking a bread if the yeast has not frothed well. the bread will be a disaster. first use a good quality yeast. use warm water. not hot or water which is on the cooler side. if the yeast does not froth, then throw away the solution and work with the next batch.

  8. 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.

      • 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.

      • welcome petra. all the points you have mentioned are correct. i have baked refrigerated dough and i always let it come at room temperature and a second rise before baking.

      • Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe and your instant reply to clear my doubts. I will let you know how it turns out.

      • Thank you. 5 stars. Earlier rating was accidental. So sorry, could not edit it after posting the comment.

  9. 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?

  10. Hi
    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?

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

  12. 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.


    • 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.

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