No Knead Italian Focaccia Bread

5 from 45 reviews

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No-Knead Italian Focaccia Bread—Can you believe I am calling this recipe easy? If you’ve never made focaccia, this is the recipe to get you started! The steam created during baking gives rise to a soft interior with a slightly chewy crust that is simply divine. This is a recipe you will come back to time and time again!

Focaccia when done baking. brush with a little olive oil and flake salt.
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Best Foccacia Bread

It is an Italian NO KNEAD focaccia recipe that will get you the perfect crisp and bubbly, soft, and fragrant olive oil bread! It is one of the most fun and easiest breads to make.

This is a no-fail recipe you don’t want to miss. Be the person who makes focaccia on the regular—your friends and family will thank you for it! This easy No-Knead Focaccia bread recipe is going to blow your mind! It was inspired by my Nonno Livio, who bought me focaccia fresh from the bakery in our small Italian hometown.

focaccia bread in slices on a wooden board with salt on the side.

Easy Focaccia Bread

This is an easy focaccia recipe anyone can make!

  • The no-knead, 4-ingredient dough takes 5 minutes to mix together. The hardest part is waiting for the long rise!
  • It requires no special equipment, no tricky technique, or scoring.
  • If you have a 9×13-inch baking pan and your fingertips (for dimpling), that is all you need. Making the deep dimples is the best part.
  • The taste and texture are unmatched and unique: soft and pillowy, olive oil golden crust, and it’s completely irresistible.

It’s crispy and golden on the top and bottom crusts, and inside, it has an airy crumb (meaning there are tons of air holes, big and small, that squish in the best way possible). It is ONE OF MY FAVORITE BREADS.

Simple Ingredients

ingredients for focaccia bread.
  • Flour: bread flour or all-purpose flour will work equally well for focaccia.
  • Yeast: instant yeast is my preference, but active dry yeast works just as well. See recipe box for instructions on how to use active-dry yeast in place of instant.
  • Salt: I say this all the time, but a big part of making a good loaf of bread comes down simply to using the right amount of salt given the amount of flour you are using by weight. 
  • Flake Salt: used to top the focaccia and give it a nice salty crust. FLAKE SALT I LOVE!! MALDONS
  • Water: There is a lot of water in this dough it has a very high hydration level. The water helps produce a light, airy, pillowy dough.
  • Good Olive oil: Olive oil, both in the bottom of the pan and on top of the dough, is essential for encouraging nice browning, flavor, and that traditional oiliness we all love about focaccia. Great Basic Extra Virgin Olive Oil for this Recipe COLAVITA

See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for exact measurements.

How to Make the Best Focaccia Bread (step-by-step photos)

The beauty of no-knead focaccia lies in its simplicity. Without the need for extensive kneading, the dough relies on a long, slow fermentation process. This not only develops a complex flavor but also creates a wonderfully porous, light texture. It’s a perfect recipe for beginners and seasoned bakers alike. See the recipe at the bottom for full instructions.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: add yeast and sugar to the water and let in bubble.
how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: add yeast and sugar to the water and let in bubble.

Add the yeast to the warm water.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: add yeast and sugar to the water and let in bubble. When the yeast is activated you will see bubbles at the top.

After the water, yeast, and sugar rest it should get nice and bubbly.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: add flour to the yeast and water mixture.

Add the flour.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: the dough will be shaggy.

Mix until a shaggy dough forms.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: add the dough to a clean oiled bowl.

Add the shaggy dough to an oiled bowl.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: let the dough rise in the fridge and take off the plastic cover. There will be lots of bubbles!
how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: Add the dough to a well oiled baking dish. Let it rise again.

Let the dough rise in the fridge overnight (see recipe card for quick rise version). Place dough in a baker and let rise again.

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: with your hands make dimples with your fingers after the second rise.
how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: dough with dimples. Ready to bake.

After the second rise dimple with your fingers. Then, let it rise one last time!

how to make no-knead focaccia bread step-by-step: dough with dimples. Ready to bake.

Bake in the preheat oven and enjoy the best Italian focaccia bread!

Focaccia when done baking. brush with a little olive oil and flake salt.

How to Serve Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread can be eaten as is or cut into various shapes, including squares, long skinny rectangles, and triangles.

Since focaccia is pretty thick, focaccia can be sliced in half and used for making sandwiches. It’s also a tasty addition to a bread basket or accompaniment to a soup or salad bowl. 

You can also use the leftovers to make stuffing for Thanksgiving!

Best Pan

Focaccia is sometimes thick (as seen in all of these photos) or sometimes very thin, depending on your preference and style. I prefer thicker focaccia, so I make it in a classic 13X9 glass baking dish with a height of 2 inches.

If you like a thinner focaccia, you can follow the same recipe and use a Cookie sheet with a hight of 0.75 inches. Either way, you like it- focaccia has the best texture!

Storage

Storing: store at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 days. Reheat in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes.

To freeze focaccia, cut it into pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, place it in a resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 1 month.

focaccia bread in slices on a wooden board with salt on the side.

Topping Variations

I recommend starting your focaccia journey with this plain recipe that does not include toppings. The salty olive oil brine is enough to make this a tasty treat all by itself. Once you taste it you can explore options by adding different toppings.

Here are other variations you will love as well: Tomato Herb Focaccia (Best, Easiest Recipe), Apple, Brie, and Herb Focaccia Bread, Sweet Focaccia with Raspberries and Balsamic.

Slices of no knead focaccia in a bread basket on top of a wooden board. The focaccia slices are nice and airy!

More Recipes

What to Serve with Foccacia

Serve this delicious focaccia bread with this Italian Sauteed Eggplant and Tomatoes Recipe, Orzo Pasta with Vegetables, Copycat Panera Squash Soup, Italian Chopped Salad, or Spaghetti alla Nerano Recipe.

FAQ’s

What is focaccia bread?

Focaccia (Italian pronunciation: foh-kah-chuh) is an olive oil-rich Italian bread that resembles a sponge or a springy mattress. The surface of the dough is coated in olive oil and salt.

Can I Make Focaccia In Less Time?

Yes, you can! From start to finish, you can make it in about three hours. The finished bread will not be as pillowy, but it will still be light, airy, and delicious.
To skip the long rise (12 hours and up to 48 hours), simply let the mixed dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours. Then proceed with the recipe, knowing the second rise will only take about 30 minutes.

How to prevent focaccia from sticking

To prevent your no-knead focaccia from sticking, generously oil your baking pan and your hands with good-quality olive oil before handling the dough. Additionally, you can use parchment paper or butter on the bottom of the pan to ensure that the bread is released easily after baking. These steps help create a non-stick surface and contribute to the deliciously crispy crust of the focaccia.

Why is my focaccia dough too sticky?

The high hydration in focaccia dough makes it quite sticky and loose. This is normal! The wetter dough contributes to the light, airy texture of the bread. Just use a lot of olive oil on your hands and the pan to prevent sticking.

Why do I need to ‘dimple’ the dough?

Dimpling the dough before baking isn’t just for aesthetics; it helps to prevent the dough from rising too much and becoming too fluffy. It also allows the olive oil and toppings to pool into the indentations, adding more flavor throughout the bread.

How do you know when focaccia is ready to bake?

You’ll know the focaccia is ready to bake when it has visibly puffed up and filled the pan, and the surface is dotted with bubbly indentations. If you’ve let it rise in a cool place, it may take longer, but it should look airy and more than doubled in size.

Slices of no knead focaccia in a bread basket on top of a wooden board. The focaccia slices are nice and airy!

Recipe adapted from Basically

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no-knead focaccia in a pan after it is done baking.

No-Knead Italian Focaccia Bread

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5 from 45 reviews

EASY AND DELICIOUS ITALIAN FOCACCIA RECIPE! This recipe is shockingly easy. It is a NO KNEAD focaccia recipe that will get you the perfect crisp and bubbly top with a soft and tender interior. You will treasure this fragrant olive oil BREAD! It is a NO FAIL RECIPE YOU will make again and again. 

  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/4-oz. envelope active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
  • 2 1/2 cups (590 ml) lukewarm water (98 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit, 36.5 to 40.5 Celsius)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 5 cups (625 g) all-purpose flour or 00 flour
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for hands
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, for greasing pan
  • Flake sea salt, such a Maldons

Instructions

1. Place 2½ cups lukewarm water in a medium/large mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Stir slightly but do not mix. Let sit 5-10 minutes (it should foam or at least get creamy; if it doesn’t your yeast is dead and you should start again—check the expiration date!).

2. Add flour and kosher salt and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms and no dry streaks remain. It will seem a little wet. That is normal. 

3. Pour 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil into a big bowl that will fit in your refrigerator. Transfer dough to bowl and turn to coat in oil. Turn over a few times, but do NOT mix in the oil with the dough. 

4. Cover plastic wrap and chill until dough is doubled in size (it should look very bubbly and alive), at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. If you’re in a rush, you can also let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 3–4 hours. The longer you let it raise in the fridge the more it flavorful it will be. 

5. Grease your desired baking pan or baking sheet depended on preference (classic 9X13 glass baking dish  or 9X13 cookie sheet ) with butter. Add the 1 Tbs olive oil to the baking pan and coat bottom. Take out dough from the fridge, uncover, and punch down one time. Then turn the dough over a few times in the bowl. Move dough to the prepared pan.

6. Pour any oil left in bowl over and turn dough to coat it in oil. Let rise, uncovered, in a dry, warm spot (like near a radiator or on top of the fridge or a preheating oven) until doubled in size, at least 1½ hours and up to 4 hours.

7. Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. To see if the dough is ready, poke it with your finger. It should spring back slowly, leaving a small visible indentation. Lightly oil your hands. If using a rimmed baking sheet, gently stretch out dough to fill (you won’t need to do this if using a baking pan).

8. Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers. This is my favorite part! Keep poking away until there are lots of poke marks in the dough. 

9.Drizzle the top of poked dough with remaining 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 20–30 minutes. OPtional: brush lightly with olive oil at the right after taking it out of the oven. Enjoy warm or cold! 

Notes

Makes great sandwich bread. Simply cut a slice in half lengthwise and use for a sandwich! 

Storing: The focaccia will keep at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for 2 days. Reheat in a 375-degree oven for 10 minutes. To freeze focaccia, cut it in pieces, wrap each piece in plastic wrap, place in resealable plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 1 month. *I do not recommend freezing the tomatoes. Remove them before freezing.

Short Rise Option: To skip the long rise (12 hours and up to 48 hours), simply let the mixed dough rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours. Then proceed with the recipe, knowing the second rise will only take about 30 minutes. 

  • Author: Elena Davis
  • Prep Time: 8-24 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: Italian
  • Cuisine: Italian

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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94 Comments

  1. This is the very best Focaccia recipe! I make it all the time and it has never not turned out beautifully!






    1. It is a reliable recipe you can count on! I’m happy you loved it. Have your tried the different variations for the toppings? So yummy.

  2. I never made focaccia before and I was a little worried about how this would turn out. It was amazing! It was easy to make and everyone loved it! I have made several variations of this – thick, thin, plain, with tomatoes, and even as pizza – it’s always delicious. Also, the directions are very straight forward and easy to follow. Thank you!






  3. I’ve been looking for a good focaccia recipe for years – this one totally hit the spot. It’s perfect. I make it all the time and take it to basically all events with food. It’s a hit every time. Italians and Americans alike love it. 10/10.

    1. Yay! I am happy you found “the one”. It is nice to have a staple recipe that you can depend on and know everyone will love it!

  4. So easy to make and so delicious! My fiancé is from Rome and said it was authentic. I made it with the Tuscan white bean soup ❤️