Isn't she a beauty?!! This Parmesan Focaccia with Rosemary is the closest thing to artwork I've ever made.
Good thing it's relatively easy and tastes delicious! Do you see the garlic?!!
Pronounced "foh-CAH-chah" in Italian, focaccia is a flat, baked bread that's similar to pizza. It's crunchy on the outside and soft and pillowy on the inside.
I used to make focaccia with half whole wheat flour and half white, which produced a denser result. Now, I've overhauled this recipe to use just all-purpose flour, a longer rising time and more liquid in the dough, resulting in a lighter, fluffier texture.
OMG! I could eat a whole batch.
Many people recommend making focaccia dough a day ahead and refrigerating it overnight before baking, so it will have better flavor and a more airy texture.
But, I wanted a same-day focaccia recipe that wouldn't require too much patience. This one delivers great results in two hours.
It works for me! But feel free to be an overachiever and make the dough the day before!
Flour: Use all-purpose flour or bread flour here. As with any bread recipe, you may need to add a little extra flour, depending on the humidity in your kitchen. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and not be sticky.
Yeast: Use instant or active yeast. You need one packet, which equals 2 ¼ teaspoons.
If using instant yeast, you can just add it with all the other dough ingredients. If using active yeast, you'll have to proof it first. Those instructions are included in the recipe card.
Parmesan: I always use freshly grated Parmesan for the best flavor and texture. But, you could probably get away with using canned Parmesan here, if that's what you have.
If you want to skip the cheese altogether, you'll still have delicious, rosemary-garlic focaccia. (And if you love that flavor combination, don't miss my Roasted Pork Loin with Rosemary and Garlic!)
Rosemary: Use fresh rosemary or dried rosemary seasoning. You just need the needles, not the stems.
Rosemary gives the Parmesan focaccia a wonderful, savory, pine-like flavor. You could substitute dried basil or dried parsley, if you prefer. Herbed focaccia is delicious!
Garlic: I've made this with fresh garlic slices, as shown here, or with garlic powder. Fresh garlic produces a more subtle, sweet flavor when baked, and I really love it.
The powder gives the focaccia a stronger, garlic bread vibe. Use whichever you prefer! I've provided amounts in the recipe card.
Olive oil: Choose one that you really like. You'll need to use it in the dough, on the bottom of the pan and drizzled on the surface of the focaccia.
It's key to providing moisture and flavor!
How to make Parmesan focaccia
See the card at the end of this post for the full recipe, but here's an overview.
Make the dough
- Add the dough ingredients to a bowl and stir with a spoon until combined.
- Knead the dough in a mixer with dough hooks for four minutes, or by hand for six minutes. I use my KitchenAid mixer (affiliate link). Form the dough into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rise for one hour, or until doubled.
- Punch down the dough.
Shape the focaccia
- Add two tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of the baking pan.
- Shape the dough into a rectangle and place it in the pan. It helps to grasp the dough by the edges, hold it up, and let it stretch out. Rotate the dough a bit and continue, pressing the dough with your fingers in the thick spots to thin it out.
- Cover the pan of dough and let it rise for 20 minutes. Then use your fingertips to press deep holes into the focaccia.
- Drizzle olive oil over the top. Let it pool in the craters!
- Add your focaccia toppings: garlic, rosemary, Parmesan and pepper. Now it's ready to bake for 20 minutes!
- Use fresh yeast. I buy the instant kind in a jar that I store in the fridge. However, once it's opened, it really needs to be pitched after four months, even if the expiration date is far off. Otherwise, the bread won't rise properly.
- Generously oil the bottom of the pan to prevent the focaccia from sticking and to provide delicious flavor that will seep into the dough during baking.
What type of pan to use
I recommend using a well-oiled metal baking pan. You can use a 9x13 pan as shown here, or a half-sheet pan.
I haven't tried using a glass pan for focaccia, but it will likely cause the bread to stick. If you do use a glass pan, be sure to line it with parchment paper first, then oil it.
How to serve it
Be fancy and dip the Parmesan focaccia in olive oil! It's truly the best way to enjoy this. And I bet it would be delicious with Lemon-Infused Olive Oil!
Frequently asked questions
Focaccia can be stored at room temperature for 2-3 days, but needs to be wrapped in plastic to prevent drying. Don't refrigerate focaccia, or it will quickly dry out.
Yes! I recommend freezing this Parmesan focaccia the same day you bake it, for fresh-tasting leftovers.
Slice the bread into portions before placing them in a zip-top freezer bag. That way, you can grab the amount you need.
You can reheat focaccia in the microwave, which will make the bread soft and tender. Or, you can reheat it in the toaster oven or a regular oven for crispier focaccia.
Yes, you can freeze focaccia dough and use it within three months, for best quality. Coat the dough lightly in olive oil to prevent drying, then wrap it in plastic. Place the wrapped ball of dough in a zip-top freezer bag.
To thaw the dough, refrigerate it overnight before using it.
More bread recipes to love
- Homemade Italian Bread
- Easy Beer Bread
- Homemade Italian Bread Crumbs
- Quick Hamburger Buns
- Escarole-Stuffed Pizza (Pizza di Scarola)
If you try this Parmesan Focaccia with Rosemary and garlic, be sure to leave a comment and a rating!
Parmesan Focaccia with Rosemary
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra as needed for the dough to come together; see notes)
- 2 ¼ teaspoons instant yeast (One packet. See notes if using active yeast.)
- 1 ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 6 tablespoons olive oil (divided uses, plus more for serving)
- 3 cloves garlic (or ¾ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1 large sprig fresh rosemary (Use the needles, not stem. Can substitute 1 ¼ teaspoon dried rosemary.)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 pinch black pepper
- sea salt for serving
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, warm water and two tablespoons of olive oil. Stir with a spoon to combine.
- Knead the dough with a machine using dough hooks for four minutes, or knead it by hand on a clean, floured surface for six minutes. If your dough is sticky and not coming together into a ball as you knead it, add 2 extra tablespoons of flour as needed. The dough should be smooth and not sticky.
- Grease the mixing bowl with cooking spray (no need to clean it first). Place the ball of dough in the bowl and roll the dough around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise at room temperature for one hour or until doubled (I place mine inside the microwave, which is turned off.)
- Brush two tablespoons of olive oil on the bottom of a 9x13 metal pan or a half-sheet pan with sides. Punch down the risen dough. Shape it into a 9x13 rectangle. It helps to grasp the dough by the edges, hold it up, and let it stretch out. Rotate the dough a bit and continue, pressing the dough with your fingers in the thick spots to thin it out. Press the dough into your pan.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the focaccia dough rise for 20 minutes at room temperature.
- When the dough has 15 minutes left to rise, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Peel and slice the garlic. If using fresh rosemary, rinse the spring and pat it dry. Pluck off the rosemary needles from the stem. Grate the Parmesan if using fresh cheese.
- After the second rise is finished, use your fingertips to make deep dimples all over the focaccia dough.
- Pour two tablespoons of olive oil over evenly over the dough. Let it pool in the dimples. Place a slice of garlic in each dimple (or sprinkle on garlic powder). Sprinkle rosemary, Parmesan and black pepper over the top of the focaccia.
- Bake the Parmesan focaccia for 20-25 minutes, or until the surface is browned.
- Remove the focaccia from the oven and set the pan on your stovetop. Slide two large spatulas under the bread to transfer it to a cooling rack (or invert the focaccia onto a clean baking sheet, then invert it onto the cooling rack.) Let the focaccia cool for 10-15 minutes. Lightly sprinkle on sea salt. To serve, transfer the focaccia to a cutting board and cut into slices. Serve with olive oil for dipping.
- It's best to freeze leftover sliced focaccia in a zip-top bag to keep it fresh. Otherwise, wrap the focaccia in plastic and store it at room temperature for 2-3 days. Reheat focaccia in the microwave for a softer texture or use a toaster oven or regular oven to crisp it.
(Recipe Source: Cooking with Mamma C. Originally published on May 18, 2015 and updated now with an improved recipe, new photos and additional information.)