No Knead Focaccia
on Mar 04, 2023, Updated Nov 05, 2023
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The easiest and best No Knead Focaccia. Focaccia is a traditional Italian 🇮🇹 bread that traces back to the second century BC. Focaccia is one of Italy’s most ancient breads and is thought to have originated with the Etruscans. From what I have researched on Wikipedia and Britannica, the dough was traditionally made from flour, salt and water, flattened over a stone slab, and cooked under hot ashes, hence its Latin name, Panis Focacius which means “hearth bread.”
The recipe has since evolved and is now most commonly made with yeast and 🫒 olive oil. Focaccia seems to be most closely linked to Genoa, where it’s known as pizza Genovese and often topped with sautéed onions and herbs. Around Bologna, it’s known as Crescentina, and in Tuscany and parts of central Italy it becomes Schiacciata. The best-known forms of focaccia have a golden, dimpled, slightly salty crust and a soft center. However, texture varies according to region of Italy, and the flavors will vary with ingredients.
Why You’ll Love No Knead Focaccia
This No Knead Focaccia 🥖 recipe is for the most novice baker and requires minimal effort. If you can stir a few ingredients in a bowl, you are capable of making one of Italy’s most delicious foods.
This bread is delicious on its own, but can also be split in half and used as 🍞 sandwich bread or as the bookends for a delicious panini (grilled sandwich). It goes perfectly alongside a big fresh salad or for sopping up the last bits of Italian sugo served on pasta.
Another fantastic reason to make this bread is the options for toppings. Have some leftover 🧅 onions, garlic or 🌿 herbs? Throw them on top! Create a focaccia to match your meal!
How To Prepare No Knead Focaccia
Start by combining the flour, yeast, 🧂 salt, and 💦 warm water (between 100-110°F) in a large bowl, mixing until a sticky dough forms. Remember, there’s no need to knead the dough, just shape it into a ball.
After you’ve shaped the dough into a ball, oil it, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest in a 🔥 warm spot for at least 8 hours (I let mine rest overnight). Make sure the dough is not in a drafty area. After it triples in size, punch down the center.
Now prepare the pan by lining a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Next, drizzle it with olive oil, and stretch the dough evenly into it. The dough will have some resistance at first but be patient as it will give in to you and take on the shape of the dish. Then, cover again and let it double in size. This usually takes about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Uncover the dough, drizzle generously with olive oil, make dimples with your fingers, and add desired toppings (I used 🫒 olives, 🍅 tomatoes, and 🌿 dry oregnao).
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden, keeping an eye on it based on your oven and dish. Enjoy your homemade focaccia!
Make sure the yeast is not expired. You can always add the yeast to warm water and let it foam up. When it foams up, it’s active and ready to be used. If it doesn’t foam up, start this step again.
Variations and Substitutions
This simple No Knead Focaccia bread has so many different options. It’s so easy to make it your own or accommodate dietary restrictions and choices.
- The options for toppings for your focaccia are endless! Try sun-dried 🍅 tomatoes, caramelized onions, grated 🧀 parmesan, or fresh 🌿 herbs like rosemary or basil.
- Try using infused olive oil for added flavor in your focaccia.
- While all-purpose flour is what I use in this recipe, you could try gluten-free flour or whole wheat.
- You can use a sourdough starter for this recipe instead of the yeast. You will want to be sure to adjust the water amounts accordingly.
- While I use dry oregano, you could substitute or add various spices like black pepper, red pepper flakes, or other spice blends you may have.
Best Served With
My No Knead Focaccia Bread pairs wonderfully with a variety of dishes, including soups and stews, cheese and butter boards, and more. Some of my favorite soups to enjoy with this bread:
- Pastina Soup
- Greek Lemon Soup
- The Best Lentil Soup
- Hidden Veggie Orzo Soup
- Healthy Cream of Broccoli Soup
- Healthiest Cream of Hidden Veggie Soup
- Hidden Veggie Meatball Soup
- Chicken Noodle Soup
Try it With My Favorite Boards
- Viral Butter Board With Goat Cheese
- Holiday Butter Board
- Holiday Charcuterie Board
- Holiday Cheese Board
Other No Knead Recipes
If you like this no knead bread, try some of my others:
- No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread
- My Viral No-Knead Peasant Bread
- Grandma’s No-Knead Olive Bread
- No-Knead Cheddar Bread
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I use Caputo's gluten-free flour for this recipe, but have heard that this one is just as good.
Maintaining this water temperature range is crucial because it ensures that the yeast activates properly. Water that’s too hot or too cold can hinder yeast activation.
In this traditional recipe, I encourage you to add water gradually until you achieve a very thick and sticky dough, following the “na oko” or “by eye” method.
First, make sure the yeast is NOT expired. To test the yeast’s activity, add it to warm water. If it doesn’t foam up, you’ll need to start with new yeast. Foaming indicates that the yeast is active and is ready to be added to the flour and salt.
If you do not want to add all of the ingredients to the bowl and you want to TEST the yeast first you can add it to a bowl with the warm water separately; if the yeast does not foam up and activate you have to start that step all over. If it foams up, it means it’s active and you can add it to the flour and salt.
You can sprinkle in a bit more flour to adjust if the dough is too wet. Conversely, if it’s too dry, add warm water a little at a time until you have a thick and sticky dough.
I have not tried making this bread with any other type of yeast as my favorite yeast is active-dry yeast. I like to activate it myself, so I do not waste any of my ingredients. You can use fresh yeast as well as we often did. We didn’t measure but a tablespoon of fresh yeast should be fine. If you use QUICK RISE, you will have to adjust the rest time. Active dry yeast is my favorite yeast to bake with.
This method ensures more precise measurements, helping you achieve the right consistency for the dough.
Yes, you certainly can use whole-wheat flour, but this bread is more delicious with all-purpose flour in my opinion.
Yes, you can certainly use a 1-1 gluten-free flour for this recipe, or you can make my No-Knead Gluten-Free Bread.
You should let the dough REST for a minimum of 10 hours; I usually leave mine overnight and bake it the following morning. Let it rest at ROOM temp in a warm spot AWAY from drafts. I place mine in a cold oven (an oven that’s not turned on).
I let my dough rise for 12 hours, but a minimum of 8 hours is recommended. You can also make the dough early in the morning and bake later on in the evening for dinner.
In hotter climates, the dough may rise much faster, so I would advise placing it in a cooler room or limiting the rise to a maximum of 2 to 3 hours to prevent over-expansion. Once it doubles or triples in size, you can bake it.
I have NOT baked this recipe at a higher altitude, so you will have to experiment and adjust. Please add a little warm water at a time until you have sticky dough. It’s important to look at the consistency.
The dough shouldn’t be WATERY or DRY. It should be thick and sticky and hold its shape when you oil it up.
Use any toppings you like on top of your focaccia. You can also make 1/2 of it differently than the other half.
I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is always to taste. Always taste and adjust as you cook.
No Knead Focaccia
- 4 cups all-purpose flour, (600 grams)
- 1 packet active dry yeast , (12 grams)
- 2 teaspoons salt, (15 grams)
- 2 cups warm water, (500 ml) between 100 and 110F (37 to 43C)
- olive oil (approximately 3 tablespoons) , enough to drizzle on the dough ball, and coat the bottom of the baking tray and the top of the dough
- halved cherry tomatoes
- pitted kalamata olives
- dry oregano
- Add the flour, yeast, salt, and water to a large bowl and stir with a spatula. If the dough becomes too hard to stir, you can finish incorporating the dough with your hands until a sticky dough-ball forms. No need to KNEAD lol. Just shape the dough.
- Please Note: the water must be warm — not hot, not cold. The water needs to be between 100 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (37 to 43 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot or too cold the yeast will not activate. Make sure the yeast is not expired.
- Once the dough is shaped, oil up the dough ball, cover it with plastic wrap, and let it rest in a warm spot overnight. I let mine rise for 12 hours, but a minimum of 8 hours is recommended. You can also make the dough early in the morning and bake later on in the evening for dinner.
- Place the dough somewhere away from drafts, like in the microwave, in a cupboard, or in a cold oven.
- After the dough has tripled in size, uncover it and punch down the middle of the dough with your fist.
- Line a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper and drizzle the bottom generously with olive oil. Pour out the dough and stretch it with your hands until it fits evenly into the baking dish. It will have some resistance at first but be patient as it will give in to you and take on the shape of the dish.
- Cover it again with plastic wrap and let it rest for another hour until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven to 425F (220 C).
- Once it has doubled, uncover it and drizzle the top generously with olive oil. Take your hands and press down with your fingers, forming dimples all over the dough.
- You can now add any additional toppings of choice. I added cherry tomatoes, olives, dry oregano and a sprinkle of salt. You can make it plain or add anything you like, such as sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, and any herbs like rosemary or thyme.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden. The bake time will depend on the oven and baking dish you use so keep an eye on it.