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Focaccia with Parmesan, Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

Fill your kitchen with the aromas of an Italian Bakery with this homemade focaccia bread, flavoured with rich Parmesan cheese, rosemary and smoky roasted garlic. This Italian bread makes the perfect side dish to any meal, and you can create it easily right in your own kitchen.

A vertical image to show the sliced focaccia leading to a rectangle tin with more slices piled inside.

What Makes This Recipe Great!

  • Simple Elegance: This easy focaccia bread recipe offers the taste of a bakery-grade bread with minimal effort, impressing your guests and family without the fuss.
  • Versatile Delight: Serve it as an starter, a side, or as a base for other toppings; this focaccia is a versatile companion for any dish.
  • Irresistible Aroma: The scent of freshly baked garlic and parmesan will fill the kitchen with the aromas of an Italian Bakery.

About This Recipe – In More Detail

Making your own focaccia bread with its golden brown and crispy crust couldn’t be simpler. This easy focaccia recipe is superior to anything you can buy at grocery store or supermarket and the combination of flavours in the soft dough make it a perfect accompaniment to many Italian meals.

It’s the perfect bread for soaking up a Courgette and Parmesan Soup, enjoy it on the side of a Pear and Rocket Salad, use it to make our amazing Burrata Bruschetta, or simply slice it up and dip it into extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar as a starter to any meal. It also makes a great sandwich bread that you can fill with your favourite sandwich fillings.

The irresistible aroma of freshly baked loaf of bread will fill your kitchen and make everyone feel hungry and ready to eat. The crispy crust of this garlic parmesan focaccia is just the beginning. Each bite is filled with flavour since we have also mixed the roasted garlic and parmesan right into the focaccia dough.

A hand is lifting the top slice from a stack of sliced bread.

Equipment Needed

  • Large Mixing Bowl: You’ll need a large bowl for combining the dough ingredients.
  • Stand Mixer with Dough Hook (optional): ​You can use this to make the focaccia dough if you’d prefer not to knead it by hand. 
  • Baking Tin 20x30cm(8x12inch): To shape and bake the focaccia.
  • Greaseproof Baking Paper: To line the tin and prevent sticking.
  • Clean Cloth or Tea Towel: To cover and allow the dough to rest.
  • Grater: For grating the Parmesan cheese.
  • Fork: To mash the roasted garlic cloves.
  • Wire Rack: For cooling the baked focaccia before serving.

Ingredients

A labelled photo of all the ingredients to make a focaccia with parmesan.
  • Strong White Bread Flour: Forms the base of the focaccia dough, providing structure and texture.
  • Dried Active Yeast: Serves as the leavening agent to make the dough rise and become light and airy.
  • Fine Sea Salt: Enhances the flavour of the dough and controls the yeast’s fermentation.
  • Honey: Adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savoury flavours and aids in the dough’s texture.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Used in the dough for moisture and flavour, and also drizzled on top for a golden, crispy crust.
  • Lukewarm Water: Combines with other ingredients to form the dough and activate the yeast.
  • Roasted Garlic: Infuses the focaccia with a deep, mellow garlic flavour when mixed into the dough and sprinkled on top. Follow our guide on how to roast garlic cloves in the oven.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Grated and spread on top of the focaccia for a rich, savoury taste and a crispy finish. We also mix some into the dough to spread the flavour throughout.
  • Dried Rosemary: Offers a fragrant, earthy aroma and taste to complement the Parmesan and garlic.
  • Maldon Sea Salt: Enhances the seasoning, and when sprinkled on top, adds a delightful crunch.
  • Black Pepper: Provides a touch of heat and warmth, balancing the flavours.

Additions and Substitutions

Substitutions:

  • Coarse Salt: You can replace Maldon sea salt with coarse sea salt or kosher salt. The key is the coarser texture for that delightful burst of saltiness.
  • Fresh Rosemary: Instead of dried rosemary, you can use fresh rosemary sprigs. Simply finely chop the fresh rosemary leaves before adding them to the dough. You’ll need to use a little more for the same intense flavour as dried rosemary is more concentrated.
  • Fresh Yeast: You can substitute dried yeast for fresh if you can find it, but you’ll need to use double the amount.

Additions:

  • Other Dried or Fresh Herbs: Experiment with fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, or basil. They’ll add a burst of freshness and unique flavour to your focaccia.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: If you like a touch of heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top before baking.
  • Kalamata Olives: Pitted and chopped Kalamata olives can bring a briny, Mediterranean twist to your focaccia.

Step-By-Step Guide – How To Make Focaccia with Parmesan, Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

Step 1: Preparing the Dough

  • Place the flour in a large bowl.
  • Add the fine sea salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
  • Pour in honey and olive oil with the dry ingredients.
  • Add 3/4 of the water and begin mixing.
  • Slowly add the remaining water to form a soft dough.
An overhead view of a glass bowl with the dry dough ingredients inside.
A hand is adding honey to the bowl that contains the dry dough ingredients and olive oil.
A hand is using a wooden spoon to mix the dough.
A hand is using a wooden spoon to continue mixing more water into the dough.

Step 2: Kneading and Resting

  • On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
Two hands are beginning to knead the dough on a floured surface.
Two hands are finishing the kneading process.
Two hands are cupping the ball of dough.
Two hands are using a cloth to cover the glass bowl containing the ball of dough.

Step 3: Preparing Garlic and Cheese

  • Grate the Parmesan cheese and set it aside.
  • Squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins and mash them in a bowl.

Step 4: Adding Flavour

  • After the dough has rested, press it into a flat disk After the dough has rested, press it into a flat disk on a clean surface that has been lightly-floured. .
  • Spread 3/4 of the cheese and 3/4 of the garlic on the dough.
  • Fold the dough over to incorporate these ingredients and knead for a few minutes more.
Two hands are flattening the dough into a circle.
A round dough disc covered in roasted garlic and grated parmesan cheese.
Two hands are kneading the dough again to mix in the flavourings.

Step 5: Shaping and Rising

  • Line a 20x30cm rectangular baking tin with greaseproof paper and sprinkle it with semolina flour or breadcrumbs.
  • Place the dough in the tin, pressing it out to the sides.
  • Drizzle olive oil on top.
  • Sprinkle the remaining cheese, garlic, dried rosemary, coarse sea salt, and black pepper.
  • Cover the tin and let the focaccia rise for 1-2 hours in a warm place.
Two hands are spreading the dough into a lined baking tin.
A hand is sprinkling parmesan cheese on top of the dough inside the tin.
The dough inside the tin with all the added toppings.
Two hands are covering the baking tin containing the dough, with a cloth.

Step 6: Baking

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F).
  • Once risen, uncover the focaccia and bake it for 25-30 minutes.
  • You might need to turn the tin around during baking for even results.
  • The focaccia is ready when it’s golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
The dough inside the baking tin that has risen.
The baked focaccia inside the tin.

Step 7: Cooling and Serving

  • Remove the focaccia from the tin and let it cool on a wire rack.
  • Slice and serve this delightful homemade focaccia with the enticing aroma of roasted garlic and parmesan.

A vertical image that shows the front of the focaccia at an angle sliced open.

FAQ

What’s the origin of focaccia?

Focaccia is an Italian flatbread that originated in ancient Rome. It has regional variations throughout Italy, with Liguria being particularly famous for its focaccia.

Can I use a bread machine to make focaccia dough?

Yes, you can use a bread machine to prepare the dough. Many bread machines have a dough setting that can knead and rise the dough, making the process even more convenient.

What’s the difference between focaccia and ciabatta bread?

While both are Italian bread, focaccia is a flatbread typically topped with olive oil and various seasonings, often herbs or vegetables. Ciabatta is a rustic, chewy bread with a crisp crust and irregular holes.


Pro Tips and Guidance

  • Quality Ingredients: Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and fresh garlic for the most flavourful focaccia.
  • In-date Yeast: Instant yeast should be used within 6 months of opening and not past the expiry date, old yeast can give uneven results and sometimes not rise at all.
  • Knead Well: Don’t rush the kneading process. Knead the dough until it’s smooth and elastic. This develops the gluten for a better texture.
  • Let it Rise: Allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size. This may take longer in cooler environments, but it’s worth the wait for a light and airy crumb. During summer with a warm environment, the rise time may be reduced so be guided visually by the dough rather than by the clock.
  • Baking Time: Keep a close eye on the focaccia during baking. It should be golden brown with a crispy crust when it’s ready.

A horizontal image showing the front of the focaccia to show the middle.

Storage

Storage:

  • Once baked, store the focaccia in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. It can be kept at room temperature for up to 2 days. For longer storage, refrigerate it for up to a week. Make sure it’s sealed well to prevent it from drying out.

Reheating:

  • To reheat room temperature focaccia, simply place it in a preheated oven at 180°C (356°F) for about 5-10 minutes or until it’s warmed through. This will help restore its freshness and crispness.

Freezing:

  • Focaccia can be frozen for longer storage. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminium foil. Place it in an airtight container or a zip-top bag to avoid freezer burn. It can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.

Defrosting:

  • To defrost frozen focaccia, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Once it’s thawed, reheat it in the oven as mentioned above to refresh its texture.

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The sliced focaccia loaf shown from the front to show the middle.

Focaccia with Parmesan, Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

5 from 7 votes
A delicious Italian bread loaf that's packed full of flavour including Parmesan cheese and smoky roasted garlic. This light, fluffy bread can be used in many different ways, from bread baskets to sandwiches and accompaniments to pasta dishes and soup.
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Course: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 16 Slices
Calories: 157kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 10 g Dried Active Yeast
  • 10 g Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • 30 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 320 ml Lukewarm Water
  • 1 Head Large Roasted Garlic, or 2 small bulbs
  • 80 g Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbsp Dried Rosemary
  • 1 tsp Maldon Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 2 tbsp Coarse Semolina

Instructions

  • Place the flour into a large bowl.
  • Add the fine sea salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other.
  • Add the honey and olive oil.
  • Pour 3/4 of the water and begin to mix everything together.
  • Slowly add the rest of the water and bring everything together to form a soft dough.
  • On a lightly floured surface knead the dough well for 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Lightly oil the bowl and place the dough back into it. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and allow it to rest somewhere warm for 20 minutes.
  • Finely grate the Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  • Remove the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and mash together in a bowl using a fork.
  • When the dough has rested tip it out onto a floured surface and press with your hands to create a flat disk shape.
  • Spread oven 3/4 of the cheese and 3/4 of the garlic, fold the dough over to incorporate the ingredients fully into the dough and knead again for a couple of minutes to disperse the additions throughout the dough.
  • Line a 20x30cm rectangular baking tin with greaseproof baking paper. Sprinkle the base with a little semolina flour or dried breadcrumbs.
  • Lift the dough into the prepared tin and press it out so that it evenly reaches the sides of the tin.
  • Drizzle the top with a little extra virgin olive oil and spread it over.
  • Add the extra roasted garlic as evenly as possible so that you have little pockets of garlic.
  • Crush th dried rosemary leaves briefly to release their flavour and sprinkle over the top along with the extra Parmesan, maldon seas salt and black pepper.
  • Cover the focaccia again and leave it to rise somewhere warm for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C (390F).
  • Once risen, uncover the focaccia and place it in the oven for 25-30 minutes. You may need to turn the tin around halfway through to ensure it bakes evenly on both sides.
  • Remove from the oven and lift from the tin.
  • Place the baked focaccia on a wire rack and allow it to cool until you are ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • For the best flavour, use fresh quality ingredients. 
  • Ensure the yeast is in date and hasn’t been opened for more than six months. 
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic, don’t rush the process. 
  • Kneading time may vary depending on the ambient room temperature. 
  • Baking time may vary a little, ensure the oven isn’t turned up too high, otherwise the topping will brown too much before the middle of the loaf is baked fully. 

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 324mg | Potassium: 52mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 0.4mg

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