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Garlic & Herb Focaccia Bread

Garlic & Herb Focaccia Bread sliced

This Garlic & Herb Focaccia Bread is absolutely irresistible. Soft on the inside with a gorgeous golden brown crust, this bread is topped with mellow roasted garlic and fresh herbs like parsley and thyme. It’s so easy to make, you’re gonna want it every weekend.

  • Author: Renee Rendall
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Rising time: 85
  • Cook Time: 55
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale

For the bread:

  • 11/2 teaspoons dried active yeast (see note)
  • 2/3 cup warm water
  • 21/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 13/4 cups white bread flour
  • 11/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

For the topping:

  • 2 small heads of garlic
  • About 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling on the garlic
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Add your yeast to a small dish and cover it with about a tablespoon of warm water. Give it a swirl to combine. Let this sit on the counter while you measure out the rest of your ingredients to activate the yeast.
  3. Measure out 2/3 cup warm water in a measuring jug, then add the 2-1/2 tablespoons olive oil to that.
  4. In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, measure out your flour, and add the salt. Then add the foamy yeast mixture and the water and oil. If you’re using your stand mixer, attach the dough hook, and start mixing. Once it comes together, you can turn your mixer up to medium low and let the dough hook knead the dough for about five minutes or until the dough is smooth. You could also knead this by hand if you prefer or don’t have a stand mixer.
  5. Form the dough into a ball, and pop it into a lightly oiled bowl. Turn it over once to oil the dough on both sides, then cover with a clean tea towel and leave it on the counter to rise for about an hour or until roughly doubled in size.
  6. While the bread is rising, we’ll roast our garlic. Slice a bit off the top of the garlic heads to expose the cloves inside, then place them on a sheet of foil, drizzle them with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, then seal up the garlic packet. You want to leave some space around the garlic but seal up the foil completely. You can place your foil packets directly into the oven to roast for about 45 minutes. Your house will smell awesome. When the time is up, take the packets out of the oven and open them up to start to cool off.
  7. Turn your oven up to 400 F (200 C) for baking the bread.
  8. Add your parsley and thyme to the bowl of a food processor, then squeeze your roasted garlic cloves in as well. Pulse the food processor several times to chop this all up. Then with the processor running, add your two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil down the chute and blitz until it creates a garlicy paste. You may need a bit more oil or a bit less depending on the exact amount of garlic and herbs you’ve ended up with, so just add a bit at a time. 
  9. After your dough has risen, punch it down, then leave it to rest for 10 minutes. After that, you can pop it onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and roll or stretch it into a roughly rectangular or oblong shape. Cover this with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise again for about 25 minutes.
  10. Now we’re ready to top and bake. Poke your fingers into your risen bread dough to create fat little dimples. Maybe give your garlic mixture one last pulse with the food processor just in case things started to separate while they were waiting, then spread all that garlicy goodness evenly over your bread dough. Let some of it collect in the dimples.
  11. Pop your baking sheet into the oven and let your bread bake for about 20 minutes. It will be golden and puffy. You can drizzle over a bit more extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle it with flaky sea salt. Slice it up if you like, but I like to just tear into it as soon as it’s cooled enough to handle.

Equipment

Notes

If you have packets of rapid-rise yeast, you can use half a packet or 1-1/8 teaspoons here. Just add it straight to the dry ingredients. no need to soak it in water first.

Keywords: Focaccia, Garlic Bread

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