piece of cherry tomato and herb focaccia on a tray with more

NO KNEAD FOCACCIA

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Light, airy and delicious, this No Knead Foccacia Bread is the perfect party appetizer or snack. It’s easier to make than you might think and the best part is that there’s no kneading involved!

One of my personal favourite recipes to date that you’ll find here on my blog is my No Knead Bread Recipe. Why?! (besides the fact that it always comes out perfect every single time!!!) Because it’s no-friggen-knead. That’s right. No dirty or sticky hands. No wrist workouts. And no minutes that seem like hours spent developing the gluten in the dough. NO knead, friends. Two words that really light up my world when it comes to bread making. I mean, baking is a science (especially bread baking, I feel). And while I’m all for that on days when my time, patience and energy align (do they ever align?!?!), sometimes all you really want and knead (sorry, had to) is bakery style baked goods without having to do all (or any!) of the hard work. I mean, is that really too much to ask?!

Now, baking might be a science but in this no knead focaccia recipe, the science is happening all on its own while your dough is tucked away in the quiet corner of your kitchen. You see, all you have to do is use a spoon or a spatula to mix a few simple ingredients together, cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit for about an hour. At which point the dough will have doubled in size with a light texture and air pockets perfect for focaccia. Continuing on with the theme of no kneading, your next job is to simply stretch it out onto a baking sheet and top it. And while I can admit that this part was kind of bringing back haunted memories of working with sticky dough, it was nothing that a few minutes of rest and hand washing in between couldn’t fix.

Maybe I’m lazy, maybe I’m smart – but if I see the words ‘no knead’ when referring to a recipe, I’m jumping on it. Aren’t you?! What if I told you that it’s also light, fluffy, chewy and airy just how a focaccia should be?! Or that the simple toppings – fresh chopped rosemary, juicy cherry tomatoes and flaky sea salt – are the perfect combination to bring your no knead focaccia to life. Or that no, *say it with me now* wanting bakery style baked goods without having to do any of the hard work is in fact NOT too much to ask. And if there’s just one single thing that this recipe for no knead focaccia proves, it’s exactly that.

INGREDIENTS FOR NO KNEAD FOCCACIA BREAD

ingredients for no knead foccacia - all purpose flour, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, salt, flaky salt, rosemary, water
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

We keep things pretty classic and traditional when it comes to this No Knead Focaccia with cherry tomatoes, fresh rosemary and sea salt. It’s simple, quick and all you really need to make something fresh and delicious. Let’s discuss exactly what you’ll need to bring it to life in a little bit more detail down below:

  • All Purpose Flour: The main ingredient for your homemade focaccia dough. All purpose flour is versatile and commonly used in baking. It provides structure to the bread and contributes to its fluffy and airy texture. You can use bread flour instead, if you prefer. You can also substitute whole wheat flour or gluten free flour but keep in mind that doing so will change the overall texture and flavour of the focaccia.
  • Water: You need water to activate the yeast and hydrate the flour. Lukewarm water works best in this recipe. It dissolves the yeast and helps activate it without killing it. The temperature of the water should be around 105°F to 110°F (40°C to 43°C).
  • Active Dry Yeast: Yeast is a microorganism that ferments the dough, causing it to rise and develop flavour. Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in water and activated before using.
  • Salt: Not only adds flavour to the focaccia but also helps control yeast fermentation and strengthen the gluten structure of the dough.
  • Olive Oil: Adds richness and flavour to the dough. It also helps create a tender crumb and crisp crust on the focaccia. Additionally, we use it for greasing the baking sheet to keep the focaccia from sticking to the pan. As always, good quality and extra virgin works best in this recipe as you really taste its flavour. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend using a different oil in its place.
  • Rosemary: A fragrant herb that pairs beautifully with focaccia. It adds a savoury, earthy flavour and aroma to the bread. Fresh rosemary is preferred for its intense flavour, but you can also use dried rosemary if you don’t have any fresh on hand. Use about 1 teaspoon of dried instead of the 1 tablespoon of fresh.
  • Cherry Tomatoes: Add bursts of sweetness and acidity to the focaccia. They also provide a pop of colour and freshness. Halving the tomatoes allows their juices to mingle with the dough as it bakes making it extra delicious.
  • Sea Salt Flakes: Larger and coarser than table salt, providing a crunchy texture and a burst of saltiness. Sprinkling them on top of the focaccia before baking adds a finishing touch and enhances the overall flavour. Personally, I love using maldon sea salt flakes!
two sliced of cherry tomato focaccia stacked on a plate, more slices on a tray in the background, sping of rosemary in the front

HOW TO MAKE NO KNEAD FOCACCIA (KEY TIPS)

hand holding a slice of cherry tomato foccacia over a tray with the rest

You can find full instructions for how to make this easy recipe for focaccia in the recipe card down below, but here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use accurate measurements. Baking is a science, so it’s essential to measure your ingredients accurately, especially the flour and water. Use a kitchen scale for best and most precise measurements.
  • Activate the yeast properly. Make sure the water is lukewarm, not too hot or too cold, to activate the yeast effectively. Let the yeast mixture sit for about 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. You’ll be able to visually see it frothing up when it’s ready to go. EXTRA TIP: If the yeast doesn’t foam, it may be inactive, and you’ll need to start over with fresh yeast.
  • Allow enough time for rising. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size. The rising time may vary depending on factors like room temperature and the activity of your yeast. Be patient and don’t rush this step, as it’s crucial for developing flavour and texture in the focaccia.
  • Make sure to reeeealllly grease the baking sheet before adding the dough. The last thing you want is for your beautiful focaccia to stick to the pan after baking!
  • Handle the dough gently. Since this is a no-knead recipe, you want to handle the dough as little as possible to avoid deflating it. Use a gentle touch when shaping the dough on the baking sheet and pressing it out to the desired thickness. RECIPE NOTE: The dough will be reeeally sticky. Let it rest for a few minutes or wash your hands in between trying to spread it out to help ease a bit of the frustration (joking but not really). Patience is key here my friends – trust the process, it will come together!
  • Don’t skimp on the olive oil! It’s a key ingredient in this no knead foccacia recipe! It adds flavour and helps achieve a crispy crust and tender crumb. As always, good quality and extra virgin works best as you’ll really taste it in the final product.
  • Add toppings evenly. Distribute the rosemary and cherry tomatoes evenly over the dough to ensure every bite is flavourful. EXTRA TIP: Press the toppings lightly into the dough so they adhere during baking.
  • Adjust baking time if needed. Keep an eye on the focaccia as it bakes, as oven temperatures can vary. It should be golden brown on top and cooked through. EXTRA TIP: If the top is browning too quickly, you can tent it with foil to prevent burning.
  • Let it cool before slicing. Allow the focaccia to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Slicing into it too soon can cause the steam to escape, resulting in a less moist interior (and making it harder to cut!)
baked foccacia with cherry tomatoes and herbs on a baking sheet, ramekin of olive oil and two plates in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT KIND OF FLOUR IS BEST FOR FOCACCIA?

The best flour for focaccia is typically all purpose flour. All purpose flour strikes a balance between protein content and gluten formation, making it versatile and suitable for various bread recipes, including focaccia. Its moderate protein content allows for sufficient gluten development, which is essential for achieving the desired texture—a light, airy crumb with a slightly chewy bite.

Additionally, all purpose flour is readily available in most grocery stores, making it convenient for home bakers. While some recipes may call for bread flour, which has a higher protein content and can result in a chewier texture, all purpose flour is often preferred for its accessibility and ability to produce excellent results in focaccia. Ultimately, the choice of flour depends on personal preference and the desired outcome, but all-purpose flour is a reliable and widely used option for making delicious focaccia at home.

SHOULD YOU KNEAD FOCACCIA?

In traditional focaccia recipes, kneading is often a crucial step to develop gluten and create the desired texture. However, in the context of this specific no-knead focaccia recipe, kneading is intentionally omitted.

The no knead method simplifies the bread-making process, making it more accessible to home bakers and requiring less effort overall. Instead of kneading, the dough is allowed to rise for an extended period, during which gluten development occurs naturally. This results in a rustic, slightly denser texture compared to traditional kneaded focaccia but still yields a deliciously tender crumb with a crisp crust. The absence of kneading also means less hands-on time and fewer opportunities to overwork the dough, resulting in a more forgiving recipe, especially for beginners. Ultimately, while kneading can enhance certain aspects of focaccia, this no knead approach offers a convenient and equally satisfying alternative.

WHAT BUILDS UP THE GLUTEN IN THE DOUGH IF FOCACCIA IS NOT TRADITIONALLY KNEADED?

In the absence of traditional kneading, gluten development in focaccia dough primarily occurs through a process called autolyse and prolonged fermentation. Autolyse is a technique where flour and water are mixed together and allowed to rest before other ingredients are added. During this resting period, enzymes in the flour begin to break down starches, and gluten-forming proteins (gliadin and glutenin) start to hydrate and align. This initial hydration allows gluten strands to form more easily when the yeast is later added.

The extended fermentation time in no-knead focaccia recipes allows for natural gluten development. As the dough ferments, the yeast consumes sugars in the flour and produces carbon dioxide, which creates air pockets and contributes to the dough’s rise. During this fermentation period, gluten continues to develop slowly, resulting in a structure that can trap air and give the focaccia its characteristic airy texture. While the gluten network in no knead focaccia may not be as extensively developed as in kneaded bread, the combination of autolyse and fermentation still contributes to sufficient gluten formation, resulting in a flavourful and textured loaf.

HOW LONG WILL HOMEMADE FOCACCIA BREAD LAST?

Homemade focaccia bread, when stored properly, can last for up to 2 to 3 days at room temperature. To maximize its freshness and shelf life, it’s essential to store the focaccia in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out. However, keep in mind that focaccia is best enjoyed fresh, preferably on the day it’s baked, when its texture is at its peak—crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

If you have leftovers beyond the first day, you can revive the focaccia by lightly toasting it in a toaster oven or oven to restore its crispness. Alternatively, you can freeze leftover focaccia for longer storage. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. Focaccia can be frozen for up to 1 to 2 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and reheat it in a preheated oven until warmed through.

3 pieces of cherry tomato foccaica stacked on a plate with a sprig of rosemary in the front
piece of cherry tomato and herb focaccia on a tray with more

NO KNEAD FOCCACIA

Yield: ~12 Slices

Light, airy and delicious, this No Knead Foccacia Bread is the perfect party appetizer or snack. It's easier to make than you might think and the best part is that there's no kneading involved!

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 cups (406 g) All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Lukewarm Water
  • 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Sea Salt Flakes, for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes until frothy.
    active dry yeast proofing in water in a bowl
  2. Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture. Stir until a shaggy dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
    bowl of flour and salt
    proofed dough in a bowl
  3. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
  4. Once the dough has risen, transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Use your fingers to gently press the dough out into a rectangle or square shape, about 1/2 inch thick. It will be sticky so use patience and wash your hands in between if needed. I find letting it rest a few minutes at a time is helpful to being able to spread it out into the pan evenly.
    dough spread out onto a rectangular baking sheet
  5. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the dough, then sprinkle with chopped rosemary, cherry tomatoes, and sea salt flakes.
    unbaked foccacia with cherry tomatoes and herbs in a sheet pan
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the focaccia is golden brown and cooked through. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before slicing and serving.
    baked focaccia with cherry tomatoes and herbs in a baking sheet
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 148Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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