BAKING breads

Rosemary and Garlic Oil Focaccia

April 1, 2010
Rosemary and Garlic Oil Focaccia

I made bread! Well it’s not really news, and definitely not something that I haven’t attempted before (yep, so what if it’s just banana bread!). But this time, I’m really excited to report that I made bread: fluffy (oh yes, I conquered volume!), white, soft and wonderfully chewy bread. A golden top brushed with garlic infused olive oil and spotted with rosemary and sweet, mushy cloves of garlic – this focaccia is something I’m very proud of.

I have been through quite a few books for baking bread. I love the detailed step by step instructions in Peter Reinhart’sBread Baker’s Apprentice; but sometimes, these very elaborate explanations make me a little nervous and I run to something less complicated. Nothing beats the simplicity of 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood. It was the first book I ever bought on the subject and the focaccia recipe from this book is something I’m happy I’ve stuck by. I made this bread 3 years ago when I was a bread-baking noob and I made this bread again yesterday (still a bread-baking noob), and it did not fail me.

Rosemary and Garlic Oil Focaccia

When I saw that the recipe used oil that has been steeped with garlic overnight, I knew I was on the right track. However, to speedup the process, I peeled and pierced eight or nine cloves of garlic and poured hot olive oil over them instead of waiting all night. They sizzled for a good five minutes after that while the flavours of the oil and garlic infused together and the house smelled as if an Italian grandma was rustling up a meal using her favourite bottle of olive oil. I let it sit for about twenty minutes before I used the oil for the dough.

I must tell you that bread with garlic + olive oil + rosemary = world peace bread. And this bread dipped in homemade pesto is something I wouldn’t mind eating everyday for the rest of my life.

Rosemary and Garlic Oil Focaccia

Rosemary and Garlic Oil Focaccia

Adapted from : 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood with tips from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Peter Reinhart.

8 cloves of garlic, pierced through the centre (feel free to cut down on the garlic, if you came in late, you should know that I’m garlic obsessed)
100 ml olive oil
500g strong white flour (I used all-purpose)
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast or 20g fresh yeast
250-300ml water
a few sprigs of rosemary

  1. Place the garlic cloves in a bowl and pour hot oil over them. Let it rest for 20 minutes before you use it.
  2. Put the flour, yeast, salt and most of the oil and the water into the bowl of a KitchenAid and knead for 4-5 minutes until the dough comes together. It should clear from the sides of the KitchenAid, but still stick to the bottom of the bowl (tip from Peter Reinhart: see complicated recipes do teach you stuff as well!)
  3. Let it rest for an hour, minimum. I left mine in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Punch down the dough and roll it out into a rectangle of about 2.5cm/1 inch thickness.
  5. You can either make this free-form on a baking sheet brushed with oil, or fit it into a 11 inch square pan.
  6. Poke dents into the dough, brush with garlic oil, sprinkle with salt and rosemary.
  7. Bake in a preheated oen aat 220C/425F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 200F.
  8. Eat warm!


  • Reply A-kay April 1, 2010 at 12:22 AM

    Wow – this looks like bread heaven :) Will definitely try this, given that I love rosemary in any and every form :)

  • Reply shaz April 1, 2010 at 12:26 AM

    That looks absolutely fantastic! Congrats on your first bread-bread !
    Just to clarify, is it 1 tsp instant yeast or 20g fresh yeast? Will the quantity of water change depending on what I use?


  • Reply The Purple Foodie April 1, 2010 at 12:29 AM

    Instant yeast is a lot stronger than fresh. So if you're using instant, you'd use 1tsp and if you're using fresh you'd use 20g or a little over 1 tbsp. Change in water is negligible.

    • Reply chef November 16, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      when you want to covert from dry yeast to fresh yeast you x by 4. 2g of dry x by 4 is how much fresh yeast you use.

  • Reply shaz April 1, 2010 at 12:58 AM

    awesome, thanks :)

  • Reply Nili April 1, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    S – the bread looks awesome! Feel like taking a bite right out of the pictures :)

  • Reply Joe @ Eden Kitchen April 1, 2010 at 3:30 AM

    Congratulations! I made my first successful bread over the weekend too – hot cross buns. It took me a few batches to get it right but it's such a great feeling when it turns out the way you wanted.

  • Reply Cookin' Canuck April 1, 2010 at 5:07 AM

    What beautiful photos and your focaccia looks absolutely perfect. Rosemary, for me, is a must-have ingredient in focaccia.

  • Reply Maria April 1, 2010 at 6:09 AM

    I have fresh rosemary I need to use. Perfect timing with this recipe. It looks great!

  • Reply Kat April 1, 2010 at 7:14 AM

    Being garlic-obsessed is never a bad thing — me too! This bread looks delicious.

  • Reply ciaochowlinda April 1, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    I would love to slice this foccaccia sideways and stuff it with some prosciutto and cheese.

  • Reply JenSchall April 1, 2010 at 8:38 AM

    Your focaccia looks lovely! I was just telling my hubby today that I need to make some focaccia again because it's been a while. Love the rosemary and garlic flavors.

  • Reply Sook April 1, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    Oh I love focaccia bread! I haven't tried making it myself but yours looks so beautiful!

  • Reply Daniel @ The Food Addicts April 1, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    Great photos! That Focaccia bread looks so moist.

  • Reply finelychopped April 1, 2010 at 12:23 PM

    I am a fan of good bread and this looks like one of the best. I can't make any form of bread … or roti… and revere those who can.

    Great photos

  • Reply Prapti April 1, 2010 at 12:30 PM

    Hi..What is Strong White Flour.I would love to bake this and relatively new also ow much oil should i put in garlic out of 100ml..?

  • Reply Prapti April 1, 2010 at 12:43 PM

    Also any specific brand of olive oil recommended? And is rosemary easily available..Pardon me for such basic questions..:-))

  • Reply Arch April 1, 2010 at 2:51 PM

    Thats a great looking bread – my first bread baking was a focaccia too…I read about you and le15…Am definately coming there the next time I'm in Mumbai !

  • Reply stephchows April 5, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    ooooooo this does sound like heaven!!

  • Reply deeba April 5, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    YUM! I'd like to make this soon. Love the flavours and love focaccia!

  • Reply Barbara April 6, 2010 at 1:38 AM

    Oh yummy! I love focaccia! And have never made it from scratch! This is the recipe to use for my first attempt!

    Another blog took leftover/stale focaccia and put it in the food processor and made shrimp scampi with it. Thought it would also be great over mac and cheese!

  • Reply Julia @ Mélanger April 6, 2010 at 9:27 AM

    That focaccia looks so light and fluffy. Delicious. I have to check into 100 Great Breads by Paul Hollywood. The book sounds like a gem!

  • Reply priyankalovesfood April 6, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Shaheen, I just discovered your blog today!I was really craving Aloo Tuk and did not want to call my Mum to ask her for the recipe (FYI, I live in the US, hence the call dilemma :) But you helped me out. A fellow blogger from Bombay always interests me and I think we have one important thing in common, i.e the love for the color purple!!

    I am loving your blog and you have got a dedicated reader now!

  • Reply The Purple Foodie April 7, 2010 at 12:08 AM

    thank you soooo much Priyanka! that is very sweet of you. :)

  • Reply divyavikram April 17, 2010 at 6:51 AM

    This looks so perfect. Am sure making this!!

  • Reply ea test April 18, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    Now this just certainly made me crave for some Focaccia bread! I don't think I would try to make one myself but I would love to have some and pair it with some lasagna.

  • Reply Cherine April 20, 2010 at 3:26 PM

    Garlic herbal focaccia is one of my favorite Italian bread. Yours looks terrific!!

  • Reply Memoria April 23, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    Oh, I love the idea of soaking garlic in oil. What a fantastic idea. Your focaccia looks fantastic. I made some focaccia two days ago (I've yet to blog about it), and it was good. I love anything from Peter Reinhart though.

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  • Reply Pesto Bread Rolls June 19, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    […] with my second success of bread in a row, and that too with a new bread recipe instead of my go-to focaccia recipe. And I think I’d like to attribute the success to two things: Peter Reinhart’s Artisan Breads […]

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  • Reply Priyanka September 24, 2010 at 5:33 PM

    Great blog shaheen. am totally addicted to it.
    This recipe seemed too good to be true, so i decided it was a good way to start baking bread. Made it with garlic, sundried tomatoes and olives, and though it tasted decent, not sure about the texture.
    I ended up with a slightly crusty loaf, though the center was just fine.. but was very un-focaccia like.
    Any ideas what it could be? also, any idea if 100 great breads is available in bookstores here? Been looking for it, but no luck so far.

    • Reply The Purple Foodie September 24, 2010 at 8:10 PM

      Hi Priyanka, I’m not sure what could have gone wrong. The texture depends quite a lot on the yeast – so that’s something you need to make sure of. I use instant yeast which is super convenient because of its long shelf life. You could order 100 Great Breads from here.

  • Reply Holly September 26, 2010 at 3:53 PM

    I made this last night, putting half the dough in the oven and leaving half to sit until this morning. It definitely comes out better (flufflier) the longer you wait. But both loaves are fantastic and my husband and I loved it! We’ve been picking at it all morning and through lunch. I don’t have any pesto but with a bit of olive oil and Parmesan for dipping it was soooooooo yummy.

  • Reply Mona February 7, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    Been picking up recipes from your website for a long time now…but never got an opportunity to write to you. Have been baking a lot of sweet stuff so off late decided to try my hand at savory…was just searching for a nice bread to start off with and got your facaccia recipe. Now the only problem is that i have active dry yeast…if i take the same measurement as given in the recipe…how much active dry do i have to use…pls comment.

  • Reply The Purple Foodie February 7, 2011 at 5:34 PM

    Avoid active dry yeast if you can.

    Else, rule of thumb:
    100 fresh = 40-50 active dry = 33 instant

  • Reply Grape and Rosemary Focaccia Recipe February 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM

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  • Reply Beena February 10, 2011 at 10:52 PM

    Your Foca looked sooooooo good, had to try this recipe out immediately :-)
    One question – after rolling it into a rectangle and brushing it with oil etc, should it be directly baked, or left standing to rise some more?
    Yours looks more flat and the texture looks much more soft. I let mine rise again for about 45 mins, so turned out a bit rounded in the center.
    Baked it for 30 mins but it still could have baked a bit more. Although, not sure how you managed to have the garlic and rosemary so fresh looking. Mine burned up a bit..
    All in all, turned out great for a first attempt!!! Definitely a “must keep” recipe. Have you tried this with whole wheat flour?

    • Reply The Purple Foodie February 10, 2011 at 10:58 PM

      Hey Beena! :) You are too awesoe with your comments and enthusiasm. I didn’t ‘roll’ the dough, but pressed it into the pan, then left it to rise for 30 minutes. I need to make that more clear in the instructions – thanks for pointing it out.

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  • Reply The Doux Project July 2, 2011 at 9:22 PM! It makes me want to put on my oven mitts immediately! Anyway, I’m attempting to finally make some bread this week (I’m terrified of bread making) and I was wondering, you recommend instant yeast right? Also, that can be found in any supermarket too? I shall let you know how this turns out. Wish me luck! x

  • Reply TL July 23, 2011 at 3:08 PM


    Your recipes look good, and I am trying out the focaccia. I put the dough in the fridge (wrapped in cling flim) for half a day, but when I took it out, the top looks hard and bottom soggy. Is that how it is supposed to be? I just turned the dough inside out and then rolled it….

  • Reply yoolias blog » Rucola-Fenchel-Salat September 20, 2011 at 4:52 PM

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  • Reply megha December 8, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    Dear Shaheen,
    I had asked a question a couple of days back…what is the difference between beating and egg and butter mixture and wisking it? I made the focaccia on Sunday and it was what my subby had for lunch…it turned out great to look at and eat as well:)) thanks a lot for building my confidence in baking breads….i also added olives and fresh cherry tomatoes to it. I used foul smelling active dry east as that was what i had and used 5 gms of it .
    I also tried making a cholocate cake and it turned out great in taste but i think that the batter could have been more fluffy? how can i make it more fluffy

  • Reply Mizpa January 5, 2013 at 8:23 AM

    Tried this recipe…and my husband loved so proud when he posted it in facebook

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