The Easiest no knead overnight Focaccia bread

AuthorYun Zhang JohnCategory, DifficultyBeginnerRating
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Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time35 mins

A friend recently ask me for a recipe for olive bread, specifically black olives. The bread that immediately came to mind was focaccia!

This flat leavened Italian bread is the perfect vehicle for the Mediterranean flavours of olives and olive oil. It also happens to be THE easiest bread that anyone can make at home. No experience or skills needed, if you’ve got a bowl, some flour and time, then you can master this recipe!

Minimal work, maximum reward

Like so many great breads, basic focaccia starts with flour, water, salt and yeast. It takes less than 5 minutes to mix together and the rest of the work is done without interference from you.

This particular dough has a very high water content (hydration) in proportion to flour, which means two things.

A - It’ll be difficult to handle
B - It’ll create a pillowy soft bread with gorgeous air pockets throughout.

To combat A, we employ a long and slow fermentation. That means we leave it to rise slowly in the refrigerator for at least 18 hours to up to 2 days.

Time is the secret weapon

The upmost important ingredient here is time. Time will develop an amazing depth of flavour in the final product that’ll make you look like a pro. Time will strengthen the strands of gluten, so you don’t have to knead or stretch the dough at all. In fact, you'll barely even have to touch it!

Cherry tomatoes, Olives & Olive oil

My friend likes black olives and I like cherry tomatoes, and together they just work. Imagine biting into a perfectly baked focaccia with a crispy exterior and a fluffy interior to be greeted with salty and sweet bursts of juices?! Come on, how can you resist?!

About the generous use of the olive oil...yes, there is quite a bit. But I promise it’s for good reason. A good extra virgin olive oil adds a lovely fragrant flavour to your bread. Plus a good amount (~1/4 cup) of oil will ensure the bottom and edges come out fabulously crunchy. Like a cracker.

The thing about rosemary

I understand that rosemary is not everyone’s cup of tea. I didn’t like its strong and unique scent until later on in my culinary explorations. But with respect to focaccia, give rosemary a chance. The fragrance is undeniable and classic to a good focaccia.

However, always use fresh and never dried. Fresh rosemary will impart its scent through the bread as it bakes…dried rosemary will just impart its woody texture.

If you are looking to substitute toppings, here are some combinations that will rock:

- Bacon & sliced onions
- Zucchini, garlic & hot chilli flakes
- Bell pepper & capers
- Caramelized onions, anchovies & black olives
- Grapes, feta & rosemary

So what are you waiting for? Grab a bowl and a spoon and get on it! You’ll be thanking me tomorrow when you are biting into an awesome piece of bread that took no effort to make.

Looking for more easy peasy bread recipes? Check out:

Wholesome Honey oat bread
Soft and fluffy potato rolls

You Will Need

 515 g All purpose flour4 cups
 10 g Sea salt2 tsp
 7 g Instant dry yeast2 tsp
 455 g Water2 cups
 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oilFor topping the dough mixture before resting
 ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oilDivided, for the pan and topping before baking
Toppings
 1 cup Cherry or plum tomatoes cut in halves
 1 cup Pitted kalamata olivesPreserved in oil, not brine
 2 sticks Fresh rosemary
 Coarse or flaky sea salt or finishing saltTo taste

Instructions

At least 18 hours before
1

Mix flour, salt, yeast, water and olives together in a large bowl with a spoon or spatula. Once combined, slick with 2 tbsp of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap and put into fridge to rest.

Tomato and Olive Focaccia | Yun's Family Table

At least 18 hours later & several hours before you want to eat
2

Take the dough out of the fridge and pour into a baking vessel that's been covered with 1/8 cup of olive oil. My pan was 9"x13" or 23cm x 33cm. Use a metal is possible, even a sheet pan can work, you'll just have a thinner bread. However, if using a stone casserole or pyrex dish, spread butter first before the olive oil to prevent sticking.

3

Try to spread the dough with a spatula to cover the surface of the baking dish. Cover again with plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm, draft free place for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size, bubbly and jiggly.

4

Once it's risen, dimple the dough all over to degas with greased fingers. Top with the tomatoes, rosemary and salt and the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil.

Tomato and Olive Focaccia | Yun's Family Table

5

Bake in a preheated 425F / 220C oven for 25-30min, depending on your oven and how dark you want it. Once baked, take out of the pan immediately and onto a wired rack to cool.

Ingredients

 515 g All purpose flour4 cups
 10 g Sea salt2 tsp
 7 g Instant dry yeast2 tsp
 455 g Water2 cups
 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oilFor topping the dough mixture before resting
 ¼ cup Extra virgin olive oilDivided, for the pan and topping before baking
Toppings
 1 cup Cherry or plum tomatoes cut in halves
 1 cup Pitted kalamata olivesPreserved in oil, not brine
 2 sticks Fresh rosemary
 Coarse or flaky sea salt or finishing saltTo taste

Directions

At least 18 hours before
1

Mix flour, salt, yeast, water and olives together in a large bowl with a spoon or spatula. Once combined, slick with 2 tbsp of olive oil and cover with plastic wrap and put into fridge to rest.

Tomato and Olive Focaccia | Yun's Family Table

At least 18 hours later & several hours before you want to eat
2

Take the dough out of the fridge and pour into a baking vessel that's been covered with 1/8 cup of olive oil. My pan was 9"x13" or 23cm x 33cm. Use a metal is possible, even a sheet pan can work, you'll just have a thinner bread. However, if using a stone casserole or pyrex dish, spread butter first before the olive oil to prevent sticking.

3

Try to spread the dough with a spatula to cover the surface of the baking dish. Cover again with plastic wrap and leave it to rise in a warm, draft free place for 2-3 hours or until doubled in size, bubbly and jiggly.

4

Once it's risen, dimple the dough all over to degas with greased fingers. Top with the tomatoes, rosemary and salt and the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil.

Tomato and Olive Focaccia | Yun's Family Table

5

Bake in a preheated 425F / 220C oven for 25-30min, depending on your oven and how dark you want it. Once baked, take out of the pan immediately and onto a wired rack to cool.

The Easiest no knead overnight Focaccia bread

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