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This is the best no knead focaccia bread recipe! It makes an incredibly airy and aromatic focaccia bread. It is so easy to make, and the best part of all is that it tastes authentically Italian! 

Top view of a rosemary focaccia bread with slices cut out of it, on a chopping board.
Table of Contents

What’s the secret to incredibly delicious and fluffy focaccia? Letting the dough rise slowly while cooled in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours! It’s such a simple but effective method, and everything you need to know about making this shockingly easy no-knead focaccia bread is right here.

If you need to make focaccia but you don’t have the time to let it rise for this long, then check out my Focaccia Bread with Italian Herbs and Garlic which is ready in just under 2 hours! 😁

This easy no-knead focaccia bread recipe is not only prepared without kneading, you don’t even need a stand mixer! With only five ingredients, it comes together in no time. As this is a ‘no-knead’ focaccia recipe, there really is no need to knead the bread→ the fridge does the hard work for you.

Close up of a top view of a rosemary focaccia bread with slices cut out of it, on a chopping board.

The only downside to this recipe is that it takes a little time! The dough should rest in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours, and then again for 2 hours at room temperature. During this time, however, you can leave the dough to do its thing. This allows you to prepare any toppings or other dishes at the same time as the focaccia is rising.

I like to start making focaccia in the morning so that I can have freshly baked focaccia around lunchtime the next day. If you plan to have it for dinnertime, then start shortly after noon the previous day. You can actually let the dough rise in the fridge for up to 72 hours, making it a dish to make ahead to enjoy later in the week. 

While this focaccia is incredibly airy on the inside, it has a deliciously crispy crust soaked in olive oil on the outside. Italian focaccia is traditionally topped with a good drizzle of olive oil, fresh rosemary, and coarse sea salt before baking. This way, the herbs and seasoning permeate the dough with the help of olive oil, giving the bread an aromatic piney flavor throughout. 

Top view of rosemary focaccia bread slices on a chopping board with a small bowl of olive oil on the side.

Inspiration for this recipe comes from the talented Ali of Alexandra’s Kitchen. I have slightly adapted the recipe from her incredibly delicious Overnight, Refrigerator Focaccia = The Best Focaccia Bread Recipe.

How To Use Focaccia Bread

  • As a side bread with appetizers, barbecues, soups, and salads
  • Makes a great, delicious sandwich bread (hot or cold)
  • With red pesto or antipasti
  • With hummus or feta dip
  • For dipping in olive oil and a dash of balsamic cream with olives on the side
  • As a base with cheese and your favorite toppings like onion, red pepper, and cherry tomatoes, for a focaccia pizza

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

Top view of Ingredients for No Knead Focaccia recipe including salt, flour, sugar, water and yeast.
  • All Purpose Flour → Do not use whole wheat flour, otherwise, the amount of liquid will be off.
  • Instant Dry Yeast → To make the dough rise nicely! Also works with active dry yeast if you activate it: Mix lukewarm water, sugar, and active dry yeast in a bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes until foaming.
  • Water → For best results, use slightly warm but not hot water.
  • Salt → An aromatic focaccia needs a good pinch of salt.
  • Sugar → Helps the dough to rise. You can also use maple syrup, or it can be omitted if you are on a sugar-free diet.
  • Olive Oil → Extra virgin olive oil is best for this recipe. You can use another cooking oil if you don’t have this to hand. 
  • Rosemary → Fresh rosemary is best to get the best aromas. 
  • Coarse Sea Salt → Alternatively, use Himalayan salt or kosher salt for the dough. You can also use flaky sea salt as a topping.

Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a baking beginner! 😉

  • Make Dough: Mix the flour, dry yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the water and mix with a spoon or spatula to form a sticky dough (do not knead).
  • Cool and Rise: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours to fully proof.
Gallery of 5 images, all top view of a metal mixing bowl showing the process of making focaccia dough and what it looks like having risen.
  • Prepare Baking Pan and Shape Dough: Rub a baking tray (about 20x35cm) with a tablespoon of oil. Remove the cold dough from the bowl and turn it out onto the baking sheet. Turn it in the oil and shape it into a ball.
  • Leave Dough to Rise Again: Let the dough rise for another 2 hours at room temperature. → The dough does not need to be covered. It will expand again nicely during this time and take the shape of the baking sheet.
No Knead Focaccia Recipe Step 6-9
  • Prepare Oven: Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Add Focaccia: Spread a tablespoon of olive oil on the focaccia, dip your fingers into the oil, and press deep holes into the dough with oiled fingertips. → If necessary, you can pull/shape the dough a bit into the corners of the baking tray during this process, so that it becomes nice and square. But is not mandatory 😉
  • Add Toppings: Sprinkle some fresh rosemary and sea salt on top. → Or a focaccia topping of your choice.
  • Bake focaccia for 20 minutes until golden brown.
Three picture collage each of top views of focaccia making process: top left picture is of focaccia dough on a baking sheet with holes in it, top right is the same and also has fresh rosemary on it, and the bottom picture is the focaccia baked brown, just out of the oven.
  • Cool and Serve: Let cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting.
Top view of baked rosemary no knead focaccia bread.

Variations

  • Do you like garden herbs and garlic? Then spread the focaccia with the herb & garlic topping from this focaccia recipe before baking.
  • Top the focaccia with sun-dried tomatoes and oregano for a delicious combination of Italian flavors. 

Make Ahead & Storage Instructions

Can I make this recipe ahead of time? The dough will need to be left in the refrigerator to rise for at least 18 hours, but this recipe recommends 24 hours. You can leave it in the refrigerator for up to 72 hours before baking it, and then it is best enjoyed on the same day.

How do I store focaccia bread? The focaccia will keep fresh for up to a day when wrapped in a clean kitchen towel and simply stored on the worktop.

Can I freeze it? To freeze focaccia, cut it into slices and freeze them in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw individual pieces in/on the toaster oven or at room temperature, or on a baking pan in the oven at 300°F until it is hot.

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📖 Recipe

luftige angeschnittene focaccia auf einem schneidebrett

No Knead Focaccia Bread

This is the best no knead focaccia bread recipe! It makes an incredibly airy focaccia bread, it is so easy to make, and the best part of all is that it tastes authentically Italian!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 1 vote

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :10 minutes
Cook Time :20 minutes
Dough Rising Time :1 day 2 hours
Total Time :1 day 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings : 6
Calories : 307kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 4 cups (500 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast or active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup + 1 tbsp (440 ml) water lukewarm
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • some fresh rosemary
  • some coarse sea salt

Instructions
 

  • Mix the flour, dry yeast, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Stir in the water and mix with a spoon or spatula to form a sticky dough (do not knead).
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for 24 hours to fully proof.
  • Rub a baking tray (about 8×14 inches/ 20x35cm) with a tablespoon of oil. Remove the cold dough from the bowl and turn it out onto the baking sheet. Turn it in the oil and shape it into a ball.
  • Let the dough rise for another 2 hours at room temperature. → The dough does not need to be covered. It will expand again nicely during this time and take the shape of the baking sheet.
  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Spread a tablespoon of olive oil on the focaccia, dip your fingers into the oil, and press deep holes into the dough with oiled fingertips. → If necessary, you can pull and shape the dough a bit into the corners of the baking tray during this process, so that it becomes nice and square. But is not mandatory 😉
  • Sprinkle some fresh rosemary and sea salt on top. → Or a focaccia topping of your choice.
  • Bake focaccia for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  • Let cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting.

Notes

Keeps fresh: Focaccia does taste best when freshly baked but it can be wrapped in a clean tea towel and stored at room temperature for up to one day. It’s even better to freeze leftovers, and then reheat them as and when you need them.
To Freeze: Cut the focaccia into slices, place them in a freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost for 5-10 minutes in the preheated oven (390°F/200°C). 
Recipe adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen Overnight, Refrigerator Focaccia = The Best Focaccia Bread Recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 307kcal | Carbohydrates: 64g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 91mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 4mg

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