5 Ingredients or Fewer

Saltie's Focaccia

June  3, 2014
4.4 Stars
Photo by Julia Gartland
Watch This Recipe
Saltie's Focaccia
  • Prep time 9 hours 15 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Makes one 18 x 13-inch pan, or enough for 8 to 10 sandwiches
  • 6 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing and drizzling
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt
In This Recipe
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and yeast. Add the warm water to the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is incorporated and a sticky dough forms—no kneading required. Pour the 1/4 cup olive oil into a 6-quart plastic food container with a tight-fitting lid (or a large bowl). Transfer the focaccia dough to the plastic container, turn to coat, and cover tightly. (If you're using a bowl, wrap tightly and thoroughly in plastic wrap, making sure there's plenty of room in the bowl for the dough to rise.) Place in the refrigerator to rise for at least 8 hours or for up to 2 days.
  2. When you're ready to bake—I've found that a 2-day rise is best, but 1 will work just fine—oil an 18 x 13-inch baking sheet. Remove the focaccia dough from the refrigerator and transfer to the prepared pan. Using your hands, spread the dough out on the prepared pan as much as possible, adding oil to the dough as needed to keep it from sticking. Place the dough in a warm place and let it rise until it about doubles in bulk The rising time will vary considerably depending on the season. (In the summer, it might take just 20 minutes; in winter, it can take an hour or more.) When the dough is ready, it should be room temperature, spread out on the sheet, and fluffy feeling.
  3. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  4. Pat down the focaccia to an even thickness of about 1 inch on the baking sheet, and then make a bunch of indentations in the dough with your fingertips—like you're playing chords on a piano. Dimple the entire dough and then drizzle the whole thing again with olive oil. Sprinkle the entire surface of the focaccia evenly with sea salt.
  5. Bake, rotating once front to back, until the top is uniformly golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, then slide out of the pan. Use the same day.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Molly
  • samanthaalison
  • Amber Curlee
    Amber Curlee
  • Kevin French
    Kevin French
  • Donna Frescura
    Donna Frescura
Marian Bull

Recipe by: Marian Bull


58 Reviews

janenaomi June 11, 2022
Outstanding results with minimal effort. 48 hrs in the fridge always results in a perfect bread. Top with salt and rosemary.
Baylaketrail February 5, 2022
I left this in the refrigerator for 2 days. It did not rise at all in the fridge and did not rise while proofing in the oven for SEVERAL hours.
I am going to make naan out of it to salvage the dough.
Baylaketrail February 6, 2022
Update: I decided to go ahead and bake it as it was. It had risen about 1/2 inch and then while baking another 1/2 inch or so. It looked beautiful when I took out of oven. Not sure what happened but I would be willing to try it again!!
Alice January 3, 2022
Made this for New Years. So easy and delicious. I did allow for the 48 hours in the refrigerator. Definitely recommend!
Joel May 13, 2021
Made this yesterday, with only a 24 hour rise. Turned out GREAT!! I did almost double the yeast amount. (As i knew I could only do a 1 day rise, for some reason my brain told me to use more yeast, after reading a few of the comments left here.) I also found it sticky to dimple after the second rising, but found that spreading a bit of olive oil over the whole surface solved that. I topped with rosemary, and coarse salt on one, and halved cherry tomatoes and onion slices and coarse salt on another. Family loved them.
Bagaw September 14, 2020
This is Wonderful focaccia bread!
Made it many times and shared the recipe. Thank you Thank you!
M I. March 6, 2020
I made this for a potluck at work, and my colleagues could not stop saying how delicious it was. I pressed sliced red onion, olives and tomatoes to the top just prior to baking. I will definitely be making this again (and again) with lots of variations. I'd love to try this with fennel.
Molly April 16, 2019
This was really good. I probably oiled the cookie sheet a bit more than I was supposed to, but it resulted in a really crispy bottom that was a delicious contrast to the soft bread on top. I also topped it with crumbled (cooked) sausage, cherry tomatoes, garlic and thyme - basically a focaccia pizza.
samanthaalison February 28, 2019
This didn't work for me for some reason - maybe my yeast was off? It didn't rise much over the 48 hours in the fridge. Rose a little once I put it in the pan, but was way too sticky to dimple. I'm backing it anyway so we'll see what happens.
svs May 21, 2019
same problem
Hannah December 10, 2018
This recipe is a good intro to foccacia. I followed the recipe exactly and found it to be very dry. I would double the olive oil used in the beginning and end.
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
You may need to add more water, not olive oil. This is a very, very wet dough. It pours out of the bowl. Flour hydration is so variable, it can change by the day. Give it another try.
maasjam August 23, 2018
PLEASE give the Saltie's cookbook credit in more than just calling this "Saltie's Foccacia." While the cookbook is mentioned in the recipe for the Scuttlebutt sandwich, it is not here. And since pages on the web live independently from one another, I think this needs to be revised. It appears that Marian Bull created this recipe and simply called it: "Saltie's Foccacia." And since I saw this recipe mentioned on another blog crediting Food52 with creating the recipe, I feel that this is not truth in advertising. I usually don't care enough to comment, but my heart is still broken from Saltie's sandwich shop in Brooklyn closing and I feel like I need to defend it posthumously. ;) THANKS!
Amber C. June 3, 2018
This did not turn out for me at all. I've made many different bread recipes successfully, and was a little unsure of the concept of putting the dough into the fridge, but went with it because of all the favorable reviews. Mine turned out pale and unappetizing, even though I cooked it much longer that the recipe suggested. It also stuck to the pan so badly that we had to scrape every inch of it off.
jdcooker June 4, 2018
Do you have an oven thermometer and have you checked your oven temp compared to the setting on the dial? No browning and cooking "much longer" sound like low temperature Also, did you let the dough warm up to room temperature, after taking it out of the refrigerator, before putting it in the oven? As to sticking in the pan, did you really oil the pan or did you do a lite spray of oil? I really have a good deal of oil in the pan (I also use baking parchment along with the oil which is somewhat overkill....) as it keeps the bread from sticking and it gives the edges a nice crisp little bit of crust. I bet that,, after writing this and thinking about things, your oven temp is NOT what the dial reads.

Good luck and DO NOT GOVE UP ON THIS BREAD as it is terrific. I do not refrigerate my bread, I mix it, let it rise once to about double, spread it in the pan, let it rise a bit again and bake it. Always trying to get it done on the fast side,,,, poor planning or just my way of cooking. As I have stated before in this thread, for me the yeast is VERY IMPORTANT. The Insta-Safe yeast is different from most bread yeasts (works for me FAST) and gives me super results.
MBE September 26, 2018
I had the same issue of sticking to the pan-and I heavily oiled it. Also took mine at least twice the amount of time (no issues with other recipes, so even though I didn't temp the oven I don't think that was the issue). Next time (if I don't simply go back to my favorite recipe for The Pizza Bible) I'll either spray the pan with Vegalene and then oil or use parchment paper. I did love the crispy oily crust that formed but was sad how much stuck to the pan. I did refrigerate and let come to room temp as I've become a big fan of the flavors from retarded fermentation. I use SAF instant yeast.
Sarah May 7, 2020
I run into this issue sometimes while making this recipe. Other times, it's really yummy and crusty and turns out well. After a couple tries, I've found that my issue is with the humidity in the region. Since then, I start with 2 cups of water and add gradually from then on. Not sure if this applies for you, but hope it helps!
MBE May 7, 2020
Thanks! I do live in humid Ohio! My next Focaccia is going to be the Samin Nosrat version that has a salt brine poured on top-lots of time for experimentation at the moment
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
I spray my pan with nonstick olive oil spray - never sticks.
Kevin F. April 9, 2018
A solid focaccia, and my first attempt at a focaccia. Used it as part of the "Slab Muffuletta" recipe by the same author. Excellent and not difficult at all. I will be making this from time to time as a different type of bread for sandwiches.
Annabel February 23, 2018
It was absolutely delicious. My dough was very wet though and on the brink of pourable. Should it have been this wet or should I have added more flour?
catie February 11, 2018
You mention putting the dough into "the prepared pan". However I see no mention of how the pan is to be "prepared"...?
Elaine L. February 11, 2018
OIl the pan to prepare it.
Elaine L. February 11, 2018
OIl the pan to prepare it.
catie February 11, 2018
That's what I figured...but thought I should check just in case you recommend dusting with corn meal or the like. Thanks!!
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
I make this bread regularly (often requested by friends) and have found that oiling the pan is hit or miss. I also spray with an olive oil nonstick spray. Slides out easily every time
Victoria June 3, 2017
I bought a six quart container with a tight fitting lid expecting the dough to rise, but it didn't even fill a third of the container -- what happened?
jdcooker June 3, 2017
Could be poor/bad yeast, too cool of temps of mixed materials or the temp go the room/location the dough was placed to rise. If you have more of the yeast, you could mix a tsp of sugar in 1/2 cup of water add some of the same yeast you were using and see if it will "work" in the sugar/water mixture. I would not place the dough in a sealed container, I think it better to just cover the bowl with a tea bowl or something similar, mostly to keep huge or dust off the dough as it works it's mystical wonders. Could have had flour that was way low in "yeast edible" sugars (not likely but with todays crazy growing techniques who knows what we are getting), too much salt, in a cool draft, who knows with what you have said. The first thing I would consider is the yeast however..... old, not enough in the mix, wrong kind, etc. If you can, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND using the Safe Insta yeast I have recommended here on this site. It is the bomb!!!!!!!! Good luck.
Victoria June 3, 2017
My yeast was not out of date and the water was the correct temperature. And the recipe says to put the dough in the fridge -- it's still a mystery why it didn't rise.
Victoria June 3, 2017
I know how to proof yeast, add sugar, etc. but this recipe didn't say to do that.
jdcooker June 4, 2017
The putting "it in the fridge" is going to slow the fermentation and if that is what you were after, fine, but I am always trying to get the ferment up and running asap so warm water and no cooling for me. Some feel a slower, longer ferment will give a different crumb or bubble (finer) but the Focaccias are a more rustic bread, big bubbles, and are from a relatively moist dough (for a bread dough) at least that is how I make them. Makes for a very crispy crust (steaming the oven does help this along as well) with a nice soft bread center but with a bit of a "chew" (I assume from working the gluten up). So I would say the dough did not rise well as it was cooled in the fridge - great way to slow the fermentation but not what I would be after in this instance.
Victoria June 4, 2017
It rose just fine after I took it out of the fridge and put in the baking pan -- it took an hour though instead of 20 minutes. I gave a lot of it away since friends were asking for it and they raved about it and wanted the recipe. They said it was the best focaccia they'd ever had with a perfect texture. The only change I made was combine 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary with 1/4 cup olive oil and brushed on the dough right before baking. This will definitely be my go to focaccia recipe.
Mellissa K. March 3, 2019
I agree, Don’t refrigerate while rising! Leave on counter overnight. Enjoy!
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
I make this bread all the time and it consistently comes out great. For the best flavor, I highly recommend refrigerating the dough for at least 48 hours. It makes all the difference in flavor. My latest batch was more than 72 hrs and it tasted even better. Slow fermentation equals better flavor. There are other recipes that are faster, but I find this to be the best.
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
Your yeast may not be out of date, but how it is stored can make a difference. Keep it in the freezer.
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
I have never had it rise in 20 min (and I make this bread often) - plan for an hour., sometimes longer. Coming from the refrigerator to room temperature and rise take some time. But so worth it.
Donna F. February 4, 2017
Oh no - I just used one package of red star yeast- what adjustments do I need to make?!
jdcooker February 5, 2017
It should work fine but it might take a bit more time to rise properly. Yeasts are "active" or growing. In the process of growing yeasts consume sugars naturally occurring in the flour or added to the mix and give off alcohol and CO2 as "by products". The CO2 (carbon dioxide gas) is what makes the bubbles and causes the mix to rise and the alcohol "blows off" during baking. As stated below in a previous reply, I use Saf-Insta yeast and have much faster rises and have found it just works better/faster than the regular bread yeasts. Your mix will rise,,,, it just may take longer. Good luck. John D.
Donna F. June 3, 2017
Thank you John, I suppose I missed hitting the reply button because I do recall your rapid response,,and yes it all worked out well. I have since made it many times- it's a go to recipe for us now. Thanks for your guidance John!
nv August 18, 2016
I love salt but I thought it was a bit salty even without the extra salt on top. Making a new batch that will be ready tomorrow with half the salt, should be fantastic
Mrs B. November 19, 2016
Nv, how did it turn out with half the salt? That 2 tablespoons seems like much too much. Thank you.
Sarah May 7, 2020
I felt the same as nv and after the first try, I always make it with half of the salt. I use unsalted flour and Fleischmans yeast and this amount of salt leaves a neutral taste to the dough that's not salty or too yeasty. I'd recommend giving it a try!
Nancy L. September 19, 2021
I cut the salt by half in the dough but am liberal with sprinkling on top. this is a big batch of dough, so it needs the salt for the flavor
erin July 19, 2016
We just finished eating this - I baked off half of the dough tonight (made it this morning) and I'll probably leave the rest until the day after tomorrow to see what a longer rise does to it. It's truly delicious and probably required 6 minutes of attention, total. I was worried when I mixed the dough that it was extremely soft, barely holding together, but it was fine. It didn't rise very much but then the yeast amount is quite low for such a large amount of flour. I added about a tbs of chopped rosemary from the garden to the top and was very glad I did. Ate it for dinner with ricotta and honey.
Ana M. April 13, 2016
Do I have to use kosher salt? or I can use any type. And regarding the yest I don´t get the difference between the regular and the active. Pls some body help me, I am not a regular visitor in the kitchen :-(
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
john April 14, 2016

Kosher salt is not iodized (added iodine to supposedly help stop goiter but the quantities used are inadequate to really help) and also does not contain "anti caking" chemistries. You can use other salts, but why.?? As to yeasts, there are rather large differences in some of the yeasts available today. I use a Red Star Yeast called INSTA-SAFW yeast that is a different strain of yeast verses the "regular" Red Star bread yeast. For MY recipes for Focchia or Ciabatta, I find it imperative that the Insta-Safe yeast is essential to k=make either as per my recipes. It is a different strain of bread yeast but I like how it works in MY recipes. Red Star thought the rolls/actions of the 2 to be opposite of what I have found. You may be able to see my recipes here: http://mlce.net/www.mlce.net/Cooking_Page.html scroll down a ways. Been making these breads for years and I find them easy and quick and successful. Hope this helps.
Scott August 5, 2016
As far as the bread goes, the issue isn't iodine (not relevant for the recipe) or anti-caking agents (some brands do, generally yellow prussiate of soda). It's volume to weight. Kosher salt is flakier/fluffier, and will weigh less for a given volume, though again that will vary by brand of ks. You'll probably want to drop the salt by about half or so, or at least a third.
john March 3, 2016
Just a comment: a way make the Focchia FASTER. It is the yeast!!! I found a RedStar yeast labeled Lesaffre SAF-Instant yeast that is a different strain of yeast and rises MUCH faster than regular bread yeast. I can start making bread at 8 AM and easily have it ready for lunch, Focchia, Ciabatta, etc. Also be sure to use high gluten bread flour NOT all purpose to get a real good chew to the inner bread. Hope this helps some folks. Good baking……………..