Rosemary focaccia bread ready to serve. (By Patty Schied)

Cooking for pleasure: Rosemary focaccia bread

When I am lucky enough eat at good Italian restaurants in Seattle or elsewhere, the warm focaccia often served really enhances the meal. I always thought it must be difficult to make so I never tried making it at home. Then one day I was browsing through YouTube videos looking for alternative methods of making French bread. Just for fun, I adapted one of them to make focaccia. If only I had known years ago how easy it is.

Although this recipe uses fresh minced rosemary, don’t use it if you don’t like it. It will still be good. This bread requires very little hands-on work. No kneading at all. Most of the dough fermentation takes place in the refrigerator. The process is started the day before you plan to eat it. The resting in the refrigerator results in a lovely, slightly sour aroma that can be tasted in your first bite.

Prepared dough taken from the refrigerator. (By Patty Schied)


1 ½ cups of tepid water (about 80 degrees)

2 3/4 cups of flour

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon of fresh minced rosemary

Olive oil for final baking

Day One

Step One: Pour 1 ½ cups of tepid water into a six- or eight-cup mixing bowl. Add one teaspoon (no, not a tablespoon) of yeast to the water and stir a bit. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir again.

Add a cup of all-purpose flour and stir into the water. Then add one tablespoon of fresh minced rosemary (or a little more if you want). Mix to combine then add another cup of flour and stir again. Gradually add the remaining flour to make a slightly stiff batter making sure that all the flour is mixed in. At this point, the dough will look sloppy. Don’t worry about it. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it sit on your kitchen counter for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, gently fold over the dough by scraping the sides of the bowl with a spatula. Only do this about four or five times. Then cover the dough again and let rest for another 45 minutes. After this amount of time the dough should begin to rise slightly. Gently turn over the dough a few times with your rubber spatula, cover again and let rest for another 45 minutes.

Fold over the dough again, which should start to have a pleasant slightly fermented aroma. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Rosemary focaccia bread ready to bake. (By Patty Schied)

Day Two

Step One: Three hours before you plan to serve the bread, remove the dough from the refrigerator, stir it down gently and let it rest at room temperature for an hour and a half.

Step Two: Pour about two tablespoons of olive oil into a 9X13-inch metal baking pan to generously cover the bottom. Scrape the dough into the pan, spreading it around gently with a rubber spatula. If it doesn’t spread much at first, let it rest for ten minutes then try again. Don’t worry about stretching it to fit the sides of the pan. If it looks like a gooey, slow-moving elastic blob with lots of air bubbles, it’s perfect. Let rest for an hour. The dough will rise slightly.

Step Three: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using your fingers or the handle of a wooden spoon, punch holes into the dough. Pour about 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil over the dough and into the holes. Sprinkle the dough with coarse salt (about a teaspoon). I use flaky Kosher salt, but use what you wish.

Step Four: Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until the top is a nice deep golden brown. Remove from pan with a metal spatula (it should be easy with all that olive oil) and place on cooling rack.

Cut into squares while still warm. Enjoy. (Any leftovers make great sandwiches)

• Patty Schied is a longtime Juneau resident who studied at the Cordon Bleu in London, has cooked meals for both AWARE and the Glory Hall, and has written a cookbook. Cooking For Pleasure appears every other week in Capital City Weekly.

A loaf of rosemary focaccia bread fresh from the oven. (By Patty Schied)

More in Neighbors

Battered fish fillets frying. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Fish and chips with homemade tartar sauce

For years I struggled with different fish batter recipes, usually with lousy… Continue reading

Jackie Renninger Park, which is scheduled to receive structural and safety improvements. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Neighbors briefs

See design ideas for Jackie Renninger Park at June 24 public meeting… Continue reading

Students from Juneau Community Charter School listen to a story at the Skagway Public Library. (Photo provided by Clint Sullivan)
Neighbors: Letters of thanks

Thanks to the community of Skagway The K/1 class of Juneau Community… Continue reading

Donna Leigh is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Courtesy photo)
Living and Growing: Small things

Have you ever had a small pebble in your shoe? Very irritating,… Continue reading

Dining out in Croatia. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Almond cake from a trip to Croatia

I should have probably titled this week’s column: “Eating For Pleasure.” My… Continue reading

Matushka Olga Michael, a Yup’ik woman from Kwethluk. (Photo provided by Maxim Gibson)
Living and Growing: A new Alaskan saint

“God is wonderful in His saints: the God of Israel is He… Continue reading

Nick Hanson of the NBC show “American Ninja Warrior” kicks off the blanket toss at the 2020 Traditional Games in Juneau. (Lyndsey Brollini / Sealaska Heritage Institute)
Neighbors: Celebration begins Wednesday with mix of traditional and new events

Nearly 1,600 dancers from 36 dance groups scheduled to participate in four-day gathering.

“Curiosities of Alaska” by Junnie Chup, which won first place in Kindred Post’s 2024 statewide postcard art contest. (Photo courtesy of Kindred Post)
Neighbors briefs

Kindred Post announces 2024 statewide postcard art contest winners Kindred Post on… Continue reading

Tanya Renee Ahtowena Rorem at age 17. (Photo provided by Laura Rorem)
Living and Growing: ‘My name is Ahtowena’

My precocious two-year old broke loose from my grip and took off… Continue reading

The Pinkas Synagogue, the second-oldest building in Prague. (World Monuments Fund photo)
Living and Growing: Connecting to family ancestors through names of strangers on a wall in Prague

“Prague never lets you go…this dear little mother has sharp claws.” —… Continue reading

Individual eggplant parmesan rounds ready to serve. (Photo by Patty Schied)
Cooking for Pleasure: Individual eggplant parmesan rounds

These flavorful eggplant parmesans are a great side dish, especially served with… Continue reading