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My four kids LOVE this Focaccia bread pizza. Especially for lunch.
Our whole family was already sold on regular focaccia bread. It’s filling, full of heart-healthy olive oil and fragrant fresh rosemary. Plus, you can make it ahead of time which makes focaccia bread perfect for lunchboxes.
But this pizza version of focaccia bread? Even more delicious.
What You Need to Make Focaccia Bread Pizza
- Garlic (or garlic powder)
- Rosemary (fresh or dried)
- Mozzarella cheese (fresh or shredded)
You can certainly add more toppings to your focaccia bread pizza, but there’s so much flavor in the focaccia bread itself that simple toppings like tomatoes, basil and cheese are perfect.
And it’s a crowd-pleaser every time!
Think deep dish pizza, with extra flavor. That’s focaccia bread pizza!
Focaccia Bread Pizza
This simple make-ahead focaccia bread pizza is a favorite for all four of our kids. Add any extra toppings you like, but this is how we like it best.
The recipe below makes enough dough for two quarter sheet pans (casserole pan size) or one half sheet pan (the size of a cookie sheet).
for the dough
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced (or 4 teaspoons dried garlic powder)
- 1/4 cup tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about 2 sprigs or 4 teaspoons dried rosemary)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper (about 4–5 cracks on a pepper grind)
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
for the toppings
- mozzarella cheese
- fresh tomatoes, sliced
- fresh basil (optional)
- Pour warm water (like bathwater) into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar and stir. Allow to sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
- In the meantime, combine the olive oil, garlic and rosemary in a bowl and set aside.
- When the yeast mixture looks foamy, add 2 cups of flour plus 1/2 cup of the olive oil mixture. Stir and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
- Add remaining 3 cups flour plus salt. Stir until dough forms.
- Pour dough onto floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes until it transforms from sticky to smooth.
- Wash out the mixing bowl (or get a second) and slather the inside with about 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Place the dough inside. Cover with a towel that’s wet and warm. Place in a warm spot (like a sunny window) to rise for 1 hour.
- Line 2 9×13-inch baking sheets or one 18×13-inch baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper. Pour 2 tablespoons of the olive oil/garlic/rosemary mixture into the 9×13-inch pans or 4 tablespoons into an 18×13-inch baking sheet, on top of the parchment paper.
- Place dough on top of the oil and use your fingertips to press the dough into the pan (put a little olive oil on your fingers if needed). Really press! Use your index and middle fingers to PRESS down on the dough, making a divot. Repeat until you’ve got as many holes as possible.
- Pour the rest of the olive oil/garlic/rosemary mixture over the top of the bread and smooth out evenly over the dough.
- Add sliced or shredded mozzarella cheese in an even layer, followed by sliced tomatoes. (Optional, crack fresh salt and pepper on top).
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, and allow the dough to rest while it heats.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes in a regular oven on a middle rack.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pull up on the parchment paper to transfer the bread to a cutting board. Slice and enjoy.
Store leftovers or slices for lunchboxes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
What is Focaccia Bread?
The Spruce Eats describes focaccia bread like this: Focaccia (pronounced “fuh-KA-cha”) is a type of Italian yeast bread baked in flat sheet pans. Focaccia dough is flavored with olive oil and sometimes topped with herbs and other vegetables.
Fun facts about focaccia bread
- A precursor of pizza, focaccia is one of Italy’s most ancient breads. It is thought to have originated with the Etruscans (ancient Italians). The earliest focaccia were unleavened flatbreads made from flour, water, and salt. – Brittanica
- This simple composition meant they could be cooked using any available heat source at the time—most often in the hearth of domestic fires. The dough was flattened over a stone slab and cooked under the hot ashes, hence its Latin name, panis focacius (“hearth bread”). – Brittanica
- To make the characteristic focaccia dimples, oil your fingertips and press firmly into the top of the focaccia. As you work, stretch the focaccia dough evenly into the pan, until it reaches all the edges of the pan. – The Modern Proper
- A well-proofed dough will have lots of air bubbles and rises quickly; that massaging adds dimples that keep your focaccia flat, as it should be. Also, those dimples hold the olive oil coating and help it soak into the dough, which gives your finished bread that crisp and golden crust. – Leite’s Culiniara
Use any toppings you — or your kids — love, but don’t wait to try focaccia bread pizza. It’s a game-changer here.