Learn how to make the best authentic homemade Italian focaccia bread recipes from a former Italian culinary student. Each recipe uses high-quality ingredients for the best-tasting bread.
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Focaccia is a well-known and loved bread in Italy. After attending culinary school in Italy, I became very familiar with this signature 'dimpled' top bread known for being crispy, light, and fluffy.
Focaccia is a high-hydration dough, meaning there is a high ratio of liquid ingredients (water/oil) compared to flour. One of the main ingredients in focaccia is extra virgin olive oil.
While traditional focaccia was often made with rendered pig's fat (lard), the modern-day focaccia uses extra virgin olive oil. This Italian staple gives the bread great flavor and texture.
Since Italian cuisine is very regionally focused, different regions and cities across Italy have their own way of making focaccia bread. For example, in the Puglia region, they add tomatoes. In the city of Bari, they top their circular-shaped focaccia with oregano, tomatoes, and olives. And in Tuscany, their focaccia, schiacciata, is known for being thinner (perfect for sandwiches).
I'm sharing 7 different varieties of traditional Italian focaccia. Let's get into it!
1. Classic Focaccia
This is a focaccia recipe that is light, and fluffy, and highlights the flavors of the rich extra virgin olive oil in the bread. I use this recipe as my everyday, go-to focaccia bread recipe. The best part is that this recipe is no knead since it's all made in a stand mixer.
This authentic recipe is one of the first ones I learned in Italian culinary school. It's perfect to pair with pasta, salad, or even as an appetizer.
The woodsy, rustic taste of rosemary melds perfectly with focaccia bread. This recipe is made with infused rosemary olive oil that goes on top of the focaccia before it's baked.
For a beautiful presentation, chop up some additional rosemary and bake it into the bread as a garnish.
This version of focaccia is unique because it's flavored with homemade, infused garlic oil. The garlic flavor packs a punch in this recipe!
One of the perks of using garlic oil instead of straight garlic on the focaccia bread is that the garlic olive oil will not leave you with stinky breath because the garlic has fermented and released all the unpleasant-smelling gasses.
4. Focaccia Barese
This type of focaccia bread is from the Puglia region in Italy, specifically from the city of Bari.
What makes this Barese style of focaccia unique is the round shape, the addition of potato into the dough, along with the delicious toppings of tomatoes, olives, and oregano. This is a bread that's soft inside, yet has a crispy exterior crust.
5. Focaccia Pugliese
Classically, focaccia from the region of Puglia is made with a topping of tomatoes. These tomatoes can be fresh from your garden in the summer or canned so you can still make this delicious bread in the winter.
The water from the tomatoes, when combined with the extra virgin olive oil, helps to create a crispy exterior crust.
6. Tomato & Cheese
Want a focaccia that's reminiscent of a pizza? This focaccia is topped with tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. It can be eaten on its own, paired with dinner, or served as an appetizer.
The bread dough stays soft inside while the outside is crispy and layered with golden browned cheese.
7. Sandwich Bread
One of the tastiest sandwich breads you’ll ever try, this Italian-style focaccia will help you make the sandwiches of your dreams.
I love making sandwiches layered with mortadella, pistachio pesto, burrata cheese, and arugula. Or, try using salami, prosciutto, pecorino, and olive tapenade inside this focaccia.