The Best No Knead Focaccia

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A long, slow proofed no knead Focaccia that is deliciously crunchy yet soft and pillowy in the interior. Allowing the dough to rest 14 to 24 hours is the secret to the best focaccia recipe!
Makes 1 thick focaccia or 2 Detroit style pizzas.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proofing Time (optional) 14 hours
Total Time 15 hours
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The Best No Knead Focaccia

There is something magical about baking but more specifically, bread baking. I am a sucker for carbs and you’ll have to agree how amazing it is that flour, water, yeast and salt can be coupled with olive oil to make this masterpiece. Even better yet, you don’t have to work hard for it with kneading! I know it seems too good to be true but read the science behind the ‘No knead’ recipe below and you’ll be amazed!

Why this No Knead Focaccia recipe is amazing

Flavour & texture: A rich and complex bread flavour that is created by the long slow fermentation in the fridge. The added olive oil gives a fruity, peppery flavour.

Difficulty: 1/5. This recipe is really simple just mix, proof, dump into a tray and bake. Seriously, its criminally easy!

Time: Ideally 14-24 hours BUT it can be made sooner (see recipe!) I know it seems like a long time. TRUST me, it’s worth it!

Versatility: Very! This recipe can either make 1 thick focaccia or two Detroit-style pizza bases. The toppings are mix-ins are endless too. Try olives, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and herbs.

Focaccia in baking tray showing texture

What ingredients are needed:

Bread or plain flour: Bread flour is recommended due to its higher protein (more gluten) levels which leads to a stronger structure and chewier texture. Plain flour is certainly okay for this recipe but your focaccia will be significantly lighter and missing the characteristic chewy texture.

Instant yeast: Only a small amount is needed as that yeast will then feed on the honey and starches in the flour to keep it alive. Instant yeast is stronger, faster and more stable than dry yeast but you can substitute with what you have. You can also use around 50-100gm sourdough starter (reduce the water slightly) but I will be releasing a specific sourdough focaccia soon.

Warm Water: This is a high percentage of water in this recipe, 83%. Water helps create a light, airy, pillowy dough and work to activate the yeast initially before the focaccia is refrigerated. A temperature of around 41-46°C/110-115°F is ideal but cooler water is okay just ensure that it is not above the aforementioned temperature as it risks killing the yeast.

Honey: The main reason sugar (like honey) is added to many foods, like bread, is to improve a variety of factors such as shelf life, texture, browning, and taste. Sugar, just the same as salt, acts as a preservative against mould and also helps bread keep its moisture. While the honey doesn’t add much sweetness, it provides energy for the yeast to multiple and grow.

Salt: A huge part of bread baking but all cooking needs SALT! While enhancing the flavour of all ingredients in the recipe and giving the focaccia the ‘bready’ flavour we all love, it helps to tighten the gluten structure. That strengthening allows the dough to trap and hold more carbon dioxide more efficiently.

Olive oil: A huge secret to adding amazing flavour to focaccia is using a great-tasting olive oil. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, but find a good quality extra-virgin oil. Extra virgin oil is the least processed, it retains more vitamins and minerals and has a fruity, peppery flavour. There is a reason why Italians live and love harder than others. They love their oil!

Salt flakes: This is a nicety more than a necessity. Flaked salt tastes amazing, looks fancy and gives a nice little crunch.

hand pulling focaccia apart to show chewy texture

Food Science fun

  • How is gluten formed? On a microscopic level, Flour is made up of mainly starch and proteins. When flour comes into contact with water, the main proteins glutenin and gliadin get together and form Gluten. Kneading causes the proteins to rub against each other, causing them to untangle, join together and trap carbon dioxide.
  • What is No Knead dough? No-knead bread is a bread-making technique that uses a long fermentation (rising) time instead of kneading to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture and chewiness. Because there is no ‘rubbing’ action to untangle the proteins, we rely on enzymes to break down the long proteins and create shorter ones. Shorter proteins are then easier to untangle and join together to create gluten.
    • This process is lengthy, therefore recipes that are ‘no-knead’ need a long proof time and a lower level of yeast to ensure that the web-like structure is strong enough to eventually hold the carbon dioxide. If it were to proof too quickly, there would not be enough gluten to trap the air and it would be dense.
Close up of focaccia exterior

How to make No Knead Focaccia

  • Activate the yeast: In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve. Sit for a few minutes to ensure it is active.
  • Mix it all together: Add in the oil, flour and salt. Stir well and scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Add rosemary & garlic if you’d like now.
  • Quick or slow ferment
    • Long Ferment:
      • Leave out at room temperature or place in fridge to ferment for 14 to 24 hours or until at least doubled in volume. This will develop flavours and give a delicious texture.
    • Want to use it now?
      • You’ll have to lightly knead or stretch the dough to help build the gluten structure. The result wont be exactly the same as long ferment but you can have focaccia today! Place onto clean bench top and use oil to help keep dough from sticking. Yes, it will be very wet, use more oil. Knead for 3-5 minutes until it comes together. Place back into large bowl with a little oil, cover with cling film. Set aside in warm area until doubles in size (roughly 1 hr).
  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 220°C/440°F. Spread 2 to 3 tbsp oil evenly onto a deep, high sided baking tray (roughly 33cmx45cm/13x18inch). Use 2 trays if you are making pizza as it will be too thick.
  • Transfer: Remove the dough from the bowl and place it in the pan. Pour an additional 2 tbsp of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough using your fingers to gently dimple and stretch outwards. The dough may stretch inwards, so wait roughly 5 minutes before repeating enough times until the dough covers size of the pan. Cover & set aside for 45-60 minutes in a nice warm place to rise a little.
  • Dimple: Use fingers and create dimples in the dough. Sprinkle heavily with salt and extra oil as desired.
  • Bake: Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the top is brown and the bottom is crisp.
Close up of focaccia slices

Setting you up for success – Tips for perfecting no-knead focaccia

  • Note that this is a high-hydration dough that is designed to be proofed at a low temperature for longer period. The slow proof allows a lovely chewier texture and flavour.
  • Want a quicker version without the slow proof? 
    • Be aware that the final product will not be as chewy and soft, but it will still be light, airy, and delicious.
    • Let the mixed dough rise at room temperature until it has almost double in size, around 1 to 2 hours (depending on your room temp). Then continue with the next steps of the recipe.
  • Why is my Focaccia dense and tough?
    • Not allowing the focaccia to proof long enough in the fridge will prevent enough gluten from being formed. This causes flat and dense focaccia once baked. If you are short on time, preform some stretch and folds as this mimics the kneading process, helping to develop the gluten structure. It will make the dough more soft and elastic.
    • Your yeast could be dead. If you finish step 1 and after 10 minutes there is no bubbles present, your yeast is dead or the water may have been too hot. Try again with a new batch of yeast.
  • Why don’t I have to knead the long ferment version? The awesome thing about baking is the Science! I’ve written a little section Food Science Fun
  • I’ve tried to activate my yeast and there is no bubbles: The yeast could be dead. If you finish step 1 and after 10 minutes there is no bubbles present, your yeast is dead or the water may have been too hot. Try again with a new batch of yeast.
  • Can I make other flavoured focaccia? Of course! The toppings and mix-ins are endless. Try olives, cherry tomatoes, fresh garlic and herbs.
  • How do I store No Knead Focaccia? Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. I like to reheat in the oven to make it slightly crunchy again.
  • Can you freeze focaccia? Certainly! You can freeze semi-baked and fully baked focaccia. Place in an airtight freezer bag or wrap in cling film and store for up to 3 months.
Focaccia slices on wood plate with bowl of oil and dukkah to show serving suggestion.

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Let us know how it turned out for you! Comment below, tag @missmolly_makes on Instagram using #missmollymakes or visit us LIVE at twitch.tv/missmollymakes.com

The Best Focaccia Recipe

Servings 1 33x45cm/13×18″ Focaccia
A long, slow proofed no knead Focaccia that is deliciously crunchy yet soft and pillowy in the interior. Allowing the dough to rest 14 to 24 hours is the secret to the best focaccia recipe!
Makes 1 thick focaccia or 2 Detroit style pizzas.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proofing Time (optional) 14 hours
Total Time 15 hours

Equipment

  • large bowl
  • 33x45cm/13x18inch sheet tray

Ingredients
 

  • 625 g ( cups) water warmed
  • 7 g ( tsp) instant yeast
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 750 g (5½-6 cups) bread or plain flour
  • 11g (¾ tbsp) salt
  • 57+ g ( cups) olive oil
  • salt flakes

Optional

  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, stir together water, yeast, and honey to dissolve. Sit for a few minutes to ensure it is active.
  • Add in the oil, flour and salt. Stir well and scrape the sides of the bowl clean and cover with plastic wrap. Add rosemary & garlic if you'd like now.

Quick or slow ferment

  • Long Ferment:
    Leave out at room temperature or place in fridge to ferment for 14 to 24 hours or until at least doubled in volume. This will develop flavours and give a delicious texture.
    Use Now:
    You'll have to lightly knead or stretch the dough to help build the gluten structure. The result wont be exactly the same as long ferment but you can have focaccia today!
    Place onto clean bench top and use oil to help keep dough from sticking. Yes, it will be very wet, use more oil. Knead for 3-5 minutes until it comes together. Place back into large bowl with a little oil, cover with cling film. Set aside in warm area until doubles in size (roughly 1 hr).
  • Preheat oven to 220°C/440°F
  • Spread 2 to 3 tbsp oil evenly onto a deep, high sided baking tray (roughly 33cmx45cm/13x18inch). Use 2 trays if your making pizza as it will be too thick.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place in the pan. Pour an additional 2 tbsp of olive oil over dough and gently spread across. Gently stretch the dough using your fingers to gently dimple and stretch outwards. The dough may stretch inwards, so repeat every 5-10 minutes until the dough covers size of the pan. Cover & set aside for 45-60 minutes in a nice warm place to rise a little.
  • Use fingers and create dimples in the dough. Sprinkle heavily with salt and extra oil as desired. Bake straight away for 20-30 minutes or until top is brown and bottom is crisp.
  • Cool for 5 minutes then serve on its own or with cured meats, dukkah or as you wish!

Nutrition

Calories: 3351kcal | Carbohydrates: 576g | Protein: 95g | Fat: 71g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 12g | Monounsaturated Fat: 43g | Sodium: 4320mg | Potassium: 934mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Recipe Published: October 25, 2022 Last Updated: May 8, 2023

Did you make this recipe?

Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and tag @missmollymakes on Instagram and hashtag it #missmollymakes.

Lauren and Troy George, Creators of MissMollyMakes smiling to camera.

Hiya, I’m Lauren but you can call me Molly!

Former OR Nurse and self-taught home cook passionate about Approachable, No-Nonsense recipes to help you level up in the kitchen. Together with my husband Troy, we create simplified dishes for busy people with easy-to-find ingredients!
To learn more about us, our cooking show and more, click here!

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Leave a Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing focaccia, and so easy for a bread novice like myself.

    1. Miss Molly Makes Author says:

      Thankyou for taking the time to comment and the bread was delicious! <3 Molly xx

  2. 5 stars
    This recipe really goes a long way. We had both pizza bases and focaccia with the one batch! Super easy to make. Highly recommend.

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      Thanks so much! I’m so happy you love it. Good Pizza is now easier!

  3. Can I ask what brand of bread flour you like to us? Recipe sounds amazing! Would love to try it with a good bread flour.

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      Hey Amanda, I’m thrilled you are excited to make the focaccia! Honestly, I buy commercial sized bags of flour (12g/24lbs) as buying in bulk saves money and I bake alot. If I buy at a grocery store in Australia, usually it is ‘wallaby’ or ‘Luacke’. In the US, I would try King Arthur flour. What country are you based? At the end of the day, plain and bread flour both work and I’m not really picky with brands. Grab something in the middle price range and see how you go. Thanks for your question.

  4. BewareMyBrain says:

    5 stars
    “Ok, you know I’m a bread snob…that’s some damn good homemade bread!” – my partner J

    Directions were crystal clear and it was super easy, even if it was my first time measuring everything with scales instead of by volume. The contrast between the crunchy crusts and soft, chewy middle is superb. Looking forward to making again and again!

    1. Miss Molly Author says:

      5 stars
      This review makes me so happy! I love that you’re a bread snob and it makes me even more chuffed that you love this recipe! Thanks for the review!

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