Garlic Focaccia to Fill Your Bread Basket

Be the hit of the party serving a bread basket filled with this tender Garlic Focaccia. It’s soft and fluffy, yet redolent in garlic and the bit of sea salt.

Garlic Focaccia to Fill Your Bread Basket | Good Cheap Eats

I first tasted focaccia when I was 20 years old, working in Brigitte’s Bakery on State Street in Santa Barbara. Brigitte’s not only sold the bread in their shop and restaurant, but also to other restaurants along the major shopping thorough fare. Back in the day, Barcliff & Bair made an exceptional sandwich on Brigitte’s focaccia.

Both restaurants have now changed hands and names, but the memories remain for me! I was just cutting my gourmet teeth of foods that I had never ever heard about.

Funnily enough, now that I’ve been baking my own focaccia for over 15 years, my kids don’t even call it that. I can’t even believe I’m going to tell you…

But, at our house the nickname for this dish is Baby’s Bottom. (Because it’s so soft.) I’m not sure when that moniker originated, but it stuck. And it always gets a double take from dinner guests.

We also serve larvae and bloody arms on occasion, but that’s for another post. We’re not your average family.

Garlic Focaccia to Fill Your Bread Basket | Good Cheap Eats

I can’t take all the credit for this recipe. The basic idea is based on a recipe from my all-time favorite bread machine cookbook and then I tweaked it a little, using whole wheat flour and changing up the preparation a little bit.

Garlic Focaccia is a regular staple around here and there are rarely leftovers. But, when there are, they make great croutons. Watch this video to see how easy it is to make croutons.

Serve this soft, flavorful bread as a side dish or as a base for pizza or sandwiches. I’ve even wrapped the dough around string cheese sticks and pepperoni for some very yummy pizza snacks.

Originally published January 13, 2010. Updated May 6, 2017.

Garlic Focaccia | Good Cheap Eats

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  1. beautifulladybird says:

    I made this tonight and it was wonderfully delicious!

    For the commenters who were asking: I made it in my kitchen aid mixer since I don't have a bread machine. I proofed the yeast, then added in the dry ingredients and let knead until the dough was smooth and elastic – perhaps seven minutes. Then I followed FishMama's baking directions.

  2. Fantastic recipe & super easy! Has anyone tried making this recipe with less oil? It was really delicious when I baked it yesterday (as per recipe) but I was a little bit alarmed by the amount of oil I added. Just wondering if reducing the oil would spoil the end result?

  3. this looks simple enough to make before a meal at my house. I will try it this week. thanks

  4. This is our favorite bread recipe at home now!! Every time we have soup my son asks “Where’s the bread?” I have a hard time staying away from it before dinner though… Thank you for posting this Jessica! 🙂

  5. This was delicious when I made it last night – so easy and fast! However, when I pulled it out of the fridge today (less than 24 hours later), it had a heavy sprinkling of what looked like white mold spots over the top. Did I do something wrong? I’ve never had bread go bad on me that fast.

    • I don’t think that’s mold. I am guessing that’s the extra olive oil that hardened. I don’t store mine in the fridge. But, that is my guess. Or the salt crystallized.

  6. I started to use the meal plans and they are great. I notice you use a bread machine …. I don’t own one… can I knead the dough and for how long…

  7. Jennifer Hoffman says:

    How long can the dough sit out? I need to make it in the morning so I am wondering if I can let it sit out before dinner when I bake it.

  8. Hi!
    I made the bread this past weekend, and I must say it was so tasty! I baked it and put some farm fresh veggies (eggplant, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes) on it. YUM. My only issue is the bread was a little too thick (maybe I had smaller pan or something). I would probably just divide the dough into two next time. Also if you want to add your own veggies I would recommend putting them right on top of the dough when you first bake it. Overall this is an excellent recipe I am definitely making again. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love your email, the focaccia caught my attention until you went to a bread machine. I do not like those monsters. I have seen great bread recipes reduced to a wonder bread goo. I am a fan of old country coarse texture bread.
    Any hints on doing the recipe without the machine. I have not baked bread for some time but did at least a loaf a week while living in a cabin in the mountains of Wyoming. Wood stove glory.

    • I have been through more bread machines than I can count, so now I’m making bread by hand. I have this on my list to revise the instructions, but hopefully you can make out my shorthand here for now.

      Warm the water to about 115 degrees. Stir in the yeast and let it proof for about five minutes. Add the smaller amount of olive oil. Stir in the flours, salt, garlic powder, and oregano. Knead until you have a smooth dough. (I do this in my stand mixer because I don’t like the sticky feeling.) Transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to rise. Proceed with the rest of the recipe. Hope that helps!

  10. Shandon-dy R Diehl says:

    The directions between this recipe ance the one in your book vary slightly. The book says to divide into three portions after the first rise. Does it matter if it is divided or not? Only asking because i would need it divided because of oven space. Thanks!

    • No. You can make it as big or as small as you like. The version in the book allows for easier freezing and allots for 4 servings per loaf. I’ve formed the dough into 1-person portions before as well.

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