Green olive and rosemary focaccia

Green olive and rosemary focaccia

B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself

One of my favourite breads for sharing. Whenever we have mates round at the weekend, I always make a few for dipping in oil and vinegar while we listen to the kids causing havoc in the garden. Focaccia has a good ‘effort-to-glory’ ratio too, so have a go and knock up a few loaves for yourself.


Quantity Ingredient
500g strong white bread flour, plus more if needed
2 teaspoons table salt
1 tablespoon ‘quick’ yeast
50ml olive oil, plus more to knead, prove and shape
350ml water
20 pitted green olives, in brine or oil
a few sprigs rosemary
sea salt flakes
freshly coarse-ground black pepper

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
empty ice-cream tub or large plastic container
2 baking trays
2 wire cooling racks


  1. Measure the flour, salt and yeast into a bowl, making sure you add the salt and yeast to opposite sides of the bowl, then mix with a wooden spoon. Add the 50 ml of olive oil and all the water and combine with the spoon until you have a wet dough.
  2. Pour about 2 tablespoons of olive oil on to a work surface and tip out the dough on to it. Knead for at least 10 minutes. The dough will be sloppy and this is going to be a messy business, so don’t worry if you get your hands covered. Use your judgement about whether to add more flour; don’t add too much, as it should remain a wet dough.
  3. Oil an ice-cream tub or any large plastic container (more than 2-litre capacity) and plop the dough in. Cover with cling film and leave to rise at room temperature for 1–1½ hours until it has at least doubled in size. It might be worth taking a photo of the dough on your phone so you can compare later to see whether it has risen enough.
  4. Pour another couple of teaspoons of oil on to a work surface and gently tip out the risen dough. Take 2 long knives and oil the blades. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces: use 1 knife to cut them, then slide the other knife alongside the first and use both knives to push the halves apart. (This is the easiest way of prising the dough into 2 pieces.) Gently pick up each half and place on a baking tray lined with baking parchment, forming each into a thin lozenge shape.
  5. Cover with a plastic bag and leave to rise for 45 minutes. (The bag shouldn’t touch the loaves but should form a tent around them.)
  6. Preheat the oven to 220°C and uncover the dough. Cut the olives in half lengthways and press firmly into the dough. Drizzle with a few more tablespoon of oil and lay cut sprigs of rosemary on top. Season with sea salt flakes and pepper.
  7. Bake for 20–25 minutes, then remove and cool on 2 wire racks. Drizzle with more olive oil before cutting into strips and eating.


  • This recipe has a level 2 (intermediate) difficulty.


  • Try covering these with sun-dried tomatoes, marinated artichoke hearts or roast garlic cloves. Maybe stick a bit of Parma ham or grated Parmesan on top. Or use black olives instead of green. Just remember to make at least two loaves, because they are definitely for sharing.
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