Olives and Herbs Focaccia Bread


Another recipe from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, the master dough for this bread is an olive oil dough that can keep in the refrigerator for up to 12 days!   I kept mine for 5 days and then used it to make  this wonderful Focaccia bread with olives and Herbs de Provence.  This same dough is alo great for pizza dough, stromboli or calzone.

Olive Oil Dough (makes four 1-pound loaves, as adapted from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)


  • 2 1/4 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tbs yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour


  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and olive oil with the water in a bowl.
  2. Mix in the flour without kneading, using a wooden spoon or your hands, until all the flour is incorporated.
  3. Cover and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.
  4. You can use this dough immediately after Step 3 or you can refrigerate in a lidded container for up to 12 days.


Olives, Onions and Herbs de Provence Focaccia Bread


  • 1 pound of Olive Oil dough at room temperature
  • 1 medium size onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp herbs de provence
  • 1 tbs course salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup slice black olives


  1. Preheat oven to 425F with an empty broiler tray on any shelf.
  2. Grease a sheet pan with a bit of olive oil or line with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  3. Dust dough with flour and shape into a ball. Flatten  into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle using your hands and place on greased sheet pan. Stretch as much as you can until it is almost touching the sides of the pan.
  4. Saute onion slices in olive oil until soft. Let cool.  Mix herbs de provence in remaining olive oil. Set aside.
  5. Sprinkle sliced olives on top of stretched dough.  Add the onion slices and then the herbed oil.  Finish with coarse saldt and ground black pepper.
  6. Allow the focaccia to rest and rise for 20 minutes or until the dough fills the sheet pan on the sides.
  7. After it has rested and risen, place in heated oven. Pour 1 cup of hot tap water on the empty broiler pan then immediately close the oven.
  8. Bake for 25 – 35 minutes, until crust is medium brown.  Baking time will vary depending on how thick the focaccia bread is.
  9. Let cool on wire rack and then cut into squares or smaller rectangles.  Serve with marinara sauce (a can of traditional spaghetti sauce will warmed in the microwave worked well for me!)
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» Sweetcharity said: { Mar 3, 2009 - 12:03 }

Beautiful bread! I love the addition of olives, onions, and herbs…

» Manang said: { Mar 3, 2009 - 11:03 }

hmmm…this looks so good!!!
I had always been afraid to let dough rise for more than an hour…whenever I have a dough that i forgot about and over-rose, it smelled soury and yucky…
So maybe 2 hrs to wait for that to collapse is ok…no sour smell???
It looks great and seems promising! I can imagine having some feta cheese with spinach and black olives as toppings as well…yummmmmm!!!!!

» lisaiscooking said: { Mar 4, 2009 - 10:03 }

Looks fantastic! I keep hearing so much about this book, I’m going to have to get a copy!

» virtual chef said: { Mar 4, 2009 - 02:03 }

manang: no sour smell. just the wonderful scent of yeast fermenting and the promise of yummy bread!

» Elyse said: { Mar 5, 2009 - 02:03 }

I’m guaranteed to be a fan of anything called “olive oil bread.” My favorite kind of focaccia is the type where you can taste the olive oil when you crunch into the bread, when the bread is moist and flavorful. Looks like this recipe does just that. It looks wonderfully delicious!! Can’t wait to try it.

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