You will be delighted once you realize how easy it is to make this lovely, fragrant focaccia bread recipe. The flavor has a pleasant bite from including parmesan cheese and aromatics from the garden herbs.
This cheese herb focaccia bread recipe is practically foolproof, making it an excellent recipe for bakers of any skill levels—including beginners.
As you bake this herb focaccia bread you will perfume your entire home with wonderful fragrances that will make your mouth water and send everyone to the kitchen. Folks will hardly be able to wait for your focaccia bread to finish baking.
WARNING: It will be gone in no time, so you may want to plan ahead and double your herb focaccia recipe!
What Is Focaccia Bread?
Focaccia, also called Italian flatbread, resembles a pan pizza crust. However, it is thicker and with a denser texture.
This bread comes from the Liguria region of Italy, on the western border of the country. They share a border and Mediterranean coastline with France. Perhaps you know the region as “The Italian Riviera.”
And like their French neighbors, the Italians in this region appreciate the simplicity of kicking back with friends in the evenings. They often share a nice bottle of wine and a simply prepared meal of fresh foods procured from the market that day.
Focaccia is almost always on this menu, along with olive oil with fresh herbs for dipping and a wedge of parmesan cheese.
Notably, many historians credit Genoa, the main city of the region, as the birthplace of parmesan. Of course, that makes the cheese a popular addition to many dishes.
If you want to add more fresh culinary herbs to your foods, they’re easy to grow, indoors or out, for easy access to these healthy bursts of flavor and nutrients.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We also grow microgreens, especially during winter, to have a ready supply of some of the most nutritious foods in the world, only a snip away.
Baking Versus Cooking
Are you a competent cook, but baking seems to elude you? Or maybe you shy away from homemade breads because it seems difficult?
Whether you’re a tentative baker or well seasoned, 😉 give this herb and cheese focaccia bread a try. This focaccia recipe is more forgiving than others you may find. It requires minimal ingredients and just a few steps.
As you follow along, be very careful to measure everything accurately and follow all the steps. Baking is not hard once you get the hang of it.
The term ‘cooking‘ loosely refers to all food preparation methods using a heating method.
Cooking methods can include:
- Cooking on top of your stove
- Preparing food over a campfire
- Frying in fat or oil
- Heating food in a microwave oven
- Braising or roasting in the oven
- Baking bread, pies, cakes, or cookies
- Using an electric air fryer, pressure cooker, crockpot, or rotisserie
These cooking methods are easy to master with just a little practice, and you can generally correct mistakes relatively easy with simple adjustments. That’s why you might see measurements on recipe cards calling for a “pinch” or a “smidge” scrawled out in your mother’s handwriting.
However, the term baking applies solely to cooking food in an oven in dry heat conditions. It is a more scientific method, requiring more precise measuring to get the desired outcome.
So if you found yourself struggling with baking in the past, slow down, measure accurately, and follow all the instructions to the letter.
Should You Select Dried or Fresh Herbs?
Garden fresh herbs will always give your herb focaccia bread the most potent flavors.
However, you might not have access to them in the cold months. An excellent second choice is to grow your own organic herbs, dehydrate them yourself, and store them for the off-season.
Purchasing herbs at the store should serve as your last resort–there’s not telling the quality of the flavor until you get home and open up the bottle.
This easy-to-make focaccia bread is soft and chewy with a cheesy bite of Parmesan cheese and fragrant garden herbs.
- 1 1/3 cup of warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of fast-acting yeast
- 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 3 1/2 cups of bread flour
- 1/8 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup of finely grated parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of parsley
- 2 teaspoons of sweet basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400°.
- Proof the yeast: Put the warm water, yeast, and honey into the mixing bowl for your stand mixer.
- After the yeast bubbles up, it's ready to use.
- Add the flour to the mixing bowl. Use a spatula to moisten the dry ingredients.
- Attach the dough hook to your stand mixer. Mix the dough for about four to five minutes, or until a ball forms.
- Stop the mixer; add the parmesan cheese and herbs. Restart the mixer for one more minute, or until you incorporate the herbs evenly.
- Firmly over the dough with a sheet of plastic wrap. Let rise in a cool, draft-free spot for 20 minutes. The dough will roughly double in size.
- Coat the baking sheet with a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Press the dough into the baking sheet, stretching it as you go. Pierce the dough with a fork to prevent air bubbles. Pour the remaining olive oil over the bread and shake on a little extra parmesan cheese.
- Bake the focaccia bread for 30 minutes. It looks similar to pizza dough, but it will be thicker and taller.
- When you have a light golden brown finish, remove from the oven. Let it cool and cut into pieces. Enjoy!
Variations on Herb and Cheese Focaccia Bread
This particular recipe uses parsley, oregano, garlic powder, and sweet basil. Those happen to be my favorites. However, it would be best if you experimented with the seasonings and herbs that you prefer. Take this basic recipe, and give it your own signature stamp.
Some other flavors that you can try include these:
- Lemon peel (or other citrus)
- Cheddar cheese
- Romano cheese
- Black pepper
RELATED: Growing herbs
Serving and Storing Your Focaccia
When you remove the bread from the oven, let it cool for five minutes. I use a pizza cutter to make diamond-shaped pieces. But don’t worry, square cuts taste just as scrumptious!
Unlike bread you purchase at the grocery store, this focaccia contains no preservatives. It makes a large sheet pan, so you will likely have some leftovers.
Once the bread is completely cool, wrap it in aluminum foil, then put it into an airtight food storage bag. It does have cheese in it, so store it in the fridge. Reheat individual pieces wrapped in foil in the oven for just a few minutes, and it will taste great the next day.
Eat it within three days, as the lack of preservatives means that it can stale quickly.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with the flavors that you love! Take this recipe, add your favorite flavors to season it, and proudly master this beginner baking recipe.
Serving Ideas for Herb Focaccia Recipe
There’s no limit to ways to enjoy this savory Cheese Herb Focaccia Bread Recipe, but here are a few ideas.
Appetizers & Hors D’oeuvres
- Avocado Egg Salad
- Garlic Parmesan Shrimp
- Focaccia Pizza – top with your favorite marinara sauce, some Italian cheese and you’ve got a pizza bread, great for snacks, on the go and a hardy salad side dish.
- Vegetable Roasted Zucchini & Summer Squash Lasagna – One of our favorite 5-Star dishes that uses garden harvest of summer squash plus herbs from the garden for the focaccia bread recipe.
- Zucchini Noodles with Arrabbiata Sauce
- Spaghetti (of course)! A favorite store-bought organic spaghetti sauce for a quick meal with special pasta, such as this organic gluten free spaghetti noodles.
Be sure to include a little extra salad dressing for sopping with the corners of your focaccia triangles. YUM!
Soups, Stews & Chili
And these ideas are just to get you started! We’d love to hear your creative ideas on how you enjoy eating and serving this simple cheese herb focaccia bread recipe.