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Focaccia Genovese

This Focaccia Genovese with olives and onions is an Italian classic that’s soft, fluffy and exceptionally tasty!

A perfect side for dunking into steaming soups or part of an antipasto platter, this focaccia Genovese is also easy to make!!

close up of focaccia genovese with green olives on top and sliced onions on other pieces with more focaccia in the background.
Just how you like it – crispy outside but tender and soft inside.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Focaccia Genovese is the famous focaccia from the port city of Genoa in Liguria, Italy. The classic focaccia is usually left to rise for 12-14 hours just like my Ligurian Focaccia but we don’t always have time for that.

This recipe is ready in just a few hours. While the flavor that develops with long fermentation is fantastic, I promise that this Focaccia Genovese is so tasty that I can never stop at just one slice.

The secret is quality ingredients particularly the olive oil. Buy the best you can afford. I like local olive oil because it’s most likely to be fresh.

Choose large green olives with stones in. Just slice off the flesh in large chunks. These will taste much better the pitted olives but you choose – it’s your Focaccia Genovese!

For complete ingredient quantities and full instructions, please scroll to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page.

Ingredient notes

ingredients as in the recipe card viewed from above.

As well as the usual focaccia ingredients like all purpose plain flour or bread flour, yeast, olive oil, a little honey, salt and warm water, this Focaccia Genovese uses some of the typical toppings.

  • green olives – I prefer stone-in (de-seed before using) but you can use pitted
  • onion – sliced thinly and rubbed with olive oil

Variations

There are so many variations of toppings for Focaccia Genovese. Here are some suggestions. Instead of olives and onions top with:-

  • fresh rosemary
  • chunks of cheese such are mozzarella or taleggio
  • black olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • grapes
  • garlic

Instructions

6-step photo collage showing how to prepare this recipe.
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the warm water with yeast and honey and let it stand until bubbly.
  2. Work in the flour, rest 5 minutes then add the oil and salt and mix until smooth and elastic.
  3. Set aside to rise until doubled.
  4. Tip the dough onto a well oil baking pan and fold several times.
  5. Stretch the dough to fit the pan. It will take time and the dough will start to rise again.
  6. Press the olives into one half of the dough and scatter oiled onion slices over the other side. Pour over the brine and allow the dough to rise before baking until golden brown.

Tips for success and FAQ’s

squares of bread topped with green olives and onions.

This is not the sort of recipe that you can skimp on olive oil. Use the full quantity in the recipe and make sure it’s good oil that you like the taste of.

Avoid adding extra flour to the dough because this will make the focaccia dense. Use oil to stop the dough sticking to your hands or anything else!

It’s important that when the Focaccia Genovese is baked, it is taken out of the pan and onto a wire rack. This way the bottom doesn’t steam and end up soggy.

Is focaccia the same as pizza?

Focaccia is not the same. It’s is much lighter and fluffier that pizza. Plus the toppings are simple on a focaccia so that the dough is not weighed dough. Pizza is more of a meal and focaccia is more of a side or starter.

Why did my focaccia stick in the baking pan?

It could be that you didn’t use enough olive oil. Or the baking pan is not of good quality. Be sure to use a heavy, not one that is old, maybe rusty or has seen better days.

How long will Focaccia Genovese stay fresh?

Ideally, it’s best eat focaccia within hours of baking. But I will keep the bread in a sealed container in the refrigerator (or at room temperature in a cool climate) for a day or two. Reheat in the oven until warmed through and a bit crispy. Never reheat in the microwave – you won’t be happy.

focaccia bread with green olives on top and sliced onions on other pieces viewed from above.

More recipe like this

Calabrese Pizza
Cheese and Bacon Bread
Portuguese Bread
Grissini Breadsticks

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close up of focaccia bread with green olives on top and sliced onions on other pieces

Focaccia Genovese Recipe

This Focaccia is famous in Liguria, Italy. Gleaming with olive oil, scattered with slices onions or studded with green olives, this bread is soft and exceptionally tasty!
4.98 from 46 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Rising and resting time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 22 minutes
Servings:16 slices
Author: Marcellina

Equipment

  • 15in x 10in (38cm x 25cm) heavy baking pan

Ingredients

  • 1⅓ cups (315mls) warm water
  • teaspoons (7 grams) active dried yeast
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • cups (400g) all purpose (plain) flour or bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Topping

  • cup large green olives, pitted or whole de-seeded green olives
  • ½ onion sliced thinly
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Brine

  • ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

To finish

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil extra for brushing after focaccia has baked

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together warm water, dried active yeast and honey. Allow to stand approximately 10 minutes until frothy.
  • Using the dough hook on the stand mixer (or use your hands), add flour to the water/yeast mixture and combine until mixture comes together. Stand 5 minutes.
  • Add oil and salt and continue to mix for 5 minutes (or 7 minutes by hand) until smooth and elastic.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil onto baking pan with sides.
  • Tip the dough gently onto the oiled, 15in x 10in (38cm x 25cm) baking pan.
  • Press out gently to flatten slightly to degas a little. Pick up one side of the dough stretch it, fold it over and onto itself. Repeat on all sides.
  • Gently stretch the dough to fit the pan. You will need to place your hands under the dough and stretch it. Don't worry if it doesn't fully stretch to fit. Set aside for 30 minutes. During the time you'll be able to stretch it out to fit.
  • After 30 minutes, make indentations with your fingers into the dough. Press in at an angle.
  • Press olive halves (or whole de-seeded green olives) into one half of the dough. Rub onion slices with olive oil then scatter onion slices over the other half.
  • Mix together brine ingredients until salt is dissolved. Pour over dimpled dough. Allow to proof for 30 minutes until puffy and bubbly.
  • In the meantime preheat oven to 450°F (235°C).
  • Sprinkle with flaky salt and bake on the centre rack for 20 minutes. Then move to the upper rack and bake for another 5-7 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately turn onto a wire rack. Drizzle or brush 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over the baked focaccia. Don't worry if it pools in the dimples, the oil will gradually soak into the bread.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature cut into large squares.

Notes

Variations
There are so many variations of toppings for Focaccia Genovese. Here are some suggestions. Instead of olives and onions top with:-
  • fresh rosemary
  • chunks of cheese such are mozzarella or taleggio
  • black olives
  • cherry tomatoes
  • mushrooms
  • grapes
  • garlic
Tips for success
This is not the sort of recipe that you can skimp on olive oil. Use the full quantity in the recipe and make sure it’s good oil that you like the taste of.
Avoid adding extra flour to the dough because this will make the focaccia dense. Use oil to stop the dough sticking to your hands or anything else!
It’s important that when the Focaccia Genovese is baked, it is taken out of the pan and onto a wire rack. This way the bottom doesn’t steam and end up soggy.
FAQ’s
Why did my focaccia stick in the baking pan?
It could be that you didn’t use enough olive oil. Or the baking pan is not of good quality. Be sure to use a heavy, not one that is old, maybe rusty or has seen better days.
How long will Focaccia Genovese stay fresh?
Ideally, it’s best eat focaccia within hours of baking. But I will keep the bread in a sealed container in the refrigerator (or at room temperature in a cool climate) for a day or two. Reheat in the oven until warmed through and a bit crispy. Never reheat in the microwave – you won’t be happy.
 
Tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and leave a comment below!

Nutritional Estimate Per Serving

Calories: 149kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 482mg | Potassium: 48mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. For accurate results, it is recommended that the nutritional information be calculated based on the ingredients and brands you use.

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Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I made this today for the second time – the first time I made it as explained, but this time I put red onions, tomato’s and black olives on it, along with roasted garlic on it just before baking. I did adde the oil on it after baking, along with a bit more of the garlic. The BEST I’ve made and will make it again and again!

  2. 5 stars
    Your Focaccia was nice and one thing spoiled it. In England most of us have fan ovens so 235c was far too high. 200c fan would have been better. Mine was over baked but still enjoyed the softer pieces. Ciao

    1. That’s a shame that it overcooked. I do have a fan forced oven. Maybe your oven runs particularly hot. I have a thermometer in my oven to check the temp. It helps a lot. I hope you bake it again at a lower temp. Thanks for letting me know.

  3. Focaccia is one of my favourite Italian classics. Yours turned out absolutely perfect. Thanks for sharing all the great tips too.
    angiesrecipes

  4. Love it! One of my favorite snack foods. The only problem is, I can eat so much of it that my snack turns into a meal, lol!