This No Knead Black Pepper Focaccia recipe is a really great option if you are a beginner and want to try your hand at bread. It requires zero skill and background knowledge of bread and yeast. It will also make your home smell so amazing!
Why You’ll LOVE This No Knead Focaccia Bread Recipe
I had to share this Black Pepper Focaccia with you because it is the perfect bread option for dinner parties and holidays.
- IT IS HANDS OFF, set it and forget it type of bread that cuts down on the stress of preparing a large dinner.
- EASIER TO MAKE THAN ROLLS and it tastes a lot better than store-bought bread. That is a win-win in my book.
- STEP BY STEP RECIPE, so if you are nervous about making a yeasted dough, don’t stress, I’ve got you every step of the way with tips, photos, and even a video. It is so easy!
- GREAT RECIPE TO MAKE DECORATED FOCACCIA. I include examples below, I made a Christmas tree and an Easter bunny and tulip scene in the past with this recipe.
What Is Focaccia Bread?
It is bread heaven! Focaccia is a type of Italian bread that is flat and full of texture (as you can see). I mean look at those air bubbles. Is there anything more satisfying? This recipe is no knead which means it is even easier to make and totally hands off!
Focaccia can be used as sandwich bread, a side to mop up sauces and soups, or even a replacement to dinner rolls at family parties. You can also use it like pizza crust and top it with whatever you want. Another option is to serve it as an appetizer with an herbed oil or butter. We love it on pasta night too. The possibilities are really endless with this.
No Knead Black Pepper Focaccia Ingredients
- All purpose flour: I prefer unbleached from King Arthur Flour. Feel free to use your favorite brand or what you have on hand. I have not tested bread flour in this recipe.
- Salt: To boost flavors.
- Active dry yeast: It is rehydrated/activated with the water and refrigerator time. Fleischmann’s is the best brand to use. Using instant dry yeast causes the rise to happen much quicker than we want so I do not recommend it for this recipe.
- Cracked black pepper: Freshly ground from a pepper mill is the best (I use a medley of peppercorns). I recommend using only 1 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper and 2 teaspoons of ground black pepper.
- Water: 110° F is essential! If the water is too warm it will kill your yeast, too cool and it will not activate your yeast.
- Olive oil: Light flavored extra virgin olive oil works best for this recipe. I have found that bold, full flavored olive oil tastes a little too strong for the focaccia.
How to Make No Knead Black Pepper Focaccia
The First Rise
In a large bowl combine the flour, salt, yeast, and cracked black pepper. Add the 110° F water. Fold until it comes together into a rough dough ball. Grease the dough with olive oil, cover the bowl with saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator. Allow the focaccia to rise for 12 to 16 hours.
TIP: If you do not coat the dough ball in olive oil well it will dry out in the refrigerator. If it dries out the dough ball will not rise fully.
The Second Rise
Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a greased baking dish. Lightly stretch the dough until it is the same thickness and coat with more oil. Cover with a dish towel and allow it to rise for 4 hours in a warm, dry space. Near the end of the rise time set your oven to 425° F.
TIP: If it is cool in your home or you do not have a sunlight window, place the baking dish on a heating pad set at low. I did this ALL THE TIME in Michigan.
Dimple and Bake
Grease your finger tips and lightly dimple the dough. Dimpling means pressing your fingers straight up and down in the dough to create dimples. It is unique to focaccia dough.
Add any special seasonings and toppings at this point. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
TIP: Try adding garlic seasoning, caramelized onions, bacon, and shredded cheese to the top of your focaccia. It is so good!
Why Does This No Knead Black Pepper Focaccia Recipe Take So Long?
Because this is a hands off dough, meaning no knead, it requires more time to build up gluten and rise. It also makes this dough so much tastier because the flavors continue to develop.
You do want to make sure to set a timer and keep an eye on your dough. If it rises too long it will become tough and sour once you bake it. This can happen too if you use instant yeast versus active yeast which I talked about in the Ingredient Notes.
TIP: Your bread will be done rising when it looks soft, bloated, and has doubled in size.
Decorate Your No Knead Focaccia Bread
It is so easy to decorate focaccia bread with vegetables, herbs, and even dried fruits. Once your focaccia bread has gone through it’s second rise, you gently decorate it however you like, brush it with olive oil one last time, and bake as directed.
For Easter you can make a tulip and bunny scene using bell peppers, grape tomatoes, green onions, and mushrooms. Pictured below on left.
For Christmas you can make a Christmas tree using sage, rosemary, grape tomatoes for bulbs on the tree. Pictured below on the right.
Use any leftover focaccia to make this Panzanella Salad. It is crusty bread, vegetables, and a yummy dressing.
For More Basic Baking Recipes, Check These Out:
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No Knead Black Pepper Focaccia
- To a large bowl, add the flour, salt, yeast, and cracked black pepper. Stir until combined.
- Add the 110 °F water. Fold with a spatula until fully combined.
- Coat the dough in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil, cover with saran wrap, and place in the refrigerator for 12-16 hours to rise.
- Deflate the dough and turn it out onto an olive oil greased sheet pan. Alternatively two 9 inch cake pans can make 2 focaccia loaves (like mine).
- Lightly stretch the dough into a loose rectangle that is about 3/4 inch thick. Coat the dough with a tablespoon of olive oil.
- Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm, dry place for 4 hours to rise.
- Near the end of the rise time, preheat your oven to 425 °F.
- Grease your finger tips with olive oil and lightly dimple the dough by pressing down and lifting straight up with your fingertips. Do this gently, it will look like a brain when you are done.
- Add any seasoning, cheeses, or toppings you would like. I kept it simple with garlic and Italian seasoning.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and fully baked.
- In an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.