This vegan focaccia recipe is easy to make and creates delicious, herbed bread. Ideal to serve alongside any meal as is, or toast it with some butter for a nice twist!
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Focaccia bread is one of the easiest loaves of bread you can make!
During undergraduate studies, my class had to run a restaurant and every day the menu included fresh focaccia bread. Nobody except me had made bread before, so I spent a whole semester making loaves of focaccia and I can do it in my sleep these days!
The restaurant recipe wasn’t vegan, but with a few simple tweaks, I’ve recreated the delicious bread for anyone to enjoy.
There are a few steps involved in making focaccia, but most of the time required is simply waiting for the dough to double in size, twice. Patience is a good thing to practice in the kitchen!
Whole Grain Focaccia
In school, I made focaccia bread entirely from all-purpose flour. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I love the flavor and texture offered by adding whole wheat flour.
So that’s what I did! This recipe uses a ratio of about 1/3 whole wheat and 2/3 all-purpose flour, but you can make it with entirely all-purpose flour if you prefer.
Going 100% whole wheat isn’t recommended for this recipe because it creates a tough loaf that will be incredibly dense.
If you want a fully whole wheat bread option, stick around because I’ve been working on a whole wheat dinner roll recipe and you won’t want to miss it!
How Long Can You Let Focaccia Bread Rise?
You should always wait for your bread loaf to at least double in size, but many people wonder if you can leave it longer than that.
The answer is yes and no!
You can certainly let the dough rise on the counter for up to a few hours (if say, you get distracted). However, it’s best to not let it sit out too long as the dough starts to dry out.
If the dough isn’t rising and you’ve waited at least an hour, there was probably something wrong with the yeast and it’s best to just start over.
Toppings and Decoration
Decorating focaccia bread seems to be quite popular; there are works of art being created on this bread. While I love to get creative, this recipe’s toppings are simple and straight forward so anyone can make it!
However, if you want to get creative, there are plenty of delicious vegan focaccia bread toppings including:
- Fresh rosemary
- Sliced tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are great)
- Sliced olives (black or green!)
- Minced garlic or roasted garlic
- Garlic butter (see below for directions)
- Vegan parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil (add after baking)
- Herb or garlic infused oil
- Caramelized onions
- Diced artichoke hearts
- Chives or green onion (can be added after baking)
- Grated vegan cheese shreds
- Grilled zucchini or eggplant
- Vegan goats cheese crumbles (added after baking)
- Fresh lemon zest
- Nuts and seeds (toasted or roasted is a great choice)
- Roasted red pepper (or fresh bell pepper slices)
- Sun dried tomatoes
- Herbs and spices – whatever you like!
There are countless options and you can be as creative as you like! Think about the flavors of the meal you want to serve focaccia with, then compliment that meal with the bread toppings.
How to Serve
Focaccia bread can be sliced however you like and served as is. However, there are a couple fun ways to serve focaccia if you want something different!
Toasting focaccia bread is a fantastic way to add flavor to this delicious loaf. In the restaurant I worked at, the focaccia was cut into triangles, buttered on either side (easy to sub for vegan butter or margarine) then placed onto a flat top griddle.
Either side of the bread was toasted to golden brown perfection before serving!
This is truly a spectacular way to enjoy focaccia bread. You could achieve a similar outcome using an indoor grill or barbecue.
Focaccia Bread Sandwich
There’s also an option to slice the bread horizontally so you can create a delicious focaccia bread sandwich!
Focaccia sandwiches can be filled with whatever you like so get creative.
You can toast the bread (in a toaster or toaster oven), butter then grill the bread (as above) or use a Panini press to create your delicious sandwich.
Add Garlic Butter
Vegan garlic butter is simple and a delicious way to add flavor to this focaccia bread recipe.
You can either make melted garlic butter and use it in place of the olive oil, or create a solid garlic butter to spread onto the bread before toasting is (as above).
Either option is unbelievably delicious and will please any garlic-lover you know!
However you serve this vegan focaccia recipe I hope you enjoy. I’d absolutely love to see your creations so share your pictures with me on Instagram by tagging @lettucevegout!
Vegan Focaccia | Easy Herbed Focaccia Bread
- Large mixing bowl
- Kitchen towel
- Baking tray
- Parchment paper
- 1 ½ C lukewarm water
- 1 ½ tbsp agave syrup
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 ½ tsp salt (divided)
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil (divided)
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 2 ½ C all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp cornmeal (optional)
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme (or rosemary)
- Place 1 ½ C lukewarm water into a large mixing bowl. Lukewarm water is 100-110 °F (feels warm to the touch but doesn’t steam).
- Stir 1 ½ tbsp agave syrup into the water, then sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit until the yeast has dissolved and created a foamy texture (about 5 minutes).
- Add 2 tsp olive oil and 1 tsp salt to the yeast mixture. Stir in 1 C whole wheat flour and 2 C all purpose flour until a ball of dough starts to form.
- Sprinkle ¼ C all-purpose flour onto your counter and place the dough onto this flour. Knead for 1-2 minutes until a smooth ball of dough forms. The texture will be somewhat sticky but shouldn’t be so sticky that large pieces stick to your hands and rip off the dough. If needed, add 1-2 tbsp of additional all-purpose flour to get this texture.
- Lightly oil the large mixing bowl and place the dough in it. Lightly brush some oil on the top of the dough (to prevent it drying out). Cover with a kitchen towel and let sit until the dough is double in size. This takes 30-60 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of the room.
- Prepare a baking tray by covering it with parchment paper. Optional to sprinkle 1 tbsp of cornmeal across the parchment (creates a crispier/ textured bottom for the focaccia bread).
- Once the dough is double in size, dump it onto the parchment paper and shape into a rectangle by pressing the dough down with your fingers. The dough should be at least an inch thick. Leave visible dimples in the surface of the dough for a classic focaccia appearance.
- Cover the formed loaf with a kitchen towel and allow to double in size again for another 30-60 minutes.
- Once it’s doubled, preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Carefully spread 2 tbsp olive oil across the top of the bread along with about ½ tsp salt and 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves (stems removed). You can decorate your focaccia bread however you like!
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the top and bottom of the bread are golden brown.
- Allow to cool then slice and serve!