Easy Overnight Focaccia Bread
Yield: 2 (9-inch) round loaves / 8 generous slices per loaf
Ten quick minutes of prep and an overnight rest in the refrigerator is all that's needed for foolproof, bakery quality bread. No kneading required!


  • 4 cups (508g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (1 packet)
  • 2 cups warm tap water (about 110℉-or hot tub warm, but not scalding)
  • 1 teaspoon soft butter for greasing pan
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • Dried Italian seasoning or finely chopped fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme
  • Flaky sea salt for topping


  1. Prepare the dough: In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and instant yeast. Stir well. Add the warm water. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, mix until the flour is well incorporated (there should be no small pockets of flour). Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil into a medium bowl. Transfer the dough to that bowl and turn to coat the dough with the oil. Tightly cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours. (I think overnight creates slightly better texture.)

    Getting ready to bake: Lightly butter two 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with a round of parchment paper. Pour ½ tablespoon of olive oil into the center of each pan. Divide the dough in half (if you have a scale you can weigh to make sure the pieces are equal; otherwise just eyeball it), and place one piece of dough in each pan, turning to coat with the oil. Tuck the edges of dough underneath as needed to form a rough disc shape. Cover each pan tightly with plastic wrap, and allow the dough balls to rest for 2 hours. (Depending on the warmth of your kitchen, this may take slightly less time. Conversely, if your kitchen is cool, this could take as long as 3 hours. Look for the dough to fill most of the pan.)

    To bake: Preheat oven to 450℉ with a rack positioned in the center of the oven. Evenly drizzle another tablespoon of oil over each round of dough. With oiled fingers and using both hands, press straight down to the bottom of the pan to create deep dimples. Sprinkle the tops with Italian seasoning or fresh herbs and flaky sea salt. Transfer the pans to the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 425˚F. Bake for 22 to 28 minutes, or until the tops are golden. Remove the pans from the oven. With a metal spatula remove bread rounds from the pans and transfer to a cooling rack.
    Serve warm or allow to cool completely, and then store in a zip-top bag.
    To freeze: Allow the bread to cool completely. Transfer to a zip-top bag and freeze. Thaw and enjoy at room temperature or warm for 10 minutes in a 350℉ oven.

Notes & Helpful Hints

Bread flour may be used, but it isn’t necessary. Bread flour is higher in protein and is supposed to create more stability and rise in the dough. That said, I tend to use good old all-purpose flour with very good results.
Be sure to grease your pan with butter and line it with parchment paper. To easily cut parchment rounds that fit perfectly in the pans, simply trace the bottom of the pan and then cut just inside of the line. Pre-cut parchment rounds may also be used.
If after storing leftovers in the refrigerator for a day (or several) they seem dry, I wrap the amount I wish to serve in a paper towel that I’ve wet and then wrung out completely. Microwave the wrapped bread for 20-30 seconds, or until it feels softer, and then warm the rest of the way (without the damp paper towel) in the toaster or regular oven (at 350℉) to ever-so-lightly crisp it.
To use the bread for sandwiches, allow it to cool completely, and then use a bread knife to cut horizontally to form two thinner rounds.

Adapted from:

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