A soft oily and salty Onion Focaccia bread topped with sweet roasted onions. This is one of the best Focaccia for a snack or quick lunch! It's loved all throughout Italy and if you also love onions, you have to try it!
There's nothing better than a slightly warm Onion Focaccia from the local bakery when you're wandering the streets in Italy. Maybe you only have a few minutes to eat lunch on the go, or maybe it's the afternoon and you're craving a snack before it's dinner time. That's it.
The most famous Italian Focaccia is from Genova and Bari. The one from Genova is the Classic Focaccia Bread with olive oil and salt we all love, while the one from Bari has tomatoes and olives on it. But in local bakeries in every Italian region, you can find different types of Focaccia, made with different toppings, different yeasts, or even different rising times. Another example is this Potato Focaccia with Rosemary.
What's the difference between Focaccia and Bread?
Focaccia is essentially a type of bread, but it's very different from the loaf of bread you consume on a daily basis.
The dough is actually very similar to pizza and white bread since the base ingredients are always flour, yeast, salt, and water. But Focaccia has a few more that make the difference in flavor: sugar and olive oil, lots of olive oil.
Sugar gives a dough a tiny bit of sweetness which will balance with the salt flakes on top, while olive oil is both inside the dough and abundantly on top, making the Focaccia super delicious.
It's also easier to make Focaccia than it is to make bread because you don't have to fold and stretch it every 30 minutes (although you definitely can if you want to try it). But trust me you can get a beautiful and soft Focaccia with minimum effort.
- Flour. I usually use all-purpose flour to make Focaccia as it is the easiest to find in our supermarkets. You can also try wholemeal flour or special bread flour, but keep in mind that the end result may vary.
- Yeast. Instant dry yeast works perfectly to make a soft Focaccia. But feel free to experiment also with fresh yeast or sourdough (the quantities will change though, see this post on how to switch yeasts).
- Onions. I prefer yellow onions as they are sweet and flavorful, but you can also use white onions, shallots, or red onions for flavor and color variation.
- Olive Oil. Just like for classic focaccia, olive oil and salt are essential to give the perfect finish on top and give the bread the most flavor. Use only good quality extra-virgin olive oil to top the focaccia.
How to make Onion Focaccia
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a fork, then knead the dough energetically for at least 10 minutes.
This step is important to start developing the gluten and get a stretchier dough that will rise much better and faster.
Let the dough rest and rise for about 2 hours in a covered bowl in a warm place. I use this handy bowl with a lid (affiliate link). After the rising time, the dough should have doubled in size.
Now you can stretch it on a lined baking sheet, oil it lightly (so it doesn't dry), and let it rise for another 30 minutes.
Finally, top it with the onion slices, drizzle abundant olive oil and coarse salt and bake it for 20 minutes at 200°C/390°F.
Other Toppings Ideas
Focaccia can be topped with pretty much anything, but here are some of my favorite toppings:
- Tomatoes. Who doesn't love roasted tomatoes, and a soft oily Focaccia with roasted tomatoes is just heaven!
- Olives. I'm not a fan of olives but they're one of the most common Focaccia toppings. Add tomatoes and olives together and you'll have a classic Focaccia Barese.
- Rosemary. Rosemary is a classic Mediterranean herb that is very present in many Italian recipes and it's a very common bread, saltines, and Focaccia topping.
FAQ & Tips
The most important factors are yeast and water. It's important to use the correct yeast and the right amount of water. If the dough is too dense, it will have more difficulties rising. While if it's soft and sticky enough, it will grow and have lots of bubbles which will make it soft. Unfortunately, it's difficult to give exact measurements to achieve the perfect dough. SO if the first time you make it it doesn't rise much, next time try to add a little bit more water or try a different yeast.
Focaccia is usually eaten on its own in Italy, as a late breakfast, quick lunch, or afternoon snack. You can also use it as sandwich bread, slicing it in the middle and filling it with charcuterie and cheese. So delicious!
Cheese and Onion is one of my favorite toppings, so yeah! At the last minute, once the Onion Focaccia is already baked and golden, add grated cheese on (as much as you like) and let it melt for a minute or two. Serve immediately.
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Onion Focaccia Bread
- 1 lb All Purpose Flour or Bread Flour
- 1 package of Instant Yeast
- 2 teaspoon Sugar
- Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 ¼ cup Warm Water, (40°C / 100°F)
- 3 Onions, see notes
- Add the flour in a large bowl and mix it with the instant yeast. Add the 2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt and 6 tablespoons of oil.
- Mix with a fork and slowly add the warm water, a little bit at a time.
- When the ingredients are mixed, start kneading energetically the dough with your hands for at least 10 minutes.
- When you have a smooth ball of dough, cover the bowl with a damp cloth or a lid and set it aside in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and with your hands stretch out the Focaccia dough until you have a nice rectangle with uniform thickness.
- Drizzle some olive oil and set it in a warm place to rise again for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven at 200°C / 390°F.
- Slice the onions in thick slices. The slices should be at least ¼ inch thick (7mm), slices too thin might burn.
- Then with your fingers punch deep holes all around the surface of the dough, then cover the whole surface with the onions, in an even layer.
- Drizzle abundantly with oil and sprinkle with coarse salt (as much as you like).
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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