Focaccia with olives, rosemary and lemon

Focaccia with olives, rosemary and lemon


This recipe was originally developed for one of our premium built-in ovens and has become something of a classic down here in Dunedin.  I think half the office would have it in their repertoires!  I have been known to work my way through a whole one myself over a Sunday afternoon lounging around reading the newspaper—it’s just so more-ish.

Feel free to play around with the topping, I tend to use whatever I have on hand—red onion, red pepper and a little fresh chilli instead of olives and rosemary is delicious, as is a little cheese added to the mix.  It is great on its own fresh from the oven, but if you do feel like sharing it makes a great addition to an antipasto platter.

The dough can be made in a bread maker or by hand, just whatever suits.


1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 1/2 cups bread flour – plus a little more as required
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp flour
1 tsp cornmeal or semolina

1/2 cup (~50g) pitted kalamata olives, sliced in half
zest and juice of one lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh, or 1 tbsp dried, rosemary
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp sea salt flakes


Dough made by hand
1. Measure the yeast, warm water, sugar, salt and olive oil into a large bowl with half the flour and mix thoroughly.
2. Cover with cling wrap and leave for at least fifteen minutes in a warm place.
3. Mix in the remaining flour, adding extra as needed, to make a soft dough.
4. Knead the dough for approximately ten minutes. It will get less sticky as you work and should form a soft ball which springs back when pressed gently.
5. Coat the dough in 1tbsp of oil and return to the bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
6. Knead the dough for a minute in the bowl to reduce the size of any big air bubbles and shape as below.

Bread maker
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for ‘dough’, then shape and bake as below.

Shape the focaccia
Roll the dough out on a floured surface to a rectangle approximately 20cm x 30cm. Dust a pizza paddle with 1tsp of flour and 1tsp of cornmeal or semolina and put the dough on the paddle.

1. Push the olives well into the top of the dough.
2. Mix all the remaining topping ingredients together and brush over the surface of the dough.
3. Leave the bread to rest while you preheat the oven.

This is great when baked on a pizza stone as it helps achieve a good crust, but you can bake on a standard oven tray.
1. Preheat the oven to 210ºC fan bake. If using a pizza stone, preheat it for about half an hour to get it up to temperature. If using a baking tray, there is no need to preheat the tray.
2. Leave the bread to rise on the pizza paddle while the oven and stone finish heating up. Carefully slide the focaccia onto the hot pizza stone or baking tray and bake until the bread has risen and turned golden brown (15 – 20mins).

17 thoughts on “Focaccia with olives, rosemary and lemon”

  • Yummy! I’ve always loved the combination of rosemary + foccacia! I can’t wait for the weekend to try this one out! Thanks for this.

  • this bread really is more-ish, whenever it gets baked I eat more than my fair share then have a stodgy tummy for the rest of the day, too much bread + tummy = unable to move!

  • I have been on the lookout for a good focaccia recipe and this seems to be it! And I never knew about this blog. I heart your fridge but we just couldn’t splurge on one!

  • I finally made this and we all enjoyed it so much so I will definitely be making this again in the coming weekends… Thanks for this!

  • how do I season/take care of the fisher paykel baking stone (it was in my oven when I purchased it 5 yrs. ago – never used it).

  • Hi Ann,

    Before using your pizza stone for the first time, wipe it with a damp cloth (no detergent). It then needs to be conditioned by heating in the oven for 1 hour at 200 C (400 F) on Fan Bake. If you do not use your pizza stone for any length of time it may need to be conditioned again.

    Do not wash your pizza stone as it will absorb water and will crack on heating. If you keep it well floured or sprinkled with cornmeal when using, it will prevent any dough sticking. After use, allow the stone to cool before brushing off any remaining flour or cornmeal and storing. It will become stained with normal wear but this will not impair its performance.

    I love using my pizza stone – the crust you get is just fantastic!

    Happy Baking!

  • Hi Sophie,
    I am glad the focaccia was a success! We make this a lot at home, once you get the technique down it is super easy to try other flavour combinations – you’ll be hooked 🙂

  • This Focaccia is delicious! My friends and I just made this for our Grandmothers and they loved it. When I got home, my parents were begging me to make it! This will be three times within a week! Definitely a new favorite food.

  • Hi Nick,
    So pleased you liked it! It is one of my favourite recipes 🙂 Perfect for a lazy weekend lunch.

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