Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread

In Appetizers & Healthy Snack Recipes/ Recipes/ Side Dishes & Salad Recipes

We’re on the heels of a delightful visit of the talented Erin of the blog Naturally Ella. She made the trek from her home state of Illinois to check out Indianapolis and spend some time together. Though we’d never met before, we quickly got to know each other, and had a wonderful weekend cooking, eating, photographing, and laughing together!

It was so comforting to hang out with someone who also loves to photograph their food, and doesn’t mind eating it cold, or standing amid a pile of messy dishes.

Erin also graciously offered to help us with some recipes for our Green Mango Cafe benefit cookbook.  We had a great time working on a few items from the book.

And while focaccia bread might not seem quite Cambodian (it’s not!), it’s good proof of the international flair of the menu at the cafe. Since the girls at the culinary training center have been trained in all styles of cooking, a fair amount of Western-style items appear on the menu, especially baked goods.

Focaccia is one of our favorite breads to use for sandwiches, or to serve with a meal. This version was a collab creation between all of us and a few different sources, and may end up on the cookbook line-up, along with a variety of other Cambodian and international items.

In the meantime, take it as a chance to try out some of the fresh herbs as part of recent series on fresh herbs!

Thanks to Erin for all her help, and the wonderful visit!

More Behind the Scenes Photos
See this lineup at Naturally Ella

More on Our Cambodia Trip
Cambodia Series 

Other Posts in Our Herb Series
How to Start Growing Herbs (Video)
Lemon Mint Slush (Alex’s beverage of choice above)
Scrambled Eggs with Fresh Herbs
Strawberries with Balsamic, Greek Yogurt and Mint (Recipe and Video)
How to Chiffonade (Video)


Garlic Herb Focaccia Bread

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  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Yield: 16 pieces


  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (we used rosemary and basil)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 10 x 15-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan)


  1. In a bowl, place 2 cups warm water and 2 teaspoons dry yeast. Let stand for about 10 minutes.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or food processor), add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, the yeast mixture, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar. Stir the mixture together a bit using the dough hook from your mixer to start the mixture. Attach the dough hook, and then start to mix the dough on a low speed for about 12 minutes, slowly adding about 1/2 cup all purpose flour as the dough mixes, until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, adding the additional flour in the same way to get the dough to a smooth and elastic consistency.)
  3. Turn the mixture out into an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel, and wait about 1 1/2 hours, until it has doubled in size.
  4. Coat a 10 x 15-inch baking pan (jelly roll pan) with about 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down the dough, then knead it into a ball. Using your fingertips, spread the dough into the baking sheet. Let it rise for about 30 minutes in the pan until puffy.
  5. While you wait, preheat the oven to 475°F. Mince 4 cloves garlic and chop 2 tablespoons fresh herbs.
  6. After 30 minutes, drizzle the bread with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with minced garlic and herbs and several pinches of kosher or sea salt. Using your knuckle, make small indentations across the top of the bread, about 1/2 inch deep and about 1/2 inch apart.
  7. Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes.

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious, and a recipe developer and healthy & sustainable food advocate behind the award-nominated food blog A Couple Cooks.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is photographer and recipe developer of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best new cookbooks” by Bon Appetit, and a recipe developer, photographer, and technical expert at A Couple Cooks.


  • Reply
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    June 4, 2012 at 6:18 am

    I love focaccia – it’s such a wonderful bread!

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Perfect timing!! I have part of a homemade pizza dough that I didn’t use on the weekend and now I know what to do with it !! But I’ll have to scrounge in the garden for the herbs because we used most of what was growing for the pizza. I should still be able to find some chives and rosemary, though.

    Thanks so much for this reminder!!

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

      Oh great! Sounds like a perfect idea – I will have to think of that in the future too for pizza dough! Now I’m inspired to try a half-whole wheat crust too :)

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Whoot! Love the photos and our focaccia looks pretty darn tasty (in fact, when I saw this post I was reminded that I have two pieces in the freezer-yum!)

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 8:21 am

      Yay! Thanks again for the fun! :)

  • Reply
    June 4, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    I love focaccia bread, but haven’t found recipes I like with whole wheat flour. I’m excited to try this one! And yeah for Erin. She’ lovely. :)

  • Reply
    June 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

    I love focaccia, but somehow I can never get it to come out right. This looks lovely!

    • Reply
      June 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

      We had problems in the past getting it right too! This version worked well for us — finally! :)

  • Reply
    June 9, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    I made this bread last night and it turned out fantastically! It was my first try at focaccia and I was so excited there was whole wheat in this recipe, it definitely made the bread better.
    What I did differently:
    1 packet of yeast = 2 1/4 tsp yeast
    Bloomed my yeast in 1 cup of water and added the other cup of warm water when mixing all ingredients together.
    No mixer/dough hook! I was able to knead for about 10 minutes and kept reflouring with all purpose flour-the dough was really sticky.
    Hot oven, kept the temp at 460
    Toppings: More salt(crucial!), fresh rosemary, carmelized onions, cherry tomatoes, and some shredded cheese.
    Thank you for the quality recipe, I was so happy when it came out just right. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

    • Reply
      June 23, 2012 at 4:42 pm

      Wow, sounds delicious! I like the cherry tomato idea — we may have to try that once we get some cherry tomatoes in the garden. Thanks!

  • Reply
    June 25, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Just made this again. Going to do my usual balsamic portobellos with gouda and arugula this time around (even though your greek bellas were divine). Thanks again for the fabulous recipe!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2012 at 10:36 am

      Awesome! Glad you are enjoying the recipe :)

  • Reply
    July 11, 2012 at 11:10 am

    This was a great recipe! Fantastic bread that I’ll definitely have to remake again. I did use more garlic and different herbs. My fiance is not a fan of rosemary. Gorgeous pictures!

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