Paul Hollywood's focaccia

(129 ratings)
Paul Hollywood's focaccia
Paul Hollywood's focaccia
  • Makes: 2 loaves

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

Focaccia is one of our favourite kinds of bread and you can learn how to make Paul Hollywood's focaccia with this simple recipe. Paul Hollywood knows bread and we think this recipe is pretty spot on. Try the Great British Bake Off judge's classic recipe for focaccia. The oregano and sea salt topping makes this loaf extra tasty, gives it added crunch and means it is really moreish. It is the perfect loaf for eating with family and friends for a big sharing lunch or dinner. Torn up and dunked in olive oil and balsamic vinegar, this bread will make you feel like you are on your holidays! This easy recipe makes 2 loaves. This recipe is taken from Paul Hollywood's How to Bake book.


  • 140ml olive oil, plus extra for kneading and to finish
  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 360ml cool water
  • 10g salt
  • 10g instant yeast
  • Fine semolina for dusting (optional)
To finish:
  • Dried oregano
  • Flaky sea salt

The dough is really wet so you might prefer to make it in a mixer - although a focaccia is a good bread to make by hand if you're trying to learn as it's easier to handle then other breads like, ciabatta


  1. Lightly oil a 2–3 litre square plastic container. (Make sure you use a square tub as it helps shape the dough.)
  2. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other.
  3. Add three-quarters of the water and 40ml of olive oil, and turn the mixture round with your fingers. Continue to add water, a little at a time, until you’ve picked up all the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may not need to add all the water, or you may need to add a little more. You want your dough to be very soft – wetter than a standard bread dough. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl and keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.
  4. Coat the work surface with some of the remaining olive oil, then tip the dough onto it and begin to knead. Knead for around 5–10 minutes. Work through the initial wet stage until the dough starts to form a soft, smooth skin. (It's best to avoid adding any more flour as it is supposed to have a wet, sticky consistency.)
  5. When your dough feels soft and elastic, put the dough into the oiled tub. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about 1 hour.
  6. Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment and drizzle with olive oil.
  7. Put more olive oil on the work surface and dust with fine semolina if you have some. Carefully tip the dough onto the surface. Handle the dough very gently so you keep as much air in it as possible. Divide the dough in half. Stretch each piece out to a flat, even piece and place on a baking tray.
  8. Put each tray into a clean plastic bag and leave to prove for about 1 hour, until the dough is doubled in size and springs back quickly if you prod it lightly with your finger.
  9. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 220˚C/425˚F/Gas Mark 7.
  10. Use your fingers to make deep dimples in the focaccia, pushing them all the way through the dough to the bottom. Drizzle each focaccia with olive oil and sprinkle with a little flaky sea salt and oregano, then bake for 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
  11. Tap the bottom of the focaccia and you should hear a hollow sound. Trickle with more olive oil, then cool on a wire rack.

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  • 4
(129 ratings)

Your comments


at point 3 in the recipe, it states use 40ml of oil. The rest is used to drizzling. which seems a lot. Ingredients should be clearer as easy to bung it all in at the oil stage.

Chris James

Just to let you know, 140ml of olive oil is correct. Some recipes call for more. There's nothing unusual about using 140mm of oil for 500g of flour. River Cafe use 160ml. Without the oil the dough will be unmanageable and not have the correct flavour and texture,

Kilgore Trout

Also if you have a wet dough it sticks like mad to the baking tray. So I line with baking parchment.

Kilgore Trout

I'd ditch the olive oil in the dough altogether. It's not necessary. Extra calories and doesn't improve the bread in any way. Beside you'll be dipping the stuff in oil anyway or sprinkling it on top. I prefer rosemary and sea salt on mine but parsley and sage work well too. I also sprinkle chopped olives or sun dried toms on top before baking too. I also think his bread is too lightly baked. I prefer a hotter initial temp, say 250 or 270. Then turn down to 200 once the bread has risen. After 20 mins. I bake longer for a crisper, darker crust with deeper flavour.


i used 40ml oil only and extra to drizzle as per recipe. beware over baking as you lose that texture. i had 2 loaves cooking at same time - less cooked loaf on lower shelf. took out cooked loaf, and made mistake of putting less cooked one on top shelf for too long. ruins it. but can try this again. sea salt and wild oregano made it taste v nice.


It's defo 40ml Paul Hollywoods own recipe on the BBC website talks about 2 tablespoons plus extra for drizzling, when you make it with 140 ml the dough is too heavy to rise properly and the finished bread is dripping. Gutted because we've waited for this for breakfast and its inedible


I used 140ml of oil it was fine ..the dough is supposed to be STICKY.not dry... you need to get used to dealing with sticky dough !!!


In his Great British Bake Off recipe he mentions 2 tablespoons of oil plus extra for drizzling.


I have made this loads of times and it never fails. I use only 40mls oil in mix but loads more when baking


Derek - think you're right. I made this according to the printed recipe and it was veeeery oily


Should the olive oil qty be 40ml not 140ml as the direction for making only seem to use 40 plus some for drizzling?

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