Home baked olive focaccia

We recently returned from a wonderful short break in Venice. I’d never been there before and it was fascinating – so much to see, so beautiful, and delicious food everywhere!

One day we walked from our hotel near Piazza San Marco all the way to the old Jewish Ghetto. Kipper was an absolute star and walked the whole way, enjoying herself immensely looking at the shops and market stalls we passed en route. By the time we got there she was definitely ready for a snack, and we found a tiny kosher bakery offering a range of delicious looking baked goods.

She chose a slice of olive focaccia, and almost before I’d turned around she’d devoured the whole thing! She was pretty hungry, but it was INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS. 

At the Jewish Museum, I bought a kosher Italian cookery book – La cucina nella tradizione ebraica – which I am having fun deciphering with the help of google translate. So far we have encountered such lost-in-translation gems as, “put the beans in the bathroom the night before…” and, “of course you already soaked raisins and shredded cedar.” I’m sure this will be an ongoing series 🙂

Anyway, tragically, the book didn’t include a recipe for olive focaccia (although there is one for raisin focaccia, which looks interesting. Watch this space.) so in order to make it at home we had to look elsewhere. I found a recipe for ‘classic focaccia’ online, in Italian, naturally, and google translated it. We made it pretty much as written, except for the addition of 200g of pitted olives on the top. Yum.

Kipper was very keen to help in the preparation of this focaccia, although most of the hard work was done by the mixer. She helped with the weighing out, and of course with the positioning of the olives prior to baking. She was also extremely keen to sample the finished product. Repeatedly!

The focaccia was soft, slightly chewy, almost cake-y in texture, with a wonderful olive flavour. DH thought it should have been ‘thicker’ so I may make a slightly smaller size rectangle from the same amount of dough next time. Personally, I thought it was just right. The crusts were golden and crisp with the olive oil and the occasional flake of coarse salt added an extra dimension of yumminess. I wasn’t transported straight back to Venice, but it was pretty close. Mmmm.

We took most of the olive focaccia to Kipper’s woodmice group, where ravenous pre-schoolers, appetites whetted by an hour of woodland exploring, scoffed it down alongside their baked potatoes and spicy apple juice. That’s what I call a picnic!

This made one focaccia, approximately 22 x 30cm in size.

This easy-to-make Italian olive focaccia is a soft & slightly chewy bread with a wonderful flavour. A delicious savoury snack for adults & children alike.

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Olive focaccia
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1917 calories
291 g
0 g
66 g
41 g
9 g
820 g
2824 g
9 g
0 g
54 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 1917
Calories from Fat 570
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 66g
Saturated Fat 9g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 46g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 2824mg
Total Carbohydrates 291g
Dietary Fiber 18g
Sugars 9g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 350g plain flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 7g dry yeast (approx. 2 tsp)
  4. 2 tsp sugar
  5. 1 tbsp olive oil + extra for greasing
  6. 210ml of warm water
For the topping
  1. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 200g pitted olives
  3. coarse salt
  1. Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar.
  2. Add the warm water and oil, and mix until the dough is smooth and elastic - easiest done in a stand mixer using the dough hook.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour in a warm place.
  4. Meanwhile, liberally grease a 22 x 30cm (or thereabouts) baking tray with plenty of olive oil.
  5. After an hour, knock back the dough and knead briefly (about a minute) then pat into the prepared tray. Cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  7. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the dough and press in the olives at regular intervals. Sprinkle over the salt. Allow to rise for a final 10 minutes.
  8. Bake at 200C for 25 minutes until risen and golden brown.
  9. Allow to cool, cut into squares and serve.
Family-Friends-Food http://family-friends-food.com/
olive focaccia


  1. It sounds so delicious, and I would much rather use your recipe than translate from Italian, even though I work in the translation world!

  2. Fabulous, I just adore olives in bread. Oh I adore olives and I also adore bread, so a no brainer for me!

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