Crackly Lemon-Rosemary Focaccia
Our favorite recipe for the Italian-inspired flatbread will transport you to the sunny Mediterranean.
One 12-in. loaf
4 hours 40 minutes
As focaccia evolved in Italy, across the Atlantic, Italian American bakers were making their own versions, riffing on the recipes from the Mother Country with toppings that would’ve been novel in the bread’s homeland. The 1990s, as many of you will recall, were a simpler time for focaccia. Most of it was spongy and rosemary-perfumed à la Macaroni Grill. The bread was a gateway to a world of Italian flatbreads Americans are still discovering. This version, a happy middle ground between Italy and America, tops a Ligurian-style dough with nontraditional lemon slices.
This recipe is adapted from a version served by the late, great Marcella Hazan, which ran alongside Kathleen Brennan’s 2001 story, “Memory: Steeped in centuries of symbolism and tradition, rosemary is a hardy, aromatic and intensely flavorful ingredient, virtually impossible to forget. ”
Featured in “How ‘Italian’ Is Rosemary Focaccia, Anyway?”
- 1 tsp. dry instant yeast (not active dry)
- 4 cup (1 lb. 3 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1 Tbsp. (¼ oz.) fine sea salt
- ¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for greasing
- ½ cup fresh rosemary leaves (from about 8 sprigs), divided
- 1 medium, thin-skinned lemon, washed, thinly sliced into rounds, seeds removed
- Medium-coarse or flaky sea salt, for sprinkling