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Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread (Vegan)

5 from 7 votes
This easy no-knead focaccia bread is an absolute crowd-pleaser! Soft and pillowy homemade dough, infused with oil, salt and simple toppings. Vegan or not, you will love this focaccia.
Prep Time: 35 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
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May 11, 2019 (Last updated Jan 11, 2024) by Hannah Sunderani

Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread (Vegan)

This Easy No-Knead Focaccia is made with simple ingredients, yet mega taste! It’s light, pillowy, infused with a healthy dose of olive oil, then topped with red onion, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes. Trust me, it’s dangerously addictive! 

After mastering sweet breads like Vegan Cinnamon Rolls and Vegan Cinnamon Buns, I thought it was time to tackle one of my favourite savoury breads. This no-knead focaccia is inspired by my Homemade Vegan Pizza Dough Recipe that requires just a small amount of prep work. And let me tell you, vegan or not, everyone loves this bread! It’s perfectly salted, oiled for mega flavour, then freshly baked with your favourite toppings (or no toppings at all!). It’s a recipe you’ll be creating time and time again for your loved ones. 

Now let me tell you how to make this homemade bread dough pronto! 

Vegan focaccia bread topped with sun dried tomatoes, red onion, olives and rosemary. The bread is cut into slices, with one flipped to show the inside texture. The focaccia is placed on a white backdrop.

This No-Knead Focaccia is….

  • Restaurant-worthy
  • Chef approved
  • Impressive
  • Naturally vegan
  • Beginner-friendly
  • Freezer-friendly
  • Made with minimal effort
  • The perfect tender bread
All of the ingredients to make the no-knead focaccia bread separated into individual bowls. The bowls are sitting on a white backdrop.

Ingredient Notes

  • Flour – I have only tested this recipe using all-purpose flour, but readers have shared luck replacing a portion of the white flour with spelt flour. If you’d like to experiment with a gluten-free version, I’d recommend starting with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend. Gluten-free flour blends tend to require more hydration, so more warm water and other alterations to the recipe may be needed. If you are not a seasoned baker, I might recommend looking for a gluten-free specific recipe instead!
  • Active dry yeast – Since this no-knead focaccia follows a cold fermentation process over 1-2 days, it is important to use active dry yeast (not instant yeast!). This type of yeast causes a gradual release of carbon dioxide and helps create a more complex flavoured dough. If you’re shopping for active dry yeast, it’s typically stocked right next to the other baking products. 
  • Agave – While you can make this no-knead focaccia without it, it is best to add a small amount of sweetener to give the yeast something to feed on and kickstart the fermentation process. If you don’t have agave on hand, another liquid sweetener such as maple syrup can work well, too. 
  • Olive oil – A generous amount of olive oil is necessary when making focaccia for several reasons. It helps moisturize the dough, add flavour, and helps a soft, chewy crust develop. The flavour of olive oil is my favourite here, but another good oil of choice is avocado oil. 
  • Flaky sea salt – Coarse salt, flaky sea salt, or kosher salt are best when making homemade focaccia. The larger crystals add the perfect, salty crunch!
A close up image of the no-knead focaccia cut into slices. The bread is being pressed down to shoe the fluffy inside. The focaccia bread is sitting on a white backdrop.

How to Make No-Knead Focaccia

1-2 days before baking:

Making your own homemade focaccia might sound tricky, but it couldn’t be more simple! We’re simply mixing the ingredients together in a bowl, covering, and letting nature do it’s magic. It’s truly the easiest bread recipe!

To start, combine the flour, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. In a separate jar or bowl, combine the warm water and agave to help the agave dissolve. Then, pour the liquid over the flour mixture and stir to combine until a sticky dough forms. 

In a second large bowl (large enough for the dough to double in size), add 1/3 cup of olive oil. Transfer the sticky dough ball into the oil and roll the dough to coat the surface of the dough in olive oil. This will help prevent the dough from sticking to the sides of the bowl, add rich flavour, and will help prevent the bread from drying out during the bake. 

Cover the bowl tightly using plastic wrap or reusable wrap and place the dough in the fridge overnight, or for up to 2 days. During this time, the dough will rise and double in size. 

Day of baking:

After 1-2 days, remove the dough from the fridge and line a half sheet pan with parchment paper. Transfer the dough onto the tray and using your hands, push the dough out to fill the tray as best you can. 

Wait 30-60 minutes for the dough to come to room temperature. During this time, the dough should soften and rise considerably. 

While you wait, preheat the oven to 450F/230C.

Then, pat the dough once more to ensure it’s evenly spread and the same thickness throughout (my no-knead focaccia was about 1-inch thick”). Using your fingers, dimple the entire focaccia, pushing your fingers into the dough like you’re playing piano. Air bubbles are okay! If you have long fingernails, feel free to do this using your knuckles. 

Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, then sprinkle with more salt and black pepper. Decorate the top of the dough with thinly sliced red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, sliced olives and rosemary, or as desired. 

Finally, bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool slightly, then slice and enjoy! It’s as easy as that!

Flavour Variations and Toppings

I topped my easy focaccia bread with thinly sliced red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, green olives, and springs of fresh rosemary. 

Feel free to get creative, and mix up the toppings to suit your taste buds and the season. You can keep it simple and top with garlic and rosemary, or decorate your focaccia dough with ingredients like:

  • Caramelized onion 
  • Fennel
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Kalamata olives 
  • Pesto
  • Blanched asparagus spears
  • Fresh sage
  • Sautéed mushrooms
  • Garlic cloves
  • Dried spices such as oregano, thyme, or Italian seasoning
Vegan focaccia bread topped with sun dried tomatoes, red onion, olives and rosemary. The bread is cut into slices, with every other one flipped to show the inside texture. The focaccia is placed on a white backdrop.

Recipe FAQs

What builds up the gluten in the dough if focaccia is not traditionally kneaded?

If you’ve made traditional doughs like my Vegan Cinnamon Rolls, you’ll know they are often kneaded to help develop the gluten and give the bread structure and texture. In this no-knead recipe, however, the gluten development occurs through a much longer fermentation process. It’s the perfect recipe to start with if you are new to working with yeast because it’s practically fool proof!

Do I need a special pan to bake no-knead focaccia?

All you need for this recipe is a half sheet pan (18×13 inches). I recommend lining the sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat to prevent the no-knead focaccia from sticking to the bottom of the pan. If this is not an option, you can grease a pan with additional olive oil. 

Why is my focaccia not fluffy?

This is usually due to the yeast not being activated properly or the dough not having enough time to ferment properly. For best results, make sure the dough chills in the fridge for a minimum of 10 hours. Additionally, make the dough with warm water. Warm water is necessary for the activation of the yeast!

Can I freeze leftover focaccia?

Yes, this homemade bread freezes well! Allow the focaccia to cool completely to room temperature then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tin foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy once soft again.

A close up image of the no-knead focaccia cut into slices. The focaccia bread is sitting on a white backdrop.

Serving Suggestions

This homemade focaccia pairs well with several types of dips, spreads, and mains. It’s even delicious spread with a bit of your favourite vegan butter. You won’t have any trouble figuring out how to serve it, but here are a few of my favourite ways to enjoy it!

Storage Instructions

In addition to being freezer friendly (see above!), this no-knead focaccia will also keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. To keep it as fresh as possible, wrap tightly in aluminum foil or reusable wrap and warm before enjoying. 

Slices of the focaccia bread drizzled with olive oil on a white plate. In the background there are additional slices so show the batch that was made. The focaccia bread is sitting on a white backdrop with sprinkles of rosemary.

Tips for Success

  • Check the expiration date on your yeast! Yeast is a pantry item that doesn’t get used everyday, so it’s possible the yeast you have on hand is expired. In fact, the first time I recipe tested this focaccia recipe, it was a major flop because my yeast was 8 months expired. 
  • Prepare in advance. While this no-knead focaccia bread is incredibly easy to make, it does require time to work it’s magic! For best results, I recommend planning on prepping your focaccia two full days before you’d like to bake it. 
  • Use lukewarm water. In order to activate the yeast, it is important to use warm water (think bath water!) when making the dough. If the water is too cool, the yeast won’t activate. If the water is too hot, it will kill the yeast. The sweet spot is water that is about 105F/40C. 
A close up image of the no-knead focaccia cut into slices. The focaccia bread is sitting on a white backdrop.

More Homemade Bread Recipes You Might Like:

I hope you love this homemade focaccia bread as much as I do! If you do make this recipe, please let me know in the comments below what you think and check out The Two Spoons App for more easy vegan recipes like this! I truly love hearing from you, and I’m always here to answer any questions you might have. 

And of course, tag me on Instagram with your pictures using the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations. 

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SF

Easy No-Knead Focaccia Bread

5 from 7 votes
This easy no-knead focaccia bread is an absolute crowd-pleaser! Soft and pillowy homemade dough, infused with oil, salt and simple toppings. Vegan or not, you will love this focaccia.
Vegan focaccia bread topped with sun dried tomatoes, red onion, olives and rosemary. The bread is cut into slices, with one flipped to show the inside texture. The focaccia is placed on a white backdrop.
Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Serves 12 people

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 2 tbsp sea salt , finely ground, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp agave (optional)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for drizzle

Optional Toppings

  • 1 small red onion , thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes , chopped
  • 1/3 cup green olives , chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs rosemary

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt and yeast. In a jug combine warm water and agave to dissolve. Then pour liquid over the flour mixture. Stir to combine until you have a sticky dough (the warm water makes it sticky and wet).
  • In a clean mixing bowl add 1/3 cup olive oil, and transfer dough to bowl. Roll the dough to coat in olive oil. Cover the bowl tightly with wrap and transfer to the fridge overnight, or for up to two days.* (Make sure the bowl is big enough for the dough to double in size).
  • Remove dough from fridge and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Transfer dough onto tray and push out with hands as best you can to cover tray entirely. Wait 30 mins to 1 hour for the dough to come to room temperature. It should soften and rise considerably. (Time is dependant on how warm your home is. In the Winter it will take longer than Summer).
  • Preheat oven to 450F/230C. Pat focaccia dough again to ensure it's the same thickness throughout (about 1-inch thick). Then dimple the entire dough by pushing your fingers into the dough like you're playing piano. (If you have long nails you can do this with your knuckles). Drizzle with more olive oil and sprinkle with more salt and pepper.
  • Decorate focaccia with thinly sliced red onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and rosemary. Bake for approx. 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Slice and serve!

Notes

*When making the dough, I find two days wait time in the fridge is the best for a thick, light and bubbly dough. However, it will definitely work with one day (i.e. preparing the night before – 10-12 hours wait time).
The dough will rise a bit in the fridge so make sure that your bowl is big enough for it to double in size.
Can I freeze leftover focaccia?
Yes, this homemade bread freezes well! Allow the focaccia to cool completely to room temperature then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of tin foil. Freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge and enjoy once soft again.
Storage Instructions
In addition to being freezer friendly (see above!), this no-knead focaccia will also keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. To keep it as fresh as possible, wrap tightly in aluminum foil or reusable wrap and warm before enjoying. 
Nutrition information is a rough estimate. (Per serving, divided between 12 people).

Approvals

Nutrition

Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1234mg | Potassium: 194mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 41IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 3mg
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  1. I like bread and simple recipes, this is perfect. I have done it everywhere I travel or when visiting friends in France, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. At home i use 60% spelt flour and rest with white. With spelt if tastes awesome too.

    • Wow Christine! Thanks so much for the lovely and warm comment, I’m thrilled you enjoy the recipe so much!! Love the idea of using spelt flour too! Will give it a try. 🙂

  2. Thank you for this recipe, it is amazing! I have made it several times, having the dough in the fridge for varying lengths of time, and it always turns out great. Definitely a family favorite!

    • Hi Coleen. Oh this made my day! We absolutely love this focaccia recipe too! I make it all of the time for friends and family. Glad to hear you’re enjoying it so much. 🙂

  3. I wish you had mentioned the size pan to use. yes, 1 inch deep, but dimensions, please. Often makes a big difference on thickness and baking times.

  4. This was just so easy to make. I could only wait 24 hours before baking. The focaccia was so delicious. I will do it again for sure. I have tried a few of your recipes and each time they are excellent. Love following you on Instagram. Thanks.

    • Hi Christine! This is such a sweet message – thank you so much. And I’m so happy that you liked this focaccia recipe as much we do! My husband and I were watching the Great British Baking Show last night and it was bread week, and we both agreed that I’ve now got to make this recipe for dinner at some point this week! haha. Thanks again for the sweet message. 🙂

  5. Hi, it looks amazing thanks for the recipe. Will try it asap but I was wondering if I can also mix the olives in the dough.

    • This is such a great question Sal! Yes, you can absolutely mix the olives in with the dough. Sounds like a fab idea. 🙂 Enjoy. xx

  6. I haven’t made this yet and I’m wondering if a gluten free flour would work well by chance?

    • Hi Naiyana! I have not tried this recipe with gluten-free flour, so unfortunately I cannot give an honest opinion. If you do try with gluten-free flour, I recommend using a 1:1 gluten-free flour “blend” like Bobs Red Mill. Good luck and please let me know how it goes! I’d love to hear back from you!

  7. Hi Hannah, I made this twice with 4 cups whole wheat flour and 2.5 cups all purpose flour. It was delicious. However, the sun dried tomatoes got charred both times. I was wondering if there was a fix to prevent that? Thanks!

    • Hi Nidhi! I’m so happy that you like the recipe and what a great idea to make it with whole wheat flour! I bet it’s delicious. I’ve had trouble with certain varieties of sun-dried tomatoes too. My recommendation, if it is getting too charred, is to add the sun-dried tomatoes when the focaccia is almost finished baking, around the 12 minute mark for the last 3 to 5 minutes. I hope that helps Nidhi!Thanks for reaching out. 🙂

  8. This is the most fragrant and tasty bread I’ve baked. The biggest plus is there is no need for messy hands. I gave it 2 nights and it worked wonders. Thank you!!

  9. Hey 🙂 this recipe sounds great! Do you think i can replace yeast with sourdogh? Unfortunately, yeast is sold out everywhere in vienna… so i made sourdough and now i came across your recipe 🙂

    • Umm, WOW! This turned out SO well, both me and my husband are super impressed. I will be making it again and again, and the best thing is it’s so simple! I’ve already shared this recipe with a bunch of friends. Focaccia revolution!

      • Hi Amanda. I’m SO happy you enjoyed this focaccia so much! It’s one of my favourites to make when entertaining – for a dish to really impress. Thanks for sharing with your friends, and for the sweet comment. 🙂

    • Hi Laura, thanks so much for reaching out. Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble finding store-bought yeast.

      You can definitely try using sourdough for this recipe. Taste and consistency might be a little difference as focaccia bread is usually quite light and airy, while sourdough is more dense. But personally I think it would be delicious!

      Let me know how it goes!