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  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1/4-ounce active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 11 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced fennel
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary nettles


  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, yeast and sugar; stir to dissolve the sugar and yeast.
  • Allow the yeast to bloom in the bowl, forming bubbles or a foam on the surface of the water.
  • Add the flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil to the bowl and mount onto the mixer.
  • Use a dough hook attachment to mix the flour and liquid on low speed until a dough is formed.
  • Once the dough is formed, raise the speed to medium and beat the dough for 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and place in a lightly greased bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel (or plastic wrap), to proof until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • While the dough is proofing, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a 10-inch saute pan and once hot, add the fennel, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper to the pan and saute until lightly caramelized, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the fennel from the pan and set aside until ready to use.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  • Punch the dough down and place on a lightly oiled 9 1/2 by 13-inch sheet pan.
  • Cover with a damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap and allow to double in size again, about 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Use your hands to flatten the dough so that it fits across the entire pan.
  • Spread the sauteed fennel across the surface of the dough, followed by the olives, pecorino, and rosemary.
  • Drizzle the remaining 6 tablespoons of the olive oil over top the dough and place in the hot oven.
  • Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 17 minutes.
  • Rotate the focaccia halfway through the cook time to ensure even browning.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.

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