No-knead bread is the easy way to make amazing, chewy loaves with minimal work and maximum flavor! This sage and olive focaccia has a crispy exterior and a soft and chewy middle, making it perfect for paninis, mopping up sauces at dinner, or simply eating all on its own.
One great thing about fall arriving is that I can think about turning on my oven and baking bread! Which means of course that I do turn on my oven and make bread. I have months of pent up homemade bread needs here after all!
Bread needs which were satisfied by my latest foray into no-knead bread territory. So yummy! Do I need to say how much I love no-knead bread?
Yes, I probably do!
No-knead bread was first popularized (invented? I’m not sure!) by Jim Lahey. And since then SO MANY people have successfully made bread, not only bread but really awesome bread, in their dutch ovens, on trays, and in skillets. I’m going to lay it down right here: so long as you have an oven, some ingredients, and a cast iron skillet, you too can make awesome focaccia.
Don’t have a skillet? Do you have a dutch oven? Yes? Then you can make a no-knead rosemary boule! You totally have this.
But today is all about no-knead skillet bread. Like my recipe for garlic and thyme focaccia, this recipe is made right in a cast iron skillet. Look at the crispy exterior from the olive oil. And the beautiful toppings of fresh sage and black olives. It’s time to blast your oven up to 500F and make the best focaccia in your life. So there. 🙂
How do you make non-knead sage and olive focaccia?
To make no-knead sage and olive focaccia, start by mixing the flour, yeast, and salt with water until you have a shaggy dough. Let the dough rise overnight then turn it out in a cast iron skillet. Finish by topping the focaccia with sage and olives and bake in a hot oven until golden.
- Mix together the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl.
- Pour in the water and work it into the flour until you have a shaggy dough.
- Let the dough rise for about 12 hours.
- Pour some olive oil into a cast iron skillet and turn out the dough into the skillet.
- Press dimples into the top of the focaccia.
- Top with olives and sage. Pour over some more olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake in a 500F oven until the golden brown.
First things first, you will need your hands dirty bringing the dough together. I’ve not once mixed it all with a spoon without having to finish it off by getting right in there with my hands. That said, you’re going to mix together the flour, yeast, and salt in a bowl. Then pour in the water and begin mixing with a spoon. Once it’s mostly mixed, use your hands to bring it to its shaggy, no dry flour, doughy glory.
Now cover it with plastic wrap, put it in a corner (or a cold oven if your pets are as annoying as mine), and wait. Come back in 10-12 hours.
Tip: You can adjust the rising time by adjusting the yeast! One half teaspoon gives you a 10-12 hr rising time, while one quarter teaspoon means an 18 hour rising time. It’s not exact, since there are other variables, but you can get close by taking your rise time (RT) and multiplying your yeast (YT) and dividing by your new rise time (NRT). So RT x YT / NYT = NYT. Have some math with your bread!
Once your dough is all risen and bubbly, you’re going to take some olive oil and pour it into a cast iron skillet. Then take your oily hands and gather up the dough into a ball.
Roll the dough around in the oil to coat it and press it down into the skillet. If it doesn’t want to spread out to the edges, give it 10 minutes and try again.
Let the dough rise for another hour. Meanwhile move the oven rack to the lower middle position and heat up your oven. You want your oven to be HOT.
Tip: Make sure you put your oven rack to the lower middle position! If it’s in the middle, the top of the the focaccia will burn. Don’t ask me how I know…
Before putting the dough into the oven, press dimples all over the top of the dough. Then scatter olives over, pressing them down. Finish by scattering sage over, drizzling on more oil, and sprinkling the top with coarse salt. Like some flaky sea salt!
Pop the focaccia in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Once done, take it out and transfer the bread to a cooling rack. Cool to room temp, or as long as you can wait, and then slice and serve.
If you’ve been afraid to make bread, now is the time to just do it! And, if you’ve been on the fence about getting a cast iron skillet, just do that too! Neither one is as difficult as you might have thought it was.
Just remember to wash your skillet as soon as it’s cool. Use soap as needed. (Really!) Dry it well. (A little heat is helpful here to completely dry up the water.) Regularly give it a very light coat of oil. (Wipe off as much as you can once you’ve oiled it.)
And then what can you do with your skillet? What can’t you do? (Okay, stay away from simmering acidic liquids and putting it in the dishwasher or leaving it wet.)
Great Cast Iron Recipes
- Blueberry Skillet Cobbler
- Mustard Greens, Leek, and Prosciutto Frittata
- Crispy Seared Salmon
- Strawberry Yogurt Skillet Cake
- Sauteed Pork Tenderloin with a Cider Cream Sauce
If you try my recipe for Sage and Olive Focaccia, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Baking, Annemarie
No-Knead Sage and Kalamata Olive Focaccia
- 3 cups (15 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/3 cups (10.5 oz) room temperature water
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 tbsp sliced fresh sage
- coarse salt or flaky sea salt
- Combine the flour, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Pour in the water and stir with a spoon. Once you have most of the flour incorporated, use your hands to finish mixing the dough. Note: the dough will be wet and sticky.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a quiet place the kitchen for 10-12 hours.
- Once you are ready to shape the dough, pull out your cast iron skillet. Take 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and pour it into the skillet. Get your hands oiled and scrape the dough out of the bowl into the skillet.
- Turn the dough around in the skillet to coat it with oil, then gently spread the dough out so that it fills the skillet. If it won't spread out all the way to the edges, wait 10 minutes and push it out some more.
- Cover the skillet with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
- When the dough has rested for 30 minutes, begin heating the oven. Move the oven rack to the lower middle position and heat the oven to 500F.
- Once the dough is done resting, prep it for baking. Dimple the dough with your fingertips. Scatter the olives over and work them down into the dough. Then scatter the sage over and press some of that into the dough.
- Drizzle over the final 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Bake until cooked through and golden brown, 15-20 minutes in a 12-inch skillet. 20-25 in a 10-inch skillet.
- Remove the skillet from the oven. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and cool to room temperature.
- Rising the dough: I like to put the dough into my cold oven overnight. No need to worry about drafts or about pets.
- How to know it's ready: The dough will fill much of your bowl, be quite puffy, and covered with bubbles. Unless your house is very warm (80+ F), be prepared to wait at least 10 hours.
- Baking: Make sure you move the oven rack to the lower middle position or you are likely to find the top of the bread burning before the middle is done.
- Baking Sheet: You can use a heavy baking sheet to make this bread. It won't get as crispy as the cast iron version, but it will work just fine.
- Skillet: I use a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet.