Overnight Garlic Herb Focaccia

4.75 from 4 votes
Jump to Recipe

This post contains affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This delicious overnight garlic herb focaccia is the easiest most delicious bread you can make! With just a handful of simple ingredients you can make focaccia that you won’t be able to stop eating!

Whip up some bread dip or garlic confit for an ultra-indulgent easy appetizer!

slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week – and be sure to tag @sweetcsdesigns on social media – I love to see your creations!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Don’t want all the extras in a recipe post? We provide a skip to recipe button in the top left corner, as well as a clickable table of contents, just below, to help make this page easier to navigate.

We add lots of tips in our recipe – so you can make this dish, understand why it works and what each ingredient means to the flavor of a recipe. I also answer questions my friends and family have asked about my recipes, to help home cooks of any skill level better understand the processes we use and why!

slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other

Easy Overnight Garlic Herb Focaccia

Focaccia is an ancient bread that has been made since Roman times. It is a soft yeasted bread that requires a long rise, preferable in cold conditions. This garlic herb focaccia bread is made with just a few simple ingredients. It is my favorite bread to give out as a thank you to friends and just enjoy with almost any dinner or lunch!

One of the best things about focaccia is that is a super simple bread to make. It doesn’t require a fancy mixer, any special equipment, or knowledge, just a spoon, bowl, and a hot oven. Focaccia is one of my favorite breads to recommend to beginners since it is very difficult to mess up and requires rise time but very little attention. While this focaccia recipe has roast garlic and fresh herbs you can make it with any number of toppings even pesto or pine nuts, the possibilities are endless!

slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other

How to make Overnight Garlic Herb Focaccia

You will need the following ingredients:

  • Active dry yeast – yeast is what will give this focaccia its rise. Be sure to check the expiration date on your yeast if you have trouble with your bread’s rise.
  • Water – in order to activate your yeast you will need your water to be between 115? and 120?. I always use a digital thermometer before adding the honey and yeast.
  • Honey – honey is high in sugar which is exactly what your yeast wants, you can substitute the honey with granulated sugar if you prefer.
  • Flour – I recommend you use bread flour if you live in a humid environment since it will yield a better result. Generally speaking, bread flour yields a softer texture and all purpose flour gives your bread a chewier texture. Either one will work.
  • Salt – I always use a large grain salt for focaccia since you want those pockets of saltiness. If you don’t have a lot of large grain salt save that for the topping and use fine grain salt in the bread mix.
  • Extra virgin olive oil – high quality oil is essential for oiling the bowl. The oil does seep into the bread mixture so the flavor and quality does matter. The dough for this recipe is sticky so you need plenty.
  • Unsalted butter – I have found it really hard to get this bread out of the pan after its baked unless you use butter before using oil to grease the pan. Butter and oil is the way to go!
  • Garlic heads – to make the roast garlic that goes in the bread you will need whole garlic heads to add the sweet aromatic flavor.
  • Fresh Thyme and/or Rosemary – use fresh thyme and rosemary to make this focaccia pop. You can use whatever herbs you want and if you don’t have fresh, a sprinkle of whatever dried Italian herbs you have will work too!

Once you’ve followed these steps, we will use the following process:

  • Let the yeast bloom. Combine the yeast, honey, and water in a bowl, cover and let sit for a few minutes so the yeast can activate.
  • Add the dry ingredients. In a large bowl mix the flour and some of the salt. Add the bloomed yeast and mix to combine.
  • Arise. Oil a bowl and add the bread dough. Turn to coat in oil. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 18 to 24 hours.
  • Roast Garlic. Cut the tops off the garlic, place on pieces of tin foil. Add some olive oil, salt, and pepper then close the garlic in a foil pocket and roast it in the oven. Press the garlic out of the head once it has cooled.
  • Add toppings. Add the minced fresh herbs and roast garlic. Turn the dough to form a ball, don’t worry about mixing them in evenly.
  • Stretch and rise. Butter and then oil a 9×13 dish. Cover your hands in oil and stretch the focaccia dough into the pan making sure there is some oil on the top of it too. Let rise 3 – 4 hours at room temperature.
  • Tap and Bake. Coat your hands in olive oil, press your fingers all the way to the bottom of the pan into the bread dough, as if you are playing piano. Top with the remaining sea salt and any extra fresh herbs. Bake for 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Enjoy!
slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other

Tips and Tricks to Perfect Focaccia

Don’t want to wait. If you don’t have time for an overnight rise you can let it rise the first time at room temperature 3-4 hours instead of overnight and will get a similar result.

Mix it up. You can add other toppings to the bread before the bread is baked such as other fresh spices, halved cherry tomatoes, or even pesto!

Don’t overwork dough. Mix the dough until it forms a smooth and sticky ball, but don’t overwork it. Overworking the dough can result in a tough and chewy focaccia.

Rise overnight. Ideally you will let the dough rise in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to develop and the dough to become more tender.

Dimple dough gently. Use your fingers to gently dimple the dough before topping it with olive oil, sea salt, and herbs. This creates the classic focaccia texture and helps the toppings to adhere to the dough. As you press your fingers down the dough may form bubbles this is normal and good.

Try different flavors. Experiment with different toppings like caramelized onions, roasted garlic, or grated Parmesan cheese to customize your focaccia.

Preheat oven. Bake the focaccia in a preheated oven at a high temperature (425°F/218°C) to ensure a crispy crust and tender interior.

Cool completely before slicing. Let the focaccia cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. This will prevent the toppings from sliding off and allow the bread to firm up slightly.


Does this bread freeze well?

Yes! I have found that this bread freezes really well. Once it has been baked and cooled wrap it in plastic wrap and freeze for 3 – 4 months.

What is overnight focaccia?

Overnight focaccia is a type of focaccia bread that is prepared the night before baking. The dough is mixed and left to rise in the refrigerator overnight, which allows the flavors to develop and the dough to become more tender.

Why make overnight focaccia?

Making focaccia dough ahead of time and allowing it to rest overnight results in a more flavorful and tender bread. It also saves time on the day of baking, since the dough is already prepared and ready to bake.

How long can you keep overnight focaccia dough in the refrigerator?

Overnight focaccia dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. If left in the refrigerator for longer than 24 hours, the dough may become over-risen and lose some of its flavor.

Can overnight focaccia dough be frozen?

Yes, overnight focaccia dough can be frozen for up to 3 months. To use the frozen dough, simply thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and allow it to come to room temperature before baking.

How do you bake overnight focaccia?

To bake overnight focaccia, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for 30 minutes. Then, stretch and press the dough into a greased baking pan, and top with desired toppings like olive oil, sea salt, and herbs. Bake in a preheated oven at 425°F (218°C) for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other

Other Delicious Bread Recipes

Overnight focaccia pairs well with a variety of dishes and can be served as a side dish, appetizer, or main course. Here are some ideas for what to serve with overnight focaccia:

Soup: Serve the focaccia alongside a warm bowl of soup, such as Instant Pot Vegetable Soup, Tomato Basil Chicken Tortellini Soup, or butternut squash.

Salad: Pair the focaccia with a fresh salad, such as Caesar salad, Greek salad, or Caprese salad.

Pasta: Serve the focaccia with a plate of pasta, such as spaghetti with marinara sauce, fettuccine Alfredo, or lasagna.

Charcuterie board: Create a charcuterie board with cured meats, cheeses, olives, and other small bites to enjoy with the focaccia.

Grilled vegetables: Grill up some vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, and peppers to serve alongside the focaccia.

Hummus and dips: Serve the focaccia with a variety of dips, such as hummus, tzatziki, Zhoug (Skhug) Sauce, or baba ganoush.

Main course: Use the focaccia as a base for a sandwich or panini, or serve it alongside a main course like baked pork tenderloin or roasted vegetables.

Click here to view all of our delicious recipes!

slices of herb focaccia with salt stacked on top of each other

Overnight Garlic Herb Focaccia Recipe

If you love this easy recipe please click the stars below to give it a five star rating and leave a comment! Pease also help me share on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Follow on Instagram


Click here to view the web story for this recipe!

Be sure to follow me on social media and get in on all the fun!

Only have 30 minutes to get dinner on the table? Sign up for my 30 minute dinner plans direct to your inbox!
Find and shop my favorite products in my Amazon storefront here!

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week – and be sure to tag @sweetcsdesigns on social media – I love to see your creations!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
sliced focaccia on a cutting board

Overnight Garlic Herb Focaccia

Delicious overnight focaccia is packed with garlic and herb flavor, its the easiest bread you will every make!
Course Breads
Cuisine Italian
Keyword breads, easy bread, focaccia, garlic, italian, overnight, rosemary, thyme
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 50 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 360kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups lukewarm water between 115? and 120?
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 4 cups bread flour or all purpose flour
  • 3 tsp sea salt. divided
  • 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil divided
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 whole garlic heads
  • 2 tbsp fresh thyme and/or rosemary minced


  • In a medium glass bowl whisk the yeast, honey, and lukewarm water. Cover with a dish towel and let sit for 5 minutes. It should be frothy and foamy (If it doesn't, check your water temperature or yeast expiration date and try again). 
  • Add the flour and 2 ½  tsp of the kosher salt to a large bowl. Mix with a silicone spatula or oiled wooden spoon until a loose sticky dough forms and it is well mixed. 
  • Pour 4 tbsp of the olive oil into a bowl, coating the sides. Add the dough and coat it with the oil on top. Cover with plastic wrap and set in the fridge for 18 to 24 hours. 
  • Butter a 13” x 9” baking pan then pour 1 tbsp olive oil in the center and spread out, make sure you get it all the way up the sides. Both butter and oil ensure the bread will come out easy. 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. 
  • Cut the tops off the garlic heads to expose some of the cloves inside. Pour some olive oil onto the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 
  • Wrap in a tin foil pouch and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour or until the garlic is completely softened and roasted.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool then squeeze the roasted garlic out of the garlic head shell into a bowl and set aside to cool.
  • Take the risen dough out of the fridge. Sprinkle the top with the roasted garlic and fresh herbs
  • Using a fork in each hand, gather the edges of the dough furthest from you and lift it up and over the center of the bowl. Quarter turn the bowl and repeat the process until the dough forms a loose ball. 
  • Pour the dough into the prepared pan. Pour any extra oil over the dough and turn it to coat. 
  • Stretch the dough to fill the pan. Let the focaccia rise at room temperature, uncovered for 3 – 4 hours at room temperature.
  •  Preheat oven to 425? and arrange a rack in the center of the oven.
  •  Put a little oil on your hands then dimple the dough firmly like you are playing the piano aggressively. You want to push your fingers all the way to the bottom of the pan. 
  • Sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp of large grain sea salt over the dough then bake for 20 – 30 minutes or until nicely browned on the top. Enjoy!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 360kcal | Carbohydrates: 65g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 878mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 1g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating