Focaccia Rolls

$1.20 recipe / $0.10 serving

If I haven’t convinced you yet to try no-knead bread, perhaps this post will. These perfect little rolls are so good that I’ve had to stash them in my freezer just so that I won’t eat them all up. Sure, they’re just a 30 second nuke away from being warm and delicious again, but at least the freezer has slowed me down a little ;)

These rolls are really easy, but they do need to take their sweet time. You’ll need to start them the day before, so plan ahead. Actual hands-on time is probably less than 30 minutes, most of which is dedicated to shaping the dough into the rolls.

I brushed each roll with olive oil and then sprinkled Italian seasoning on top. I love the texture that the olive oil gave the rolls, but you could certainly make them without if you want. Also, you could mix dry herbs right into the dough (with the other dry ingredients in the beginning) and have an herb infused roll. There are so many possibilities. Run with it!

Focaccia Rolls

Focaccia Rolls

4.9 from 11 reviews
focaccia rolls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Total Cost: $1.20
Cost Per Serving: $0.10
Serves: 12
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour $0.59
  • ½ Tbsp salt $0.05
  • ¼ tsp instant yeast $0.02
  • 2 cups water $0.00
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil $0.24
  • 2 Tbsp Italian seasoning $0.30
  1. The day before (about 18 hours ahead of time) combine the flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until well mixed. Add the water, starting with 1.5 cups, and add a little more at a time until the flour forms a cohesive, wet ball. There should not be any dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl. The total amount of water you’ll need will vary, but should be between 1.5 to 2 cups. See the photos below for more info.
  2. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit at room temperature for 16-18 hours to ferment.
  3. After 16-18 hours, the dough will look like a large, bubbly mass. Sprinkle with enough flour to be able to scrape it out of the bowl without it sticking to your hands. Place the dough on a well floured surface. Cut the dough into 12 pieces. Shape each piece into a small ball. The dough will be quite wet, floppy, and sticky, so sprinkle liberally with flour as you work.
  4. Place the rolls on a baking sheet covered in foil and lightly sprayed with non-stick spray (I used two baking sheets). Brush the top of each lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the Italian seasoning over top. Let rise for 30 minutes to one hour or until doubled in size.
  5. While the rolls are still rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once it is fully preheated, place the rolls in the oven and bake until the surface is a light golden brown (about 25 minutes). Serve warm!

focaccia rolls

Step By Step Photos

dry ingredientsBegin a day ahead of time by stirring together the flour, salt, and yeast.

wet doughStarting with 1.5 cups of water, add just enough to form a wet, sticky ball of dough. There should be no dry flour left on the bottom of the bowl or on the surface of the dough. It is better for the dough to be slightly too wet than too dry at this point.

fermented doughLoosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for 16-18 hours to ferment. After that time, it will have expanded into this big, frothy mass.

floured surfaceSprinkle the dough liberally with flour so that you can scrape it out of the bowl without it sticking to your hands. Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface. The dough will be very loose, soft, and sticky.

cut doughCut the dough into four equal parts and then cut each quarter into three pieces to yield 12 pieces total.

shape doughShape each piece into a ball, sprinkling with flour as you go (the dough will still be quite sticky). Place the balls on a baking sheet covered with foil and lightly coated with non-stick spray.

seasonLightly brush each roll with olive oil and then sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Let rise for about one hour or, if your kitchen is warm and you’re impatient like me, let rise for 30 minutes.

baked rollsTowards the end of the rise time, begin to preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Once it is fully preheated, place the rolls in the oven and bake until they are light golden brown on the surface (about 25 minutes). Serve hot!

focaccia rolls


  1. Jocelyn says:

    i couldn’t find instant yeast anywhere at my local stores, will just regular active yeast work?

    • Probably not as well. The difference is that active dry must be dissolved in water and allowed to proof before adding to a recipe (this activates it), whereas instant or bread machine yeast can be added dry.

    • bethany says:

      if you use active dry yeast (vs instant), you just need to “proof it” first.

      I set aside about about 1/4 of warm water (of the 2 cups for recipe) and add the yeast, along with a pinch of sugar (and sometimes a pinch of flour). I mix it up and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it gets a bit frothy on top. Finally, I add the rest of the water (stirring so I don’t leave behind any yeasties) and then mix it into the rest of the ingredients.

      It’s noteworthy that you can probably just add the 1/4 tablespoon of yeast to the full 2 cups of water (without the sugar or flour), but I find that it doesn’t appear to have activated… and even though it’s probably fine, I appreciate the confidence of proofing it in a smaller batch. :-)

  2. oum saffiya says:

    These rolls came out of the oven very nicely this morning. so i just prepared a new batch, triple size… gonna put them in the freezer and also gonna make pizza with it tomorrow.

    the only thing i do different is i put my spices in the mixture and also the olive oil…

  3. Neha says:

    Would there be a way to make this with wheat flour? By the way, love your website! Thank you for sharing such great and easy recipes!

    • Most bread recipes are okay when substituting up to 1/2 of the AP flour with WW. You can expect more noticeable texture and flavor changes when using all WW flour. I haven’t tried the no knead recipes with all WW flour, though, so I’m not sure how much it would be affected. If you try it out, let us know how it turns out!

      • Nina says:

        I’m not the person who posted the first comment, but I wanted to let you know that I just made these with white whole wheat flour and they turned out great. Absolutely heavenly with garlic butter. Just perfect.

        This recipe does not work with regular WW flour, however. At least it didn’t work for me.

    • bethany says:

      WW and White Bread Flour works really nicely for this recipe… and around the holidays it’s nearly 50% off at the grocery store.

      I’ve made this recipe a few times now and I have found that swapping out 1 cup of the flour for WW works out nicely without drying it out. (For taste, I prefer wheat breads) I’ve tried doing 50/50, but they turned out chewy in a bad way.

      (& in general comment)
      For flavor, I also add a bit more salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil directly to my mix (whisking it with the water first, quickly pouring and mixing everything together, otherwise it gets weirdly distributed throughout in the dough). Adding too much liquid tends to work better than adding too little.

  4. Katie says:

    Just made these and they are excellent! Chewy in the middle with a nice crust. I made the recipe with active dry yeast and didn’t change the procedure at all and they turned out nicely.

  5. Chad Uzdevenes says:

    I was a chef for over 10 years and am now a Food Chemistry graduate student. Needless to say that I have tasted a lot of food in my life. This is the best focaccia recipe that I have ever come across. I used a spray bottle to steam the oven at the beginning of baking and about 3 minutes in. The crust it produced was exceptional.

  6. laura says:

    these were great- everyone in my family enjoyed them (and there are 6 of us!)

  7. Yvonne says:

    I am gluten-free, and I usually just tweek the recipes with my gf all purpose flour, but since it has no gluten, getting to raise is difficult, so I use gf Xanthan Gum to take the place of gluten. I didn’t get the raise that you described and I might get the rolls that this recipes call for, but I tried. Do by any chance have this recipe for people that don’t eat gluten in their flour, I love the taste of focaccia bread.

    • I wish I knew some tricks, but I don’t! Gluten is definitely vital to making this turn out right. Check out this blog, Gluten Free On A Shoestring, because she does a lot of gluten free breads. You’ll probably find some tricks there and she may even have a foccacia recipe. I hope that helps! :)

  8. Julie says:

    I made these and they came out delicious! The only thing I did different was to cut the dough into 8 pieces (instead of 12) and placed each one into a 4 inch spring form pan. They came out perfect size for sandwiches or burgers. Thanks for a great new way to make my favorite kind of bread!

  9. Samantha says:

    I have seen Heaven, and it is these rolls. I’ve made them in the past, months ago, but this time was different. I really wanted olive bread, but I knew making a big loaf would be very dangerous (as in I’d devour it probably in a single sitting…warm and dipped in olive oil and balsamic, nothing better!). I remembered these rolls, and after a quick Google to ensure that adding olives to a no-knead recipe wouldn’t mess it up, I mixed about a cup of chopped olives and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning into the dry ingredients (using 1 cup whole wheat flour and the rest AP). HALLELUJAH. Perfect crust, so moist and tender on the inside, with the occasional olive to spice things up. Everyone, I urge you to try it. You will NOT regret it.

  10. Valerie says:

    Dear god. These were AMAZING! So glad that I made them tonight to go with my homemade veggie burgers. The store rolls are full of crap ingredients and are expensive-these were so quick (prep time..not total time) and easy to make!

  11. Valerie says:

    Hey Beth! I love your recipes. I’m looking for a bun recipe to use (town “bakery” simply heats up frozen dough filled with gross ingredients and it cost’s sooo much!). Do you think I could simply make these larger to accommodate sandwiches? Would I need to adjust my cooking time?

    • Yes, you definitely can. Just keep an eye on them in the oven and take them out when they’re golden brown. It’s basically the same as this ciabatta recipe, so you can do it in a big, flat loaf and cut it into squares for sandwiches.

  12. Mary says:

    I checked my yeast and it is active dry yeast. Then I scrolled down and saw that you said bread machine yeast is instant yeast. I want to try making these today. (I do have bread machine yeast that I haven’t opened yet…not sure why I had bought it, but I’m glad I did)
    I don’t see anything written in any of the posts about the temperature of the water. Should it be warm or room temperature? I am sure this makes a difference to this recipe….if you could respond to this post that would be great. I just found your blog and I’m looking forward to trying your recipes!

  13. Zola Chitwood says:

    I just discovered your site, and am so glad I did. To the people who are having trouble with the bread not rising, could it be your yeast has has reached its expiration date?

  14. Krys says:

    My room temperature is 32°C or 90F (I live in the Caribbean). Does that mean I have to reduce the amount of yeast or reduce the 18 hours? Thanks :)

  15. I make these once every couple months. They’re too dangerous to keep in the house for me but they’re great to take for the holidays :)

  16. BelleR_ says:

    Sorry for insisting in this, Beth, but I read all the comments for this post and it just made me really want to make those rolls tomorrow morning. However, I just checked and I only have active dry yeast. :(

    So let’s say I’m a very stubborn person, which advice would you give me?
    Should I follow your steps, but mix the yeast with warm water before and then add them to the mixture? Should I do the proofing with the whole amount of water?

    Why didn’t I find you yesterday? Hahaha

    • I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried it with active dry, so I can’t vouch for it, but I would try mixing it into the water instead of the dry ingredients. I would still let it proof for the whole amount of times since it’s such a small amount of yeast. Let me know if it works out!

  17. Jessa says:

    I made these for the first time, tonight. They taste wonderful, but they didn’t rise, much; yours look so rounded, like little balls, but mine kind of spread out and looked a little flat and asymmetrical! Did I do something wrong?

  18. Tricia says:

    These have been a staple of mine for a while, but on the most recent batch, I mixed in 1/2 tsp of oregano and 1/2 tsp of basil to the dry ingredients. My god. They are delicious.

  19. Melanie says:

    I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong here – I’ve made these three times in the past month and each time they were delicious but very flat; they spread while they’re rising on the pan and end up being as big as my hand and too flat to cut in half to make a sandwich. The first time I used as little flour as possible, the second I mixed in enough flour that they were hardly sticky, and the third time I chilled the dough, but they always turn out the same. Is there a secret to the round, fluffy shape that I’m missing?

    • Hmm, I was going to suggest adding more flour, but you’ve tried that. The only other thing I can think of is to work the dough a bit as you’re shaping them into balls. Don’t roll them in your hands to make them round, but pull the dough over itself and pinch it together on the bottom. Do that a few times over until you have a semi-tight ball. I hope that makes sense!

  20. Kasha says:

    All entries to this point rave over these rolls and I want to, too! They were delicious! Amazingly simple recipe (as long as I plan ahead) and so much flavor. Thank you! Question: I see that you’ve frozen them after baking and cooling, but I’m wondering if the dough can be frozen, then remove, (thaw?), and bake later?

  21. Alison says:

    I LOVED these! I made them this morning and I’ve already eaten 3! Will definitely be trying the no knead bread as well.

  22. susanne says:

    aloha beth
    just made these rolls, and they are wonderful. they are a bit flatter than the ones shown here, so perfect for sandwiches.
    no spray oil in the house, so i just smeared some oil on the foil–worked great. also, no italian herbs, so i used herbs de provence–delish! and i used a cup of whole wheat flour to replace a cup of white–again, very nice flavor, texture, color.
    these will be a standard in my weekly baking now! thanks so much.

    • susanne says:

      i’ve upped the whole wheat to half the flour, and they make very tasty, but flatter, rolls, like ww hamburger buns. seems the ww flour keeps them from rising up, but they’re still light, soft, and disappearing!

      also, last time i smeared olive oil on the foil and just used my oily hands to shape the rolls–worked great, no extra flour needed. i still swabbed a bit more oil on the tops, to help secure the herbs.

      great recipe! thanks again.

  23. Anonymous says:

    425degree……………..??????? is how mutch degree of Celsium,je supose……….LOL!!!

  24. Tricia – No, I’m sure you’re right, it probably just needs a little more salt. It’s amazing what a pinch of salt can do to really make other flavors pop. The amount listed above was right for me, but everyone is different, so you might need a little more :)

  25. These were delicious, but they came out a little bland for me, as if I needed more salt. Besides the obvious, is there anything else I may have done wrong to have them taste like that? I used oregano and parmasean on the top, which was a great combination!

  26. Anon – Hmm, it’s hard to say without having watched you do it, since there are so many places wehre something could have happened, but my first guess would be that you didn’t use instant yeast? If you accidentally used “active dry” yeast, the recipe won’t work because that type of yeast has to be proofed in warm water before adding to a recipe. Instant yeast (also known as bread machine yeast) can be added dry to a recipe and it will magically spring to life when you finally add water to the dough. If you want to read more about the different types of yeasts, there is a link to an article about it in the ingredient list.

    I hope that’s what the issue was!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ok I love your recipes, but for some reason with this one I ended up with hockey puks. Any thoughts? I thought I followed the recipe exactly? Hmmm. Not a complete loss since I’m turning my hockey puks into your apple bread pudding:-)

  28. Olive oil is one of the many ways we know God loves us. I highly recommend. :) And I can’t want to try this! I’m seriously baking-challenged, so I’m hoping this works. Seems straightforward.

  29. Yep, you can brush on any oil that you’d like!

  30. Anonymous says:

    My family does not use olive oil (I know, we’re weird) and I was wondering if the seasoning would stick without it? Maybe a quick mist with cooking spray?

  31. Nina Z. says:

    oh my god, beth, these rolls are amazing! I made them last week and since then I can’t stop thinking about them so I will have to make them again tomorrow :) they taste exactly like the little rolls they serve in my favorite italian restaurant (and that’s a huge compliment)!
    also: I love your blog, I’ve recommended it to all of my best friends and we can’t wait for your cookbook! I wish you all the best and a great 2013!

  32. Belle – Yep, bread flour would work fine for these :)

  33. Would anyone happen to know if I could use bread flour for these rolls? I picked up a bag and I’m trying to finish it off.

    • marisa says:

      I used all bread flour, came out amazing. slightly flatter than Beth’s but scrumptious.

  34. All I can say is Yum! These were amazing! I used active dry yeast because it’s what I had on hand, and the only thing I did differently was that I mixed the yeast with the water before adding it to the flour. I will definitely be making these again!

  35. Jeanne – They’re definitely smaller than a hamburger bun… mine were maybe 2/3 that size? I hope that helps!!

  36. How big are these rolls? The picture on the baking tray looks hamburger bun sized, but then compared to the butter dish in the last picture, they now look small. Since they sound so delicious, I’m trying to figure out if my guest will want to eat one or two or five (!) rolls.

  37. Worked great! Husband thought it was the best I have made yet :) Thanks!

  38. Dianeish says:

    I’ve always made bread with my mixer, but I just moved into a dorm and so it stayed at home.. and I’m lazy. this was fab. And people wonder why I hate spending money on sandwich buns!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I’m making my second batch of these right now! The first ones came out so wonderful and I impressed a bunch of people with these. This time I’m using rosemary and thyme and I hope they turn out just as good!

  40. Becca Weber says:

    I think I did a few things wrong, so mine are probably going to turn out more like flatbreads than like rolls, but this was a really fun and easy recipe nonetheless! I also didn’t have Italian seasoning so I used za’atar spices instead, which means they should be perfect for hummus!!

  41. Anonymous says:

    I made this recipe twice and couldn’t figure out why the second rise wasn’t happening too well, and just realized I’m using dry active yeast. Even though they still came out delicious, I can’t wait to try them again!

  42. Amanda – I regularly freeze my rolls after baking. They’re still really good but they loose their crisp crust. Just make sure to let the cool completely before freezing. I just freeze them in a gallon sized zip top bag.

  43. Any ideas on freezing these before or after baking? I want to make them for a party but I don’t want to have to do too much work that day.

  44. Awesome! I’m so glad they still semi-turned out :) This recipe has become a staple for me. SO good and SO easy.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Hi again! I was the one that added too much yeast, here with an update. I’m usually a decent cook but making this was a series of unfortunate events for me. First the yeast, then I let it rise a few hours too long, and then I baked the rolls a few minutes too long. All things considered, these turned out nicely and taste pretty good. This recipe was very forgiving! I will make these again and hopefully won’t have any more mishaps.

  46. Anon – Instant yeast is definitely best here. The major difference between active dry and instant is that instant does not need to be mixed with water prior to adding to a recipe. If you use active dry, I would suggest mixing the yeast with the water instead of mixing it with the flour. I hope that makes sense!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Can i use dry active yeast?

  48. Anon – Yes, 1/4 tsp is plenty :) Because it sits so long, that little bit of yeast has plenty of time to grow and multiply. In regular bread recipes the yeast only has about two hours to grow so you have to add more. I hope your rolls turn out great!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Will 1/4 tsp of instant yeast really be enough? I just mixed this but used the whole 1/4 oz package… then I re-read the directions and I’m worried it’s not going to turn out at all. I guess I’ll find out in the morning if I have a huge mess. I’ll post an update if these even make it to the baking stage.

  50. you can substitute this with whole wheat flour, but to obtain the same soft integrity of the rolls you need to be sure to use whole wheat PASTRY flour rather than just straight flour. whole wheat pastry flour acts like all purpose for most recipes and did this time for me. i also have a lot of experience with almond flour and if you were to use almond flour you would have to, for this recipe, replace only 1 cup of the flour with almond flour and the rest (3 cups) would have to be either all purpose or whole wheat pastry flour. :)

  51. Anonymous says:

    Has anyone tried using almond flour? I don’t usually eat bread, but these look amazing – I try to keep things as gluten free as possible…..

  52. Anonymous says:

    I used 50% white whole wheat flour and 50% unbleached all-purposed. Worked just fine.

  53. I wonder how these would bake up on the grill?? Anyone tried this?

  54. Adrianne says:

    I think this is probably the best bread I have ever made. I would probably add a bit more salt (personal preference….terrible for me I know) but otherwise this will be my go to sunday recipe.

  55. Heather, I’m glad you saw that! I think that was actually a mistake! Usually when an ingredient says “divided” after it, that just means that you’ll use some of the total volume listed in one step, and the rest in another step, but you’ll have to read the directions to find out how much to use and when (in other words, don’t just split it in half). Anyway, for this recipe you use all four cups in the first step so I’m not sure why I typed (divided) after it. I’m about to go fix it, thanks for noticing!

  56. Heather says:

    I am not an experienced baker at all… So quick question. What does it mean 4 cups flour divided? Is it just split in two?

  57. Anon – It’s made by Chef Paul Prudhomme and it’s Italian seasoning for “pizza and pasta”

  58. oh girl! these are to die for! thanks for your wonderful site, looking forward to your recipe finds in my email, i too i’m in love!! ;-)

  59. Anonymous says:

    What kind of Italian seasoning do you use? The seasonings on the pictures look different than the Italian season I use. Thanks!

  60. Anonymous says:

    these look awesome! i’ve tried to make french bread but both times it turned out really dense :( not light and fluffy like i wanted! now i am thinking it has something to do with the yeast (i didn’t know there were soo many different kinds of yeast and that it mattered). need to try these guys out!

  61. Amber – I think technically you can make them after two hours (most no-knead bread recipes involve a 2 hour room temperature rise), but the 18 hours develops the flavor :)

  62. Great post! These focaccia rolls look delicious! What would happen if you just couldn’t wait for them to complete the fermenting process? I want to make these and put them in the oven right now! :)

  63. Erin says:

    Oh. My. God. I made these today, and they are amaaaazing. And SO easy to make. It was my first attempt to bake any type of bread, and they came out perfectly. Actually, I think I could have added a little more olive oil and Italian seasoning. I can’t wait to make sandwiches with these this week! Thanks for the super awesome recipe!

  64. Maurine – I think you’re right! Total typo x 2! I think it was more like 25 minutes, which is still longer than I expected them to take… but I think that’s because the dough is so wet. Thanks for catching that!

  65. Gorgeous. I love these rolls! Please link up to Foodie Friday

  66. okay…I’m scared, I make a lot of bread, but have never tried a no-rise bread, and I just want to double-check that 40 minutes at 425 is correct…that seems like a LONG time for rolls! Usually it would be maybe 10 minutes at 375 for typical ones.

  67. Phon – not naive at all! I definitely should have mentioned that. You can just use regular room temperature water. :)

  68. These look fab! I’m not an experienced baker so please excuse the naïveté of this question: what temperature water should I use? Cold or room temp? Thx!

  69. that sounds amazing and SO easy! I know what I’m doing this weekend!!

  70. I’m definitely going to try these out. I’ve been attempting a lot of buns for burgers and am interested to see if Focaccia rolls would work.

  71. Sarah L. says:

    These look awesome. I love a bread roll. Hope to try these soon!

  72. Thanks! Can’t wait to try it!

  73. MicheleP – Yep, at room temperature. I’ve also seen recipes that call for fermentation in the fridge, but I bet there is better flavor development at room temperature.

    Beth – I’m sure you could, but if it goes too long, the yeast will eat up all of the carbohydrates and there won’t be any left for the second rise. I would suggest putting it in the refrigerator to slow fermentation if you want to elave it longer than 18 hours.

  74. Looks delicious!!
    Can you let it sit longer than 18 hours?

  75. MicheleP says:

    Beth – Should the ‘ferment’ stage be at room temp or in the fridge?

  76. Jessie says:

    Just wanted to let you know I stumbled upon your blog and I’m in love! I’m making two of your recipes for dinner tonight (coconut rice and thai peanut sauce). I just can’t stop bookmarking and bookmarking! Great work.

  77. Taylor Ann – I’ve made this recipe with 1/4 ww and it works well. The more ww you substitute, the more dense it will get. Since this recipe isn’t kneaded, I don’t think it will hold up well to large amounts of ww without adding extra gluten (I’ve never tried adding gluten, but I’ve heard of people doing so).

    Mel – Yep, after freezing. Let them cool completely first. I just microwave them to warm them up again. They’re not crispy on the outside like they are just out of the oven, but they’re still divine!

  78. Beth, do you freeze them after baking, right? And then pop it back in the oven to heat it, or how do you do it? Cheers :)
    Ps: I also LOVE your blog and recommend it to my friends in Brazil and Germany.

  79. Anonymous says:

    I’ve already done this with the other focaccia recipe of yours. I make up 8-10 sandwiches and I’m set for the week. Great recipe, your site really great, I recommend it to everyone I meet

  80. I can’t wait to try this! Thanks!

  81. Any thoughts on making these with whole wheat flour? Think it would work okay still?

    • shannon says:

      You might want to try a little more water until it’s just sticky. Whole wheat is like a sponge

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