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Donal Skehan
Garlic & Basil No-Knead Focaccia | DonalSkehan.com

Garlic & Basil No-Knead Focaccia

June 25
The more authentic focaccia recipes tend to be a sticky mess that is best left to the professionals but in this no knead method, copious amounts of olive oil and a lack of kneading provide you with surprisingly impressive and easy to handle loaf. Once you have the method down the dough can be transformed with a number of different toppings or even made into a deep-dish style pizza with some good passata and mozzarella.


  • time
  • serves Serves 4
  1. Grease a 13 x 9 inch baking tray with olive oil. The tray should be at least an inch in depth.
  2. Mix together the dried yeast, honey and warm water together in a large bowl. Whisk, then leave for 15 minutes until a foam forms.
  3. Add the flour and salt to this and stir to combine with a wooden spoon until you have a rough but evenly mixed dough.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of the oil to a separate large clean bowl, transfer the dough into this. Turn to coat the dough in the oil and cover and leave in the fridge overnight (alternatively leave covered at room temperature for 4 hours to bake same day).
  5. Keeping the dough in the bowl and lightly coat your hands with oil, pull up the edge of the dough and fold over the top, repeat this on all four sides, turning the bowl a quarter turn each time to make this easier. Do this three times in total.
  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the prepared tin and tip in the dough spread to the size of the tin. Leave to rise for at least an hour, uncovered.
  7. While this is rising, make the basil pesto. Bash the garlic cloves in a pestle and mortar with a little salt, until well bashed, add the garlic and bash until a paste forms, slowly drizzle in olive oil until combined.
  8. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
  9. You know when you’re dough is ready when you poke it and the indentation slowly springs back but stays. Oil your hands, and then, to create the indentations, spread apart your fingers and press into the dough, reaching the base of the tray.
  10. Drizzle over the basil paste along with a little more sea salt.
  11. Place in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes then slide a thin spatula underneath and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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For the dough:

1x 7g sachet dried yeast

1 tbsp honey

600ml warm water

650g plain flour

1 tbsp sea salt flakes

4 tbsp olive oil

For the garlic, basil rub:

4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2 tsp sea salt flakes

Large handful basil leaves

3 tbsp olive oil

You'll Need

Roasting Tray

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag your photo #DonalSkehan