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Column: Cooking with Colby

Focaccia al Rosmarino (Rosemary Focaccia bread). – © Colby Lillington

Welcome to Cooking with Colby!

This month’s recipe is Focaccia bread. Focaccia is an Italian style flat bread used for many things; such as: antipastos, table bread, and it even makes a great snack. A simple olive oil and/or balsamic vinegar goes very well with focaccia, both the bread and the sauces compliment one another tremendously.

Here’s my recipe on how you can make your own Rosemary Focaccia (Focaccia al Rosmarino):

In a stand mixer add (If you do not have a stand mixer just mix by hand in a big bowl until soft dough forms):

1 1/3 cup warm water, preferable 115 F degrees

2 tsp sugar

1 package of active dry yeast.

Let rise for 10-15 minutes.

1 tsp Flaky Kosher salt

4 cups flour

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling over

3 sprigs of rosemary

With mixer running on low gradually add flour and some olive oil, repeat until a soft dough has formed.

Remove dough from bowl on a floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes. Form into a ball and place in greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour.

Next punch down dough then place on floured surface and stretch on a parchment lined ½ sheet pan, drizzle with remaining olive oil.

Let proof for 25 minutes covered with plastic wrap. While proofing preheat oven to 400° F.

Once proofed remove plastic wrap, and use your fingers to press holes all over the dough. Sprinkle chopped fresh rosemary and fresh kosher salt on top of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes.

Once baked remove from pan and place on cooling rack to let cool. Cut off a slice and drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You have a wonderful snack in itself or as a side option to a traditional pasta option of your liking.

Colby Lillington is the Chef and owner of Lillington’s Mobile Catering based in Bay of Islands. He studied at the College of the North Atlantic and hails from the Southwest Coast. You can reach him via email at:

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