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Olive Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia

You’ll love this easy recipe for Olive Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia – a whole wheat Italian bread studded with oil-cured olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh rosemary. Serve this with your next spaghetti dinner and get rave reviews from your family!

Homemade bread is one of my favorite things to make. The process of bread baking is probably the kitchen activity that I enjoy most of all. Proofing the yeast, kneading the dough, watching the rising, and, of course, the heavenly smell of the bread itself baking. It’s one of those simple things that just makes me happy.

Finished olive tomato whole wheat focaccia in a baking pan on a cooling rack.

Several years ago, I belonged to a blogging group called TwelveLoaves. The group set a monthly theme, and each member baked something accordingly. When the theme of “olives” was announced for one month, my thinking immediately turned toward Italian.

One of my favorite Italian breads is focaccia. Focaccia is a flat oven-baked bread similar to thick pizza dough. In its simplest form, it’s topped only with oil and salt. Other versions are topped with herbs, and there are even sweet versions that incorporate dried fruits.

To go along with the olive theme, I decided to do a focaccia with olives and sundried tomatoes in the dough as well as the topping. I also sprinkled over some chopped fresh rosemary for added flavor. Oh, and I also used part whole wheat flour in the dough just for a bit of a healthier option.

All things considered, I think this Olive Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia turned out fantastically! BeeBop and I enjoyed it, along with spaghetti and a big tossed salad.

❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe


  • It’s one of the easiest breads you can make from scratch.
  • You can top it with your favorite flavors. 
  • Serve it alongside a hearty Italian dinner or as an appetizer.
  • Makes a great bread for spreading cheese or dips.
  • This version has some whole wheat flour for additional whole grains and fiber.
  • It’s a great homemade gift for neighbors or friends. 
  • The bread itself has only 4 simple ingredients. 
  • Use it to make a delicious flatbread pizza.
  • It can be eaten cold or toasted. 
  • Dunk it in your favorite sauce or olive oil. 
  • It can be made sweet or savory!

🥘 Ingredients You’ll Need


  • Wheat and Bread Flours – A mix of these two flours offers a hearty texture and additional nutrients. 
  • Active Dry Yeast – Makes the focaccia rise and become fluffy. 
  • Sugar – Feeds the yeast and helps to activate it. 
  • Warm Water – Helps activate the dry yeast. 
  • Oil Cured Olives – Oil-cured olives are premium quality and lend a wonderful flavor to this bread. 
  • Sun-Dried Tomatoes – Add a pop of color and acidity. 
  • Olive Oil – Tastes wonderful drizzled over the top of freshly baked focaccia. 
  • Kosher Salt – Helps balance the flavors of the toppings. 
  • Fresh Rosemary – Adds a fresh herbal flavor that pairs well with the bread. 

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🥄 How to Make Olive Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia


Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir together and let the mixture sit for 10-15 minutes or until yeast is bubbly and frothy.

Chopped sun-dried tomatoes and chopped olives on a cutting board.

While the yeast is proofing, pit and chop the olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

Mix and Knead the Dough

Place the flours, olives, tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, kosher salt, and proofed yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.

Turn the mixer on low speed until the mixture just comes together. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and soft.

Kneaded dough on a wooden cutting board.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand 3 or 4 times adding just a sprinkle of additional flour if the dough is too sticky.

Let the Dough Rest and Rise

Photo collage showing dough in a mixing bowl at the beginning and end of its rising time.

Clean the mixer bowl. Coat the inside of the bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and turn it so that both top and bottom are coated with olive oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in volume – approximately 1 hour.

Form the Focaccia

Focaccia dough on a baking sheet with the baker's hands making dimples in the dough.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil onto a baking sheet. Put the dough onto the baking sheet and start pressing it out to fit the pan. Turn the dough over so that both sides are nicely coated with oil.

As you are pressing the dough out, use your fingers to create holes or pockets all throughout the dough. This gives the focaccia its characteristically dimpled, rough texture.

Top with Additional Olives and Tomatoes

Finished focaccia dough in a baking pan with additional olives and tomatoes on top sprinkled with chopped fresh rosemary.

Place additional whole olives and slices of sun-dried tomato on top of the dough. Sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.

Second Rise

Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size – about 1 hour. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When ready to bake, sprinkle the top of the dough with kosher or coarse salt.

Bake the Focaccia

Bake until nicely browned – about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before serving.

💡 Recipe Tips


  • Be sure you’re using bread flour and not all-purpose flour to ensure that the bread has its classic chewy texture. 
  • Make sure any fresh toppings are added after the bread has finished baking to keep them from wilting. 
  • This bread can dry out quickly, so make sure you wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap to keep it moist. 

🔀 Variations


  • Top with caramelized onions. 
  • Add some tomato sauce or pesto and Parmesan cheese to turn it into a delicious pizza. 
  • Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes for a kick of heat. 
  • Leave out the olives and tomatoes; top with cinnamon and sugar before baking for a delightful breakfast treat. 
  • Add the zest of a lemon to brighten up the flavor.
  • Substitute dried cranberries and orange zest in place of olives and tomatoes for a sweet bread. 
  • Cut stale focaccia into croutons for a salad. 
  • Slather the finished, cooled bread with fresh pesto.

❓ Questions About Whole Wheat Focaccia


Can I make whole wheat focaccia without a stand mixer?

Of course, you can. Mix the ingredients in a bowl until they form a rough ball. Then, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.

Are focaccia dough and pizza dough the same?

They are made with the same ingredients, but focaccia uses more yeast, which gives it a lighter, fluffier texture than pizza dough.

Why is it called focaccia?

Focaccia comes from the Roman “panis focacius,” which means “hearth bread.” It was originally baked using hot coals in hearth ovens during Roman times. 

How long will focaccia stay fresh?

Homemade focaccia usually lasts only 1 to 2 days well wrapped stored in an airtight container. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze for up to a month.

Should focaccia be thick or thin?

Most focaccia will be at least three-quarters of an inch thick. However, the thickness can be customized to your personal preference.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

📖 Recipe

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Finished olive tomato whole wheat focaccia in a baking pan on a cooling rack.

Olive Tomato Whole Wheat Focaccia

Italian focaccia bread studded with oil cured olives and sundried tomatoes.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It
Course: Breads
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 357kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • cup oil-cured olives chopped (plus more for topping)
  • cup sun-dried tomatoes julienned (plus more for topping)
  • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil divided
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for topping
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Instructions

  • Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl. Stir together and let sit for 10-15 minutes or until yeast is frothy.
  • Place the flours, olives, tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, kosher salt, and proofed yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached.
  • Turn the mixer on low speed until the mixture comes together. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 5-6 minutes or until smooth and soft.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead by hand 3 or 4 times adding only a small amount of additional flour if the dough is too sticky.
  • Clean the mixer bowl. Coat the inside of the bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • Place the kneaded dough in the bowl and turn it so that both top and bottom are coated with olive oil.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place until doubled in volume – approximately 1 hour.
  • Pour the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil onto a baking sheet.
  • Put the dough onto the baking sheet and start pressing it out to fit the pan.
  • Turn the dough over so that both sides are nicely coated with oil.
  • As you are pressing the dough out, use your fingers to create holes or pockets all throughout the dough.
  • Place additional whole olives and slices of sun-dried tomato on top of the dough and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary.
  • Cover and allow to rise again until doubled in size – about 1 hour.
  • Near the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  • When ready to bake, sprinkle the top of the dough with kosher or coarse salt.
  • Bake until nicely browned – about 20-25 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and cool completely before serving.

Notes

Tips:
  • Be sure you’re using bread flour and not all-purpose flour to ensure that the bread has its classic chewy texture.
  • Make sure any fresh toppings are added after the bread has finished baking to keep them from wilting.
  • This bread can dry out quickly, so make sure you wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap to keep it moist.
To make whole wheat focaccia without a stand mixer: Mix the ingredients in a bowl until they form a rough ball. Then, on a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 5 minutes or until a smooth ball forms.
Storing focaccia: Homemade focaccia usually lasts only 1 to 2 days well wrapped stored in an airtight container. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze for up to a month.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 357kcal | Carbohydrates 40g | Protein 7g | Fat 20g | Saturated Fat 3g | Sodium 649mg | Potassium 211mg | Fiber 3g | Sugar 2g | Vitamin A 44IU | Vitamin C 1mg | Calcium 17mg | Iron 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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37 Comments

  1. Oh, I love the addition of tomatoes to this! Such a beautiful bread … it’s definitely going on my to-make list!

  2. kellie @ The Suburban Soapbox says:

    This looks so hearty and comforting. Nothing like freshly baked loaves….I could eat this for dinner.

  3. Kim Beaulieu says:

    I’m with you, the whole process of making bread is such a peaceful thing. It’s so hard to be in a bad mood when you smell bread baking too. The house just smells lovely. I adore this version of focaccia. Olives and tomatoes, sign me up for a big slice.

  4. Amanda @ The Kitcheneer says:

    I love love love this recipe! Foccacia is one of my favorite types of breads! And the addition of olives? sold!

  5. Carol at Wild Goose Tea says:

    I love all the wonderful flavor combos you can do with focaccia bread.
    It really adds zest to a meal.

  6. Paula - bell'alimento says:

    Lana I can almost smell this right through my screen. I love focaccia, especially ones with olives.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Me too, Paula, though I have to admit that until I started researching recipes I was unaware of the sweet focaccias with fruit, etc. Got one of those on my list to make next!

  7. christine says:

    There is nothing like a homemade bread being baked. I love that this is made with whole wheat flour!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Thanks, Christine. I always like to incorporate some whole grain into my bread making when possible.

  8. Cookin Canuck says:

    There really is something about making bread that’s so satisfying. And focaccia that’s made with whole wheat flour and olives is right up my alley!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      It is quite satisfying, Dara. More so than lots of other kitchen activities. There’s something magical about taking a few cups of flour, a bit of water, and some yeast and coming out with a gorgeous loaf of bread!

  9. Erin @ Texanerin Baking says:

    Eee! You used whole wheat flour. I love it. :) I think I’d like to make this just so I can squish my fingers in the oily dough. Looks fun. :D

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Squishing the dough is the best part, Erin :-)

  10. Karen @ Karen's Kitchen Stories says:

    Super gorgeous Lana!

  11. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Your focaccia is just fantastic, Lana! I love that it is whole wheat. What a wonderful way to incorporate the olives with the sun-dried tomatoes and rosemary. Perfect for our olive theme!!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Thanks so much, Lora. This was a fun theme!

  12. Martha @ A Family Feast says:

    That is some gorgeous looking focaccia! I’m imagining the wonderful smells in your kitchen!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      The olives and rosemary were definitely fragrant during the baking. The house smelled wonderful for a whole day after!

  13. The Ninja Baker says:

    You’ve inspired me to bake a focaccia, Lana! Bravo on the touch of rosemary…BTW Now you’ve got me craving spaghetti, salad and a slice of homemade focaccia!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Focaccia is so easy! I think I’ll warm up a slice for my bedtime snack :-)

  14. Robin @ A Shaggy Dough Story says:

    I love the photo of you dimpling the focaccia–it’s like you’re a virtuoso playing your instrument (which is edible, in this case YAY!). Very pretty bread, Lana.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      It sorta does look like that, doesn’t it, Robin? Thanks for the compliment :-)

  15. Catherine says:

    Simply delicious looking. Baking this focaccia during this cold weather is soothing, delicious and warms the house and heart.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      It’s definitely great baking weather, isn’t it Catherine?

  16. This looks perfect, I could eat the whole loaf!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I could really overdo it with this, too, Angie! I have to cut it into portions and limit myself :-)

  17. I made a bread with similar flavors this month and simply love the look of your bread as a focaccia. Can’t wait to try it!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I saw yours, Holly, and it’s gorgeous! Good job.

  18. Heather / girlichef says:

    This is a gorgeous focaccia, Lana. I like that you used some whole wheat flour, and sundried tomatoes and olives are just the perfect combination!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Thanks, Heather. I know the whole wheat is not strictly conventional for focaccia, but I like to try to incorporate a bit of whole grain when possible. Turned out really well.

  19. Laura@Baking in Pyjamas says:

    I made focaccia too and enjoyed it a lot. It’s such a versatile bread don’t you think?!

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Very versatile, Laura! It can be either savory or sweet and the options for toppings are endless.

  20. Kim (Feed Me, Seymour) says:

    I love everything about this! it looks so hearty and delicious, perfect for this dreary weather we’ve been having. I’d eat the entire thing myself.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Thanks, Kim. Besides being hearty and delicious, it so easy.

  21. Oh my word. That looks just fantastic. I will definitely try this soon.

    Miss P

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Do give it a try. It’s really delicious!