No one needs to know you didn't make the dough yourself.

Emily Nabors Hall

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Credit: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe Summary

active:
15 mins
total:
2 hrs
Servings:
8
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If making bread from scratch sounds intimidating, then this is the recipe for you. Focaccia is one of the simplest bread doughs to make—it doesn't require any fancy techniques, really just time. But luckily, we're making it even simpler for you with our Focaccia with Ricotta and Crispy Herbs. Thanks to a grocery store hack, this easiest-ever focaccia bread doesn't even call for you to make your own dough. That's right: Just pick up a pound of fresh pizza dough and you're ready to go.

Crunchy, light-as-air fried herbs are a gorgeous garnish for this simple focaccia made with store-bought pizza dough. This hassle-free recipe results in a soft and plush focaccia bread; topped with garlic-spiked ricotta and fragrant fried herbs, it's an appetizer made in heaven. When handling the pizza dough, it's important to let it rest as long as it needs—we call for 1 to 1½ hours. This time allows the dough to loosen and become more pliable; if you overwork the focaccia dough trying to get it fill the pan, it will bubble up and result in a tough end product. Another tip from the Test Kitchen: Pat the herbs completely dry with paper towels before adding them to the hot oil to prevent spattering.

The homemade focaccia dough and ricotta topping are great jumping off points for a choose-your-own-adventure pizza night. Any combination of cooked meats or vegetables can be piled on for a quick dinner.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pour 2 tablespoons of the oil in a 13- x 9-inch rimmed baking sheet, and spread across entire bottom and sides to evenly coat. Place dough on pan, turning and flipping to completely coat in oil. Cover with a clean towel; let stand at room temperature until dough relaxes and is easier to shape, 1 to 1 ½ hours. 

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  • Meanwhile, stir together ricotta, garlic, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside at room temperature for up to 1 hour. 

  • Preheat oven to 425°F. Using your hands, gently spread dough to cover bottom of baking sheet. (If dough pulls back, cover again, and let rest another 15 minutes.) Using a fork, prick each side of dough 10 to 12 times. Drizzle 1 side of dough with another 2 tablespoons of the oil. 

  • Bake in preheated oven until golden and slightly puffed, 12 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven, and cool 15 minutes. 

  • Heat remaining ½ cup oil to 325°F in a small skillet over medium. Working in small batches of 4 to 6 herb leaves, add leaves to oil; fry until crisp and fragrant, 5 to 10 seconds per batch. (Make sure that the herbs are dry to prevent them from spattering in the oil.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer leaves to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. 

  • Spread ricotta mixture over cooled bread. Arrange crispy herbs over ricotta, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. 

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