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Focaccia with Black Olives and Rosemary

This focaccia with black olives and rosemary serves as the template for any number of delicious variations of another Sicilian favorite from the new book, The Food of Sicily.

9:00 AM EDT on October 26, 2023

focaccia with olives

Focaccia with olives. Excerpted from The Food of Sicily by Fabrizia Lanza (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023. Photographs by Guy Ambrosino.

Few people are better qualified to talk Sicilian food than Fabrizia Lanza, who grew up in a Sicilian winemaking family and who now runs a cooking school founded by her mother. She also writes books, including the fabulous new volume The Food of Sicily: Recipes from a Sun-Drenched Culinary Crossroads, which includes this focaccia recipe, one that doubles as the base for a range of toppings, including black olives and rosemary.

Food of Sicily cover
The Food of Sicily, a book by Fabrizia Lanza

A combination of wine, olive oil, and water imparts a great deal of fluffiness and moisture to this classic focaccia recipe. Black olives and rosemary is one favorite topping, but this is equally good with only sea salt on top or with a more involved topping of thinly sliced onion or other vegetables—every home cook will have their own slightly different and very personal variation.

Focaccia with Black Olives and Rosemary

Focaccia with Black Olives and Rosemary

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Recipe by Fabrizia Lanza


Prep time


Cooking time




  • For the Dough
  • 1 tablespoon 1 active dry yeast

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 (360 ml) lukewarm water

  • 6 1/4 cups 6 1/4 cups (1 kg) semolina flour

  • 1 tablespoon 1 fine sea salt

  • 1 cup 1 (240 ml) olive oil, plus more for the bowl, pan, and hands

  • 1 cup 1 (240 ml) white wine

  • For the Topping
  • 3/4 cup 3/4 (100 g) black olives, pitted

  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • Big pinch of flaky sea salt

  • Olive oil, for drizzling


  • Make the dough: In a small bowl, mix together the yeast, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the water. Set aside at room temperature until creamy, about 5 minutes. If the yeast doesn’t bubble at all, throw it out and start over with new yeast.
  • In a large bowl, combine the semolina, fine salt, and yeast mixture. Add about half of the remaining water and mix with your hands. Mix in the olive oil and wine until incorporated, then add enough of the remaining water to make a shaggy dough. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth but still quite sticky, about 8 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and transfer to a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Oil an 18-by-13-inch (46 by 33 cm) sheet pan.
  • With oiled hands, press and stretch the dough to fill the prepared pan, adding more olive oil as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Let rise for another 10 minutes.
  • Top the dough: Pat the dough with your fingertips to make dimples all over it. Scatter the olives on top, sprinkle with rosemary and flaky salt, and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Bake until golden, about 30 minutes. Let cool slightly before cutting into squares.


  • Excerpted from The Food of Sicily by Fabrizia Lanza (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2023. Photographs by Guy Ambrosino.

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