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Pesto Focaccia

This light and airy Pesto Focaccia is easy to make, comes together in just one bowl, and is packed with flavour. Topped with vegan pesto and flaky salt with a beautiful crusty exterior.

Before making focaccia I thought it would be really difficult. However, when I learned how to make focaccia I learned that it’s actually one of the easier breads you can make at home. It takes very little active prep time and instead requires rest time to build beautiful airy bubbles throughout the dough. Focaccia ingredients are fairly simple, just yeast, water, maple syrup, all-purpose flour, salt, olive oil, and whatever you decide to top it with; in our case pesto.

I’ve been testing different methods of making focaccia from ingredients, to proofing time, and how it bakes. After multiple tests we determined a method that is not only super easy but yields perfectly bubbly dough. I had tried to work on a recipe that came together all in one day, but truthfully learned that for the best focaccia you’re going to need to let the dough rest overnight. As someone who is fairly impatient when it comes to food, we promise it’s worth it.

Why you’ll love this focaccia recipe:

  • Light and airy texture.
  • Easy, no knead focaccia recipe.
  • Comes together in just one bowl.

Top tips for making pesto focaccia:

  • Focaccia is already nearly vegan friendly. The best part about focaccia is it’s basically vegan friendly. Often recipes will use butter in their recipe, but just substituting with vegan butter does the trick.
  • Make sure the yeast is not expired. Yeast will make or break focaccia. If it’s expired, we recommend getting new yeast. If the yeast mixture does not have a yeast-y smell or isn’t foamy (or at least creamy), its likely that the yeast is dead and you need new yeast.
  • Use good olive oil. Olive oil is a big part of focaccia and a part that you can taste! This doesn’t mean the most expensive oil you can buy, it simply means an olive oil that you like the taste of.
  • Let rest overnight. We’ve tried to make focaccia in a day, and have determined it really is next level when you make the dough the night before and proof overnight in the fridge. This will yield the best flavour and texture. Don’t take any shortcuts, we promise you won’t regret it.
  • Generously grease the baking pan. The worst that can happen is your focaccia sticks to the pan – we grease our pan generously with both vegan butter and olive oil to ensure it comes out nice and easy.
  • Load up on toppings. Don’t be afraid to really load on the pesto and really dimple it into the dough – this is the best way to get pesto flavour in every bite.

Focaccia ingredient notes:

  • Active Dry Yeast – It’s vital that your yeast is not expired and that you don’t kill it. If the yeast is expired, you’ll need to get new yeast before you start the recipe. When proofing the yeast be sure to not overheat the vegetable broth, it should be 40℃-50℃, or else it could kill the yeast and your focaccia won’t rise.
  • Maple Syrup – Sugar helps yeast rise. If you don’t have maple syrup you can using white granulated sugar or another liquid sweetener.
  • All-Purpose Flour – We use our unbleached store brand all-purpose flour, in this case the regular store brand will do.
  • Olive Oil – Use an olive oil that you like the flavour of, as it is a big part of this recipe flavour profile.
  • Vegan Butter – We use Becel Plant Based Butter for our recipes, but you can use any other vegan butter brand.

Other vegan recipes you’ll love:

How to make Vegan Pesto Focaccia:

Pesto Focaccia

This light and airy Pesto Focaccia is easy to make, comes together in just one bowl, and is packed with flavour. Topped with vegan pesto and flaky salt with a beautiful crusty exterior.
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Course: Staples
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Rest Time: 16 hours
Total Time: 16 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 ¼ cups warm water
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 300 g (2 ½ cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, (divided)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, softened


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup pesto
  • kosher salt


  • Whisk together yeast, warm water, and maple syrup in a large bowl. Set aside to activate for 5 minutes.
  • Add all-purpose flour, kosher salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil to the yeast mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until combined. It will be a very hydrated, sticky dough – this is what you want. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and gently toss the dough to keep from sticking to the bowl.
  • Cover and let rest at room temperature for about 60-90 minutes or until doubled in size.
  • Stretch and fold the focaccia dough up and onto itself, rotating the bowl a quarter turn and repeating. Do this until you move around the bowl twice, 8 folds in total. Cover and set in the fridge to rise overnight or at least 12 hours.
  • Grease a tbdxtbd pan with softened vegan butter and 2 tbsp olive oil.
  • Turn the dough out onto the prepared pan and gently stretch. Cover and let rise once more until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Once the dough has risen, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and spoon over the pesto across the top. Grease your hands with olive oil, then gently dimple the dough using your fingers. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Cover and let rest while you preheat the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  • Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown on top and around the edges.
  • (Optional) Brush with melted vegan butter and enjoy.

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