UPDATE! Check out this awesome video for a comprehensive guide. For the full recipe, see down the bottom:

Hullo everyone!

One question I get asked most often by those who have got my book is: “what recipe should I start with??”

Usually, what I suggest tends to vary depending on my mood. But the most frequent answers will be focaccia or pita breads if you’re a complete beginner, or my “never-fail” rye and raisin if you’re experienced.

Focaccia and Pitas are both from the “basic breads” chapter of my book – these breads don’t require any kneading if you don’t want to, or any other prior thought really. They just let you get on with making great loaves without any fuss. Each is designed to take the beginner through a different aspect of breadmaking and to suggest concepts that will help you later on. Because these are so simple, we’ve put together a few recipe cards to give everyone a chance to bake brilliant bread!


So here I present my focaccia recipe and why it is so awesome. This one is designed to introduce the beginner to really wet doughs – and it is very wet (though not as sticky as some in the book). To view it full size, just click below!

(Direct link to image if above doesn’t work: FOCACCIA)



Brilliant Bread is OUT NOW and available to purchase HERE



  1. Thank you for this, and the video is very useful! I just bought the book and will make my first ever attempt at foccacia tomorrow!

  2. I have made Focaccia, White Bread, Wholemeal Bread from “Brilliant Bread”.
    They all looked nice and taste great. Thank you James to introduced me for fun of baking.
    After we saw the final of the Great British Bake Off last year, we were impressed with beauty of Shetland. We went to Shetland in April and we are going again with family soon.

  3. I made James’s focaccia recipe at the weekend, and I was very pleased with how it turned out – looked good and tasted even better.

    The instructions were clear and idiot-proof – just what I need!


  4. My mother directed me to this message as a starting point for baking bread. I didn’t use rosemary and instead added chilli flakes and dried, ground garlic. It turned out perfect and delicious. I’ll definitely use this recipe again! Thanks James!

  5. Where has the video gone? I’ve tried a few focaccia recipes including those by Paul Hollywood and Russell Norman (Polpo) but they haven’t been perfect. I bought your book today and was hoping to make your focaccia on Saturday – I was so pleased to have a video to help me but it’s not there!!
    Can you help?
    Thank you

  6. I thought you might like to know that I made some sweet focaccia. Instead of olives or cheese or rosemary on top, I used chopped up pieces of Snicker’s Bars and Mars Bars with a splash of olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt to stop it being too sickly and it was absolutely amazing. 🙂

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