The Best Copycat Panera Bread Focaccia

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Panera Bread Focaccia

Making your own copycat Panera bread focaccia is now very easy to do at home using our step-by-step recipe. This bread is perfect for any occasion, any purpose, and tastes so delicious with a light and fluffy texture. Give this recipe a try today! 

Panera Bread Focaccia top down

Black Pepper Focaccia

Making black pepper focaccia bread is surprisingly easy, however it does require you to plan ahead. When you make this bread, you will be rewarded with an amazing taste, texture, and all-around delicious bread. You no longer have to worry about waiting in Panera’s lines, to get your fill of this bread or to use it as a sandwich. Now, with our recipe you can easily make this bread from scratch. 

About This

Panera bread carries a couple different types of focaccia bread. Most commonly they have black pepper focaccia bread available in their bakery. They have also started offering pizzas made from focaccia bread. 

Today we are going to look at how you can easily make focaccia bread right in your very own kitchen. The process of making this bread is surprisingly easy and requires just a few ingredients. 

The main thing with making homemade Panera’s focaccia bread recipe is that it requires you to plan ahead, as the best focaccia bread is given time to rest before it is baked. We will go into more details later, so be sure to keep reading.  

Easy Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper Focaccia Bread

Our copycat recipe for Panera bread’s focaccia recipe is easy and tastes amazing. The only thing with this recipe is that for best results it can take many hours to rest, the shortest amount of time this recipe is ready is in about three hours total. Our copycat recipe features sea salt and cracked pepper to season this delicious loaf of bread. 

Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread is unique because it is a flat bread that is made with a light, moist, and airy dough. This type of bread can be seasoned in many ways, which is limited only by your imagination. In addition to our sea salt and black pepper focaccia bread, you could also try adding rosemary, Parmesan cheese, dried tomatoes, garlic, and oh so many more seasonings to spice up your focaccia bread. 

Copycat Panera Black Pepper Focaccia Bread

Our copycat recipe is based on Panera bread black pepper focaccia bread. This bread is surprisingly easy to make at home, and has a little extra spice added to it, thanks to the ground pepper flakes in the bread. You can also choose to add your black pepper to the outside of the bread or mix it into the dough if you wish. If I’m looking for just a little added pepper flavor then I will usually sprinkle it on the outside of the bread, adding it to the dough gives you much more pepper flavoring. 

Panera Bread Sea Salt Focaccia Bread

Focaccia bread also typically has a bit of salt sprinkled on the outside of the bread. For this salt sprinkle, large granules of sea salt work well, or we sometimes use large granules of freshly ground Himalayan salt as well. Either kind of salt flakes on the outside of your focaccia bread adds a lovely bit of spice to your bread. 

Behind the Counter | Back Pepper Focaccia

Now that your ideas for making a copycat Panera bread for focaccia bread are flowing, let’s look at an overview of the ingredients you will need, as well as a summary of how to make the bread. First, let’s look at the ingredients needed. 

Panera Bread Focaccia close up

Ingredients For Black Pepper Focaccia Bread

Flour. Flour of course is a basic ingredient needed to make loaves of bread. For focaccia bread, you will need to use either all-purpose flour or bread flour. Although many people prefer to use bread flour, all-purpose flour works great as well. I have made most of my focaccia bread using all-purpose flour and it has turned out well. 

Sea Salt. We typically use sea salt for this recipe, however, kosher salt will work as well. Do you want to be sure to include salt so that your bread has a nice full taste to it. 

Instant Yeast. Using instant yeast will help your bread to begin rising quickly. This will allow your bread to turn out with a lovely texture.

Lukewarm Water. You want to use lukewarm water for this recipe. It is important that your water is warm to the touch, but not hot for the yeast to activate correctly. If you are unsure how to get lukewarm water, a great way is to combine ½ cup boiling water with 1 ½ cups of cold water. 

Olive Oil. Although olive oil is not included directly in your dough, olive oil is a crucial ingredient when making focaccia bread. Olive oil helps your bread though to stay together and adds a lovely flavoring to it as well. It is important to use olive oil instead of other oils when making focaccia bread. 

Flaky Salt. Flaky salt such as sea salt, or Himalayan salt works well to be sprinkled on the outside of your bread after brushing it with olive oil. These salt chunks will stick to the outside of your bread adding extra delicious flavoring. 

Pepper. Pepper is an optional ingredient for focaccia bread. We have included it in this recipe because we are making a copycat black pepper focaccia bread which features freshly ground black pepper on the outside of your bread though. If you want to skip this ingredient, you may. 

Directions on how to make Panera Bread Focaccia:

To make our copycat Panera bread focaccia you will want to begin by making the dough. To do this, you will add your flour, salt, and yeast to a mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients together then add your lukewarm water and stir until the dough begins to stick together. This dough will be especially sticky. After the dough is mixed you can sprinkle it with additional flour to help form it into a ball. Once shaped into a ball, coat the entire outside of your dough with an olive oil drizzle. 

Cover the bowl containing your dough with a damp tea towel and place it into the refrigerator. For best results, you will want to allow your dough to sit in the refrigerator for approximately 12 hours or up to three days. At the very least, allow it to sit for one hour. 

After your dough has rested in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours you can remove it from the fridge. Taking two pie plates or a nonstick 9 x 13 pan, coat the pan with cooking spray. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of your pans before dividing here though and add that to the pans. If you are using two pie plates you’ll want to divide, you’re dough in half, and if you are using a 9 x 13 you can add your entire ball. 

You will want to gently pull the dough away from the edges of your bowl using a rubber spatula or gently using your fingers. This process will begin to deflate your dough. Move it to the baking dish and gently pull it out so that it begins to cover your pan. Let the dough rest in your baking pan for at least one hour but preferably 3 to 4 hours if possible. 

Next, take your fingers and poke dimples into the dough. As you poke dimples with your fingers, you can gently spread the dough out so that it becomes flat and fits into your baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Before baking, brush the top of your bread with olive oil and sprinkle your salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until it is golden brown on the outside and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. You can also try taking the internal temperature of your bread. The internal temperature should be approximately 190°F for it to be completely cooked and done in the center. 

When you remove your focaccia bread from the oven, allow it to cool for 8 to 10 minutes before serving. If you’re using the bread as sandwich bread, you will want to allow it to cool completely before cutting into sandwich slices. Serve and enjoy.  

Panera Bread Focaccia cut into

Recipe

Detailed Ingredients

Bread

4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
2 tsp instant yeast 
2 cups lukewarm water

Additional Ingredients / Toppings

Flaky salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
Olive oil, as needed and divided
¼ to ½ cup all-purpose flour, to sprinkle on dough

Instructions

Step 1

In a mixing bowl combine, all-purpose flour, salt, and instant yeast. Stir to combine. Pour lukewarm water over the top. Stir until your dough is mixed. Please note that your dough will be very moist at this point.

Step 2

Form the dough into a ball by sprinkling the outside of your dough with flour so that you can handle it. Then coat your ball of dough in olive oil. Cover with a damp tea towel and place into the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 12 hours or up to three days. At a minimum, you will want to refrigerate your bread dough for one hour. 

Step 3

When you’re ready to make your bread, remove the dough from the fridge. Then take either two pie plates, or one 9 x 13 baking dish and spray the bottom with cooking spray. Next, coat the bottom with olive oil. Then if using two pie plates, divide your dough in half and place it onto your baking dishes. Let the dough sit for 2 to 4 hours so that it can rise and grow.

Step 4

After your dough has sat and risen, use your fingers to create dimples in the bread. If your bread needs to be expanded to cover the rest of your pan, gently expand the dough when you press the dimples into it. Be careful to not get rid of the air. 

Step 5

Preheat your oven to 425°F. Then, drizzle the dough with olive oil and brush to cover. Sprinkle on salt and pepper. Then bake for approximately 20 minutes or until your bread appears a golden brown in color. Allow your bread to cool for a few minutes before you serve and enjoy. 

Notes

For best results, allow your bread to rest in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Then when you remove it from the fridge, allow it to rest on the baking dish for 2 to 4 hours, before shaping and baking.

If needed, you can prepare focaccia bread from start to finish in approximately three hours, to do this, you can allow it to rest in the fridge for one hour and rise at room temperature for one and a half hours. However, please be aware that this will not give you the best results. For best results, you will want to allow your bread to rest in the fridge for 12 hours and then rise for 2 to 4 hours. 

Nutrition & Allergens

Now that you know how to prepare this copycat Panera bread focaccia, let’s turn our attention to the nutritional facts and allergens contained in this bread recipe. First, let’s focus on the nutritional facts. 

Panera Sea Salt Focaccia Nutrition Facts

We have based our nutritional facts, upon the assumption of using a total of ½ cup olive oil and making this bread using all-purpose flour. We have calculated that the above recipe can make two loaves which are easily divided into eight slices each, yielding approximately 16 servings total for the above recipe. Please know that our nutritional facts per serving below are based upon these calculations. Please note the following nutritional facts may change slightly depending on how much salt and pepper are sprinkled on top of your bread. 

Nutrition Per Serving

We have calculated that one 16th of the above recipe is equal to one serving. We have calculated that one serving contains 6.6 g total fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 236 mg sodium, 24 g total carbohydrates, and 3.4 g protein. 

Calories

We have calculated our calorie estimate based upon the fact that we assume the above recipe contains 16 servings. Therefore, one serving is estimated to contain approximately 169 calories. We have also estimated that the entire recipe above contains a total of 2,708 calories. Please note that the calories contained per serving may vary depending upon how much olive oil and salt are added to your bread. 

Allergens

The above recipe does include ingredients containing wheat, and gluten. If these ingredients are of health concern to you, please substitute ingredients as needed. 

Pro Tips

Resting Time. When making our copycat recipe for Panera bread focaccia bread, and the key to this bread is allowing your dough time to rest and rise. Allowing your dough to rest in the fridge and gives it the delicious flavor and texture, as well as allowing your dough to fully rise at room temperature, gives it a light and airy center as well.

Serve this focaccia with some copycat soups.

Variations

There are many different variations that you can make using focaccia bread. One of Panera’s other featured menu items is pizza made out of focaccia bread. We will look further into this in the following paragraphs, as well as using bread to make Panini’s, and different flavors you can add into your basic focaccia bread. 

New Family Style Focaccia Pizzas

Panera has recently added family style focaccia pizzas to their menu. The great thing about this pizza idea is that you can easily make these at home as well. There are three main pizzas that Panera features, which are easily duplicated at home using the above focaccia bread recipe. 

Pepperoni Family Style Focaccia Pizza

Pepperoni focaccia pizza can easily be made at home. To make this pizza at home, use the aboveFocaccia bread recipe, then add pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni to the prepared focaccia dough before baking. Then bake as instructed above and enjoy! You can also try baking the focaccia bread part way, approximately 8 to 10 minutes before adding your pizza toppings to the dough then bake the rest of the way. 

Margherita Family Style Focaccia Pizza

To make a margarita focaccia pizza at home, we will also prepare the focaccia dough as instructed above. If you want you can partially pre-bake the dough before adding your pizza toppings, or you can use the dough completely raw. To make this pizza into a margarita-style pizza, simply add slices of grape tomatoes and fresh basil, in addition to your traditional toppings of mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce. 

Cheese Family Style Focaccia Pizza

Make cheesy focaccia pizza simply prepare the focaccia bread recipe above, then add your tomato sauce, and your favorite types of cheeses before baking. Bake according to the instructions above. Then serve and enjoy. 

Copycat Panera Focaccia Chicken Panini

You can also use the above focaccia bread recipe to make a copycat Panera focaccia chicken Panini. To do this, you will prepare the focaccia bread as instructed above. Then cut into a sandwich size and slice open the center. In a mixing bowl combine mayonnaise and chipotle pepper to make a sauce. Then layer your mayonnaise sauce on your bread, add sliced chicken breast, slices of mozzarella, sliced tomato, sliced red onions, and chopped basil leaves. Press on a Panini press or in a cast-iron skillet, until warmed. Serve while warm and enjoy.

Panera Bread, Focaccia Bread, Cheese and Garlic

Making your focaccia bread with cheese and garlic is also amazing. To do this, you will prepare your focaccia bread as stated above. And then before baking, tap with your olive oil as instructed, then add a combination of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese to the top, sprinkle with garlic powder. Bake as instructed above then enjoy while hot. 

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Questions

What is the difference between focaccia and ciabatta?

The main difference between focaccia and ciabatta is the texture of the bread. Focaccia bread is lightweight, airy, has a cake-like consistency, and can be compared to bread such as pizza dough. Whereas ciabatta has a more dense and chewy texture. 

Is focaccia supposed to be hard?

No, focaccia bread is supposed to be soft, with a light and fluffy texture on the inside. If your focaccia bread turned out hard then something has gone wrong. 

How much does black pepper focaccia cost at Panera?

The cost of black pepper focaccia bread at Panera can vary depending upon your location. Typically, a slice of bread ranges between $3.00 to $5.00. 

How many calories are in Panera’s black pepper focaccia?

If you are purchasing a piece of black pepper focaccia directly from Panera bread, they estimated that two ounces contained 140 cal. 

How long does homemade focaccia last?

Homemade focaccia bread is best when it is fresh, however, if stored at room temperature focaccia bread can last up to two days after it has been prepared. Focaccia bread can also be frozen for up to three months if stored in an airtight container.

What’s in Panera’s Sea Salt Focaccia Bread?

Panera’s sea saltFocaccia bread is said to contain wheat flour, water, country base, olive oil blend, yeast, and sea salt. 

What’s in Panera’s Asiago Cheese Focaccia Bread?

Panera’s asiago cheese focaccia bread is said to contain enriched wheat flour, water, asiago cheese, country base, olive oil, yeast, and bread base. 

Panera Bread Focaccia slice out

Black Pepper Focaccia Bread

Black pepper focaccia bread is a delightful bread that is different from your average kind of bread but tastes amazing. And we are very excited to share our copycat recipe with you so that you can now make this delicious black pepper focaccia bread easily at home.

Panera Bread Focaccia (Copycat Recipe)

Making your own copycat Panera bread focaccia is very delicious, a simple process, and you are rewarded with a loaf of amazing bread. Don’t take our word for it though, give this recipe a try for yourself and let us know what you think! 

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4 thoughts on “The Best Copycat Panera Bread Focaccia”

  1. Can’t wait to try this, but I had to laugh when I read the directions article have the recipe card, where it said “ Taking two pie plates or a nonstick 9 x 13 pan, coat the pan with cooking spray. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the bottom of your pants before dividing…”. I am not sure if drizzling oil on my pants with really help 🙂

    Reply
    • It’s quite a necessary part of the process. 🤣 lol Thank you for pointing this out to us! Thanks for reading cookthink.com

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious bread. My daughter also used this recipe to make a wonderful pizza crust. It makes a nice, thick crust that’s a new favorite for us. Thank you.

    Reply

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