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closeup photo of baked fanicful focaccia garden
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make a Focaccia Garden

Soft, wondrously chewy olive oil-rich focaccia bread topped with various vegetables and herbs arranged into a fanciful garden. Focaccia is the easiest bread you will ever make, a perfect canvas for your creative edible garden!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Rising and decorating time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: focaccia garden
Servings: 20 pieces (3x3-inch))
Calories: 153kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 cups white whole wheat flour 12 ounces, (see notes)
  • 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour 13 1/2 ounces, (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast (see notes)
  • 2 2/3 cups very warm water 120°F.
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for pan and top of focaccia
  • Assorted vegetables and herbs, your gardenscape choices
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour with the yeast.
  • With a wooden spoon, mix in the hot water, the salt, and the 1/4 cup of olive oil.
  • Beat vigorously for about a minute. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk—45 minutes to one hour. (If you want more time to prep, you can put the bowl in the refrigerator. That way the dough can rise more slowly, up to 4 hours.)
  • While the dough rises in the bowl, prep your palette, the various vegetables and herbs for your gardenscape. Give the veggies a light coat of olive oil, putting everything in bowls and plates so they’re in one space, at your fingertips. You might even want to create a mockup of your design on another baking sheet.
  • When you’re ready to build your focaccia garden, coat a large baking sheet (12 x 16-inch) with oil.
  • Turn the dough out of the bowl onto the pan. It will be sticky. Pour a bit of oil on top and press until the dough fills the pan completely, trying to keep the thickness even. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • Rub a little olive oil over the surface. Arrange your edible flowers and blooms on top, gently poking them into the rising dough.
  • In about 45 minutes the dough will have risen in the pan and be ready to bake.
  • Drizzle a final dose of olive oil on the dough and vegetables, using oiled fingertips to spread it around. Sprinkle with the kosher salt. Bake about 25 minutes, until golden.

Notes

  • White whole wheat flour includes the bran, germ and endosperm of the wheat grain. Not to be confused with white or unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour.
  • Feel free to substitute regular whole wheat flour ground for the white whole wheat flour, or if you prefer, you can use all unbleached flour to make your focaccia.
  • You can substitute active dry yeast if that is what you have. Active dry yeast is a slightly different and weaker strain of yeast, so use 25% more (1/4 teaspoon more for each teaspoon of yeast) and dissolve the active dry yeast in warm water (105°-110° F) before adding to the dry ingredients.
  • With instant dry yeast there is no reason to hydrate or first "proof" the yeast. As in this recipe, simply add the yeast to the dry ingredients and mix with a hotter water, 120°F.
  • Fleischmann’s instant yeast is trademarked “RapidRise.” Instant dry yeast is a slightly different genetic strain than active dry yeast. 

Nutrition

Calories: 153kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 466mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg