Focaccia is a simple Italian flat, oven-baked bread that’s easy to make and wonderful to eat. It’s perfect warm, right out of the oven, or for sandwiches in place of rolls.
Focaccia art has been taking the internet by storm and those who enjoy baking (or those trying it for the first time since 2020) are turning out beautiful and delicious works of art!
It all starts with our herbed focaccia dough:
Herbed Focaccia Dough
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (1 envelope)
1/4 teaspoon honey or sugar
2 1/2 cups bread flour, if you can find it, otherwise, use all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)- See Focaccia Art “toppings” below
Extra olive oil for drizzling
Flaky salt for tops, optional
Step 1: Combine 1/4 cup olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the black pepper in a medium skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, but do not allow the garlic to brown. Set aside.
Step 2: In a bowl, combine warm water, yeast, and honey or sugar. Stir a few times, then let sit for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of the olive oil mixture. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
- Step 3: Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. Once the dough comes together, transfer to a floured surface and knead the dough until smooth. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour in a warm area of the kitchen. ** Stop here if creating Focaccia Art and follow steps below.
Step 4: After an hour, heat oven to 450°F. Then, drizzle some of the garlic-olive oil mixture onto a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet, rubbing it all over the bottom and sides. Place the dough into the pan and press it down. Use your fingers to pinch the dough into dimples and then drizzle the top with the remaining tablespoon of the garlic-olive oil mixture and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (or to taste).
Step 5: Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly, then bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer bread to a wire rack and cool.
Create Focaccia Art
You can decorate the top of your focaccia dough before baking with any number of herbs and veggies to make a work of art!
- Italian flat-leaf parsley for flower stems and leaves
- Thin slices of bell pepper for flower petals (strips, or crosswise)
- Sliced black or green olives for flower centers
- Chives make perfect flower stems
- Poppyseeds, sesame seeds, or parmesan cheese for “earth” or “sand”
- Drained capers for berries
- Rosemary sprigs
- Red onions and tomatoes sliced crosswise
- You can also use thinly sliced sausage, or mini pepperoni slices if you want to add meat
Follow steps 1-3, as indicated above, but follow the below instructions for Steps 4 and 5:
Step 4: After an hour, heat oven to 450°F. Then, drizzle some of the garlic-olive oil mixture onto a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet, rubbing it all over the bottom and sides. Place the dough into the pan and press it down. Dimple the top with your fingers.
Step 5: Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly, then add your art designs, pressing them in lightly into the dough. Drizzle the top of the dough with a small amount of plain olive oil, and brush your designs to prevent burning. Top with a sprinkle of flaky salt, if desired. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer bread to a wire rack and cool.