Sick of sourdough yet? Just kidding, we’ll never get tired of it either. But we are ready for a new baking project. Enter garden focaccia, the easiest showstopper you’ll ever put on the table. The bread is a cinch to make (you can thank your baking sheet) and serves as a tasty canvas for all of your wildest edible designs. Here’s everything you need to know about this pretty trend, plus tips for making your own.
What Is Garden Focaccia?
Focaccia is a type of Italian flatbread that’s usually seasoned with olive oil and salt. It’s also typically sprinkled with herbs, like rosemary. Making focaccia from scratch is a lot like making pizza dough, only with a bit more leavening. Focaccia’s squishy height makes it great for soaking up fancy olive oil, pasta sauce, soup or salad dressing. Our favorite way to make it is in a rimmed baking sheet (hey, sheet-pan meals never go out of style) because it helps give the focaccia its signature golden crust, but a standard baking pan or skillet will get the job done too.
The floral designs are obviously a big reason for the trend’s name, but not the only one. We like to think it’s also because you can use pretty much anything from the garden (or ya know, the produce section) to decorate. And the best part about making focaccia? You don’t have to knead for a single second.
How to Make Garden Focaccia
We love King Arthur Flour’s recipe for No-Fuss Focaccia because it requires no kneading and goes from dough to table in just 1½ hours, so that’s what we’ve used as a guideline here. It calls for a 9 x 13-inch pan, but feel free to adjust to what you have on hand. Once the dough is ready, the fun stuff can begin. If you want to start decorating ASAP, use store-bought pizza dough. Just make sure to poke some holes in it before baking so it doesn’t puff up too much. Want to start small? Our scallion and chive flatbread is a great place to start. (Fair warning, you’re about to fall in love with edible flowers.)
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1½ cups warm water
1¼ teaspoons salt
3½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3 tablespoons melted butter
Assorted sliced vegetables and herbs (use what you love)
Flaky sea salt, to taste
Step 1: Spray a 9x13-inch pan with nonstick spray to keep the dough from sticking. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil on top of the spray to give the bottom of the focaccia a crunchy crust and flavor.
Step 2: Combine the water, 3 tablespoons olive oil, salt, flour and yeast in an electric mixer and beat on high for 1 minute. If you don’t have an electric mixer, combine the ingredients in a bowl until it forms a sticky dough.
Step 3: Put the dough in the pan and gently spread it until it fills the pan. Let it rise for 1 hour. While you wait, preheat the oven to 375°F.
Step 4: Once the dough has risen, poke all over the surface of the dough with your index finger. This is what gives focaccia its signature indentations and prevents the dough from bubbling up while it bakes.
Step 5: Brush the top of the dough with some of the butter. Arrange your toppings into a pretty design on the bread’s surface. Popular ideas include yellow bell pepper sunflowers, asparagus bamboo shoots, tomato roses and red onion tulips. Have fun with it and let your creativity shine. Just be sure to pat down wet ingredients like tomatoes or olives before arranging them on the dough. If you don’t, their colors can bleed onto the bread and make it soggy, ruining your masterpiece.
Step 6: Carefully spread the rest of the butter over the design and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool 5 to 10 minutes before serving.