Easy Focaccia Bread - Naturally Vegan
I first fell in love with focaccia bread when I met my friend Ike. We had been living in Germany for only a few months, and God sent me an angel.
You see, living abroad is not as glamorous as one might think. It’s lonely, and until you feel as though you belong, you have to try and find ways to distract from the lonely.
That’s when I met Ike.
Lucky for me she loves Americans.
I met her at a dinner party for my husbands job. Her and her husband quickly became some of our best friends, and there was one thing we both had in common that definitely played a part in our instant bond. Food.
Ike and her husband Ziggi are incredible cooks. And after going to their house for dinner and having hand made pasta, and almost everything made from scratch, my love for Mediterranean food was reignited.
One day we planned a day trip to the Austrian alps and brought our own food. I brought ham and cheese sandwiches. Ike brought focaccia bread. Of course she brought enough for everyone, so I we tried some.
IT WAS AMAZING.
Other times I had had focaccia bread, it was used as a bread for sandwiches, was dry, chewy, and not too enticing. But THIS. This is something different.
This focaccia bread stands alone. Like, you simply don’t need anything else with it other than a salad and glass of red wine. Yes, even if on a day trip in the mountains.
Ever since I tasted Ike’s amazing focaccia bread, I couldn’t get enough. It has since become a staple of ours.
The perfect balance of moist, savory, tinge of sweet, not too spongy, not too dry, flavorful, and just plain Italian.
The best part is, you can top it with whatever you like.
My favorite is onions, artichokes, and thinly sliced fresh tomatoes topped with a little lemon zest and the simplicity is mind blowing.
Another great combo is olives, leeks, and fresh rosemary.
The possibilities are endless.
So whether you’re having a dinner party with friends, or a movie night with the fam, this healthy mediterranean dish is sure to please, and will instantly become a go-to staple in your home.
This version is a little different than hers - her instructions where many times based off of feel and texture, so I had to give it some numbers to better follow. But that’s something to keep in mind.
So often our altitude, type of flour we use, or weather that day has to do with how something will turn out. Try and be attentive to that and use the recipe, but also use your common sense. If the texture feels dry, add more liquid and visa versa.
The most wonderful thing about mediterranean food is that is has no boundaries, but it has guidelines. So use this recipe as a guideline, but also leave room for your own creativity.
Simple Focaccia Bread Recipe
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 3/4 Teaspoons Dry Yeast (about 1 ½ packets)
Dash of sugar or squirt of honey to activate yeast with a few TBSP of warm water
¾ Teaspoon Salt
½ Cup Olive Oil
Glass of Warm Water (about 1 CUP)
Garlic and Olive Oil Topping (won’t be put on until after baking):
¼ Cup Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves
½ Teaspoon Salt
1 TBSP Italian Seasonings
Preheat over to 200 C or 425 F
Mix yeast with 3 TBSP water and dash of sugar or honey to activate until dissolved and bubbly.
Mix flour and salt and put in large mixing bowl.
Make a dent in the middle of the flour and pour the yeast mixture into center.
Add olive oil.
Start mixing with a wooden spoon as you add your warm water from your glass of warm water.
Keep mixing and adding water until you get a sticky and slimy dough. You want it sticky and wet! Not a pizza dough consistency.
Cover bowl with Press n’ Seal sprayed with PAM on the underside and let rise about an hour — you want it to double in size.
Scrape dough in a deep cookie sheet or lasagna pan lined with parchment paper.
Don’t use any extra flour! It needs to be really sticky still.
Pour more olive oil on top and poke holes in the dough with your finger.
Top it with whatever you like. Here are some yummy options, but don’t overcrowd!
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Canned Red Peppers
Basically anything you would put on a pizza.
Bake for total of 20 Minutes. Last 7 minutes or so turn up heat to 230 C to brown the top.
Pour garlic and herb olive oil mix over top and let cool.
TOP WITH LEMON ZEST ( don’t forget this step)