Freshly baked focaccia bread, crispy taralli, and crispy ciabatta: these are the treats that can immediately catapult me to Italy. I LOVE Italian food. I mean, real Italian food. For me, it doesn't have to be Pizza with all the trimmings. Give me fresh focaccia, and I am absolutely satisfied 🙂 .
I promise: With my Focaccia recipe you will surely become fans of the Apulian flatbread! It's fluffy. Spicy. Soft. Delicious. And it smells sooo good! Depending on the region, there are many different types of this recipe in Italy - filled focaccia and sweet focaccia, focaccia with olives or with onions. I like the flatbread most puristically, i.e., only with olive oil and herbs, or garnished with small tomatoes. A bit of salt is added to the yeast dough. The right seasoning is, therefore, all the more critical. For my focaccia, I always use a few teaspoons of colorful, air-dried pieces of vegetables and (Mediterranean) herbs.
The preparation is straightforward: just make a savory yeast dough with a little olive oil and the vegetable mix, let it rise, roll it out into a large flat cake, press the mini recesses into the dough and finally add a mixture of oil, vegetable mix, and small tomatoes. Put in the oven. Done. The vegetable pieces, which are puffed up in liquid-like pasta sauces or spreads, give the focaccia Pugliese not only a great aroma but also a beautiful spot of color in the dough.
The perfect focaccia herbs: thyme, rosemary, basil and oregano
So far, there are three mixtures of 100% air-dried organic vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, carrots and peppers : a classic one with additional parsnip, celeriac, lovage and parsley; an Asian one with onions, coriander, chilli and lemongrass as well as the Mediterranean mix, which contains garlic, rosemary and oregano. Not unimportant for moms like me: Greenstuff in this form is well tolerated by children 😉.
In Italy, the fluffy flatbread is said to be eaten traditionally for breakfast (!). I prefer it for barbecues, buffets or dinner. By the way: If you want to make focaccia with dry yeast, use 1 pack of it. If you let the yeast dough go overnight, you will need less yeast than indicated in the recipe. Focaccia is actually vegan, but in the vegetarian version with some melted cheese, it tastes heavenly. Hach!
Focaccia with herbs and tomatoes
For the yeast dough
- 500 grams (4 cups) flour, best type 550
- 8 grams (3.5 cups) Dry yeast,
- 1 pinch sugar
- 300 milliliters (1.3 cups) water, lukewarm
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 30 milliliters (2 tablespoon) olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Mediterranean vegetable-herb mixture
For the covering
- 250 grams (2 cups) tomatoes, I use cherry or date formats
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Mediterranean vegetable-herb mixture
- For the pre-dough, crumble the yeast with the sugar in lukewarm water and stir until it has dissolved. Place the flour in a large bowl. Form a large hollow in the middle, pour in the yeast water and let everything rest for 10 minutes covered.
- Add salt, oil and herb mix to the bowl and stir briefly. Knead the yeast dough vigorously for 5-10 minutes (using a dough hoountil the yeast dough separates from the edge of the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
- Roll out the yeast dough to the size of a baking sheet and place it on a tray coated with oil or baking paper. Allow the dough to rise for another 30 minutes. Then press small depressions into the dough with a finger or a wooden spoon. Divide the halved tomatoes as well as the oil-herb mix and spread on the dough. Leave to stand for 10 minutes while preheating the oven to 200 degrees top and bottom heat. Bake the focaccia for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
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