Focaccia bread art is one of my favorite recipes to do in camps. While the bread takes two days to make, it always comes out airy, chewy and delicious. But the best part is seeing all the beautiful designs the kids come up with to decorate the top of their bread. They choose from a selection of vegetables, and are often able to pick herbs from our garden as well. Each one is a work of art.
- 1 cup warm water, divided into two bowls
- ½ Tbsp sugar
- 1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp flakey salt (large grain)
- 12 ounces bread flour (about 2 ½ cups)
- ¼ cup olive oil for coating pan and drizzling on top of focaccia
- Herbs, vegetables, meats for decorating
- Combine half your water (½ cup) with the yeast and sugar and mix to combine. Set aside for about 5 minutes or until it looks frothy.
- ce the water/yeast mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Add in about 1 cup of flour and mix until combined.
- Add in the rest of your water, 2 Tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, and about half your remaining flour. Mix on low until combined.
- Continue adding flour slowly until dough becomes smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be very soft. Keep mixing your dough on low until it bounces back when touched.
- Place your dough into a bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil, cover it with plastic and let it rise for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Coat a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Dump focaccia dough onto baking sheet and begin to stretching it. You should be trying to get it as close to the edges as possible. Once it is stretched, cover the pan with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.
- When you are ready to bake, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Take your pan with the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to warm for 30 minutes. Dimple the surface with oiled fingers or the handle end of a wooden spoon. Drizzle a good amount of olive oil over the bread until all the dimples have a little oil in them. Sprinkle dough with flakey salt. Decorate the top anyway you’d like with vegetables, herbs, and meats. Brush all veggies and herbs with olive oil to prevent burning.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Because of the toppings, the bread is best enjoyed warm and day of baking. Refrigerate and reheat leftovers.