Have you seen the new trend in baking bread? Bakers are turning focaccia bread into beautiful works of bread art by layering on creative ingredients. Vineyard Baker on Instagram is the pro behind this new trend. Making focaccia bread art is not only fun for the whole family but it is delicious!
So since the world is in quarantine, I have been looking for fun projects to keep the kids and me busy. Abby, Brian’s daughter, loves to cook with her hands so this was the perfect fun project for us to do together.
Start off with my easy focaccia bread recipe. Once the dough has risen, get your raw or pickled vegetables and fresh or dried herbs and get CREATIVE!
Here’s some suggestions:
- Red onions – thinly sliced to look like flowers
- Mini bell Peppers – sliced vertically to make big sunflowers!
- Chives – Make great flower stems
- Green Onions – Also make great flower stems or seaweed
- Parsley – Perfect for leaves
- Basil – Also great for leaves or seaweed
- Cherry or regular Tomatoes – Sliced in half makes great flower centers
- Olives – Rocks or centers of flowers
- Carrots- make the sun or flowers
- Capers – Also make great rocks or seed pods
- Rosemary – Small plants
- Thyme – Small plants
- Green Beans- makes great grass
- Pepperoni – can be shaped into fish or faces
- Shredded Parmesan – Sand or dirt
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1/4 teaspoon honey
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- In a cold medium skillet, combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, rosemary, and the black pepper. Place the skillet over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture to the bowl with yeast and honey. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
- Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth.
- Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Use two tablespoons of the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture to oil a 9-inch by 13-inch rimmed baking sheet.
- Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to create dimples in the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of the garlic-olive oil mixture. Tip: Creating dimples with your fingers helps to prevent the dough from bubbling up while baking.
- Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly.
- Now it is time to get creative! Grab your favorite colorful herbs, vegetables (fresh or pickled), and nuts and seeds. Decorate the dough with your ingredients, gently pressing down so they stay in place. Brush olive oil over the top.
- Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.