Focaccia bread with Christmas tree design made with rosemary, sage, savory, chives, red and yellow tomatoes, pearl onions, shallots, a hazelnut trunk and a carrot star. The focaccia is in a 9x13 pyres in a holiday tea towel.

Simple Focaccia Bread

5.0 from 1 vote

with herbs & vegetables

Baking bread can be intimidating, but do not be intimidated by this recipe! This simple focaccia bread is an easy bread that doesn’t even require a stand mixer or kneading. I decorated mine with a Christmas tree for the holidays, but you can decorate yours however you want. You could also simply sprinkle fresh herbs on if you don’t want to attempt focaccia art. Just be sure to plan ahead. The first rise time on this dough is 24-48 hours and then before baking, it needs another 4 hours in the pan that you will bake it in. This makes a great addition to a lunch or dinner. I served it alongside roasted sausage and vegetables and salad and my family loved it!

To make the Christmas tree design, I used a combination of fresh rosemary, chives, sage and a little bit of savory. I formed the tree shape first and then using some toasted hazelnuts, I formed the trunk shape. For the star on the top, I rolled up one ribbon of carrot and used a thinly sliced pepper ring to hold it together. I made rays coming off of the star with small, thin slices of yellow pepper and shallot. I used halved pearl onions and red and yellow cherry tomatoes for ornaments. There are so many designs that you could make on your bread, or you can simply sprinkle herbs on top for flavor. Just be sure to lightly brush everything with olive oil to keep the herbs and vegetables from burning in the oven. This is another reason that baking on the middle rack will be better than baking on an upper rack. I removed the bigger pieces of rosemary before serving. They infuse the flavor when baking and make your bread taste amazing! But because I wanted them bigger for the tree, they weren’t an ideal size for eating.

Simple Focaccia Bread With Herbs and Vegetables

Recipe by Sarah
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Appetizers, SidesCuisine: American, ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

40

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes
Calories

223

kcal

Making bread can seem intimidating but this easy focaccia recipe is perfect for anyone and the possibilities for toppings are endless. Perfect as a side with pasta or salad or you can use it for sandwiches.

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Ingredients

  • Dough:
  • 2 c warm water – see note

  • 4 c bread flour

  • 2 tsp instant yeast

  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt

  • Other:
  • 1/4 tbsp butter – see note

  • 1/4 c olive oil, divided

  • Toppings:
  • A couple pinches course sea salt

  • A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

  • 12 sage leaves

  • A few fresh chives, thinly sliced

Directions

  • Make sure that you take into account rise times so that you can have your focaccia done when you want it to be. The first rise is for 24-48 hours and the second rise is for 4 hours.
  • In a large bowl, stir or whisk together the flour, salt and yeast. Then using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the warm water. Keep stirring until a dough forms, it will be a very sticky dough.
  • Pour about a tablespoon of the olive oil onto your dough and turn it until it’s completely covered.
  • Cover your bowl and place it into the fridge for 24-48 hours to rise.
  • Once the first rise is done, grease a 9×13 pan (I used glass Pyrex) with butter and then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Set aside.
  • Your dough will have risen significantly and you want to bring it down to a ball that you can transfer to your pan for baking. I do this by taking two forks and pulling the dough from the sides of the bowl towards the center, I repeat this going around the bowl until it’s all unstuck from the sides. You don’t want to knead the dough, You just want to push it all in on itself until it forms a dough ball.
  • Transfer your dough ball into your greased pan and roll it in the olive oil until it’s covered in oil. Cover your pan and allow the dough to rise again for 4 hours.
  • Once it gets close to the 4 hour mark for the second rise, you can start to prep the herbs and veggies that you will use to decorate your focaccia. I sliced the pearl onions and the little tomatoes in half and very thinly sliced a yellow pepper and a few pieces of shallot.
  • Once the second rise is done, the dough should have expanded in your pan. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.9x13 glass Pyrex baking dish with raw focaccia dough on a holiday tea towel, with a bowl of pearl onions, a shallot, a tray of fresh herbs and some sea salt.
  • Wash and dry your hand well and using your knuckles, push dimples into your dough all over.Focaccia dough that has dimples pressed into it in a 9x13 Pyrex glass baking dish.
  • Decorate your focaccia! At this point, you can either choose to press fresh herbs and/or vegetables into your dough for flavoring, or you can create a design.Focaccia dough with fresh herbs, yellow and red tomatoes, sliced pearl onions and toasted hazelnuts to form a Christmas tree.
  • Very lightly brush everything that you’ve added to your focaccia with olive oil using a pastry brush. This will help to prevent everything from overly browning in the oven. You also want to make sure that everything is fairly well pressed in. If your dimples have started to puff back out, you can add a few more around your design area.
  • Sprinkle a couple pinches of course sea salt over your focaccia.
  • Bake in the oven on the center rack at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.
  • Serve warm or room temp and store any leftovers in an airtight container. The herbs will have infused their flavors into the bread while baking, so you can remove bigger pieces before eating.

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Prep time in this recipe is only accounting for getting your dough together and then decorated. It does not include the time that this bread takes to rise.
  • The warm water should be 100-110 degrees F.
  • The butter is for greasing your baking dish. Even though this bread does have oil, you should still grease your baking dish to ensure that the bread doesn’t stick.
  • Additional optional toppings to add: 1 tbsp toasted hazelnuts, 4-5 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, 3 pearl onions, halved, a few thin slices of yellow pepper, a few thin slices of shallot, a ribbon of carrot.

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