Red Onion & Garlic Focaccia

by Trudy ~ Veggie num num on June 23, 2011

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Herb Focaccia

Homemade bread, is there anything more rewarding or delicious to bake in your very own oven? The process is exciting and fun, activating the yeast, waiting for the dough to rise and finally pulling your golden bread from the oven to devour fresh and warm, it’s bliss.

For those of you out there a little intimidated by bread baking, never fear, this is a really simple no knead recipe that delivers a beautiful tasty bread. Perfect for snacking, as an appetizer when entertaining or to serve with soups, stews, pasta or a crispy salad, focaccia is truly versatile.

Add your favourite herbs and spices to this focaccia recipe and experiment with different toppings; try adding sliced olives or leeks, grated vegetarian or vegan cheese, sliced chilli or a sprinkle of different fresh herbs. With a little preparation time you will be rewarded with beautiful and tasty home-baked bread to enjoy fresh from the oven!!

My brother and I baked these on a cold day here on the mountain and they where the perfect thing to enjoy sliced into warm pieces. Huge props to Tim for taking most of the beautiful pics on todays post. It was fun having someone else capture the cooking process, thanks Tim!!

Oh and if you look closely there is a little Poet cat photo bomb in the last pic, I couldn’t resist :)

Herb Focaccia

Preparation time: 40mins (+ 1 hour proofing)
Makes 2 Focaccia

  • 2 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 1¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ¼ cup gluten flour (wheat gluten)
  • 440g (15 oz) plain flour (preferable 00/bakers flour)
  • 1 tsp salt flakes
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp celery seeds

toppings

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • ½ ripe tomato, sliced
  • ½ red onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds or fennel seeds
  • fresh thyme, chopped

Herb Focaccia
Herb Focaccia

Combine the yeast and sugar with approximately ½ cup of the warm water, add the remaining warm water and the tablespoon of olive oil, set aside.

Sift the flours into a large bowl, add the salt flakes, fennel and celery seeds; stir gently to combine and make a well in the centre.

Check the yeast mixture is activated, you’ll notice the yeast very gently bubbling or rising to the surface, this may take a few minutes to happen.

Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and using a wooden spoon stir for 1-2 minutes until well combined and formed into a soft, sticky dough. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and place in a warm corner to allow the dough to rise for about 1 hour or until approximately doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220°C/428°F

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and using floured hands, halve the dough into two rounds. Arrange the rounds onto lightly oiled baking trays and gently shape and flatten.

Top with sliced tomato, onion, garlic, cumin or fennel seeds and thyme. Brush with the olive oil and allow to rest for a further 15 minutes before placing in the hot oven for 10 -15 minutes until bread is golden brown.

Remove when evenly cooked and firm, slide onto a baking rack and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing and devouring. Enjoy!!

Herb Focaccia
Herb Focaccia
Herb Focaccia

{ this recipe was adapted from an Olive Focaccia recipe found in Charmaine Solomon’s Family Recipes Cook Book }

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles June 23, 2011 at 8:36 am

How lovely this looks, and I like the sound of no-knead – I fear I never knead even half as long as I should to be honest. I always have huge problems with yeast as well… sometimes I can get the amounts right, other times it’s like the bread somehow assumes this nasty yeasty flavour :/

Never seen celery seeds – I’m a big fan of celery so I must track some down!

Jun June 23, 2011 at 6:11 pm

I love these. really really loving them. I tried baking focaccia several times using different recipes, they turned out not that good. I would love to try your recipe. Also, never heard of celery seeds.

Nic's Notebook June 23, 2011 at 8:40 pm

Oooh sounds and looks lovely – will def have to try. I tried making my own bread a while ago (just a normal loaf) and it was sooo much nicer than shop-bought!!

Sara June 23, 2011 at 11:46 pm

We just discovered celery seeds a few weeks ago in my spice rack and I used them for sphagetti sauce- delicious! Also, these look really really good. I wonder if I can do the kneading part in the bread maker?

Amanda June 24, 2011 at 2:04 am

I always thought focaccia was supposed to be flatter, but your loaves look beautiful! I can almost smell them, warm out of the oven!

Sasha June 24, 2011 at 4:04 am

mmmmmm, i can basically smell how good these would be, definitely going to try your recipe out sometime thank you :)

lea June 24, 2011 at 5:04 am

Awesome recipe thank you!

Also-where did you get that APRON! sooooo adorbable!

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) June 24, 2011 at 7:20 am

I love breads of all sorts, especially ones that are this easy to make and that look this delicious. I made a focaccia recently and my little one (who hates cheese) said “Yay! It’s pizza without cheese!)

GreenerMe June 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

I noticed that your recipe asks for ‘gluten flour’ in particular. Could you use gluten free flour?

Erica (Shona's mum) June 24, 2011 at 10:51 am

Oh Trudy, the foccacias look fantastic. I’m going to make one this weekend. And I truly love your “cutlery” apron. Thanks. Erica

Elsa June 25, 2011 at 5:03 am

This looks amazing, great presentations too… I’m definitely going to try it

chinmayie @ love food eat June 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm

That looks sooooo beautiful! Love your photos :)
I love baking my own bread but i don’t do it often enough… I have decided that i am going to stop buying bread from now on… I think then i will HAVE to bake them! lol… I have never made foccascia. They look like a lot of fun with so many topping possibilities :)

ribbonclown June 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Love your shots!!!! It’s comforting and warm.. ;) I’ve bookmarked this as my next recipe to try.. ;)

chow vegan June 27, 2011 at 9:51 am

Wow, the focaccia looks incredible! I really should stop being afraid of baking with yeast…

Trudy ~ Veggie num num June 27, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hi everyone and thank you for the great feedback and comments :D I hope this recipe has inspired some of you to try bread baking, I too need to bake bread more often, it’s truly rewarding!!

Sara this is a nice simple no-knead recipe, just a good strong stir for a minute with a wooden spoon to bring the dough together and you’re right to let it rise, too easy!

Yep Amanda focaccia is quite often a flatter bread, you can spread the dough mixture out thinly over a square baking tray if you like a thin focaccia, I like mine a little fatter as we slice them in half and make grilled sandwiches sometimes :)

GreenerMe the gluten flour or wheat gluten is used here as a strengthening agent in the bread making process, I have never tried making gluten free bread, well not yet anyway… you’d have to do a little search on the internet to see how others prepare gluten free focaccia. Sorry I cant be of more help, I’m a complete novice in this area!!

Oh and the apron comes from Typo a great little chain of shops filled with all sorts of household and stationery goodness!!

Jennifer (eatyourvegetable) July 2, 2011 at 7:55 am

That is some seriously gorgeous (and well-photographed) bread! Love your site!

Trudy ~ Veggie num num July 4, 2011 at 4:11 pm

Thanks Jennifer :D

Joy July 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm

My first attempt at bread making and I think it went alright!? I had activated the yeast (bubbles were visible), but the dough didn’t appear to double in size…However it seemed to turn out OK and everyone said it tasted nice? I’ll have to give it another whirl, just to be sure!

Trudy ~ Veggie num num July 27, 2011 at 11:18 am

Hi Joy so happy to hear this recipe inspired you into trying bread making for the very first time!! And it sounds like it turned out well :) How much the bread rises can depend on a few factors I think, just try and keep it somewhere warm and draft free to allow it to rise. Thanks for the wonderful feedback and I hope you continue to enjoy bread making and lots more Veggie num num recipes too :D

Sarah August 8, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I made this bread last night to accompany some canneloni and a salad. It was ridiculously easy to make and delicious – and home made bread is one of those things that never fails to impress dinner guests! I couldn’t find anything sold as ‘gluten flour’ in Woolies so used Lighthouse brand pizza and bread flour which was labelled ‘high gluten’ and that worked fine. I couldn’t find celery seeds so just used fennel. I also noticed halfway through that my yeast had a best before date of December 2010(!) but somehow it still rose.

Today at lunch I toasted the leftovers and cut it into cubes for salad croutons.

Yum, thank you for the recipe!

Ang June 16, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I made these focaccia today and they far exceeded my expectations – the best focaccia I have ever tasted! I won’t be buying it anymore now that I can make it like this!
I didn’t know what the gluten wheat was and just used everyday plain flour and it was fine … better than fine, actually!
Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

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