• Elizabeth Middleton

Focaccia Art

I always love pretty food, plating a dish so it looks appealing is half the fun for me. While I can’t draw or paint, today I discovered I can make Focaccia Art.



With a very simple focaccia recipe, I set out to use only edible plants as my toppings. Without cheese, this is a vegan dish, perfect for hosting guests one day, or for us as a snack during a family round of Bananagrams. Focaccia Gardens is an Internet thing at the moment, not as popular as Dalgona Coffee, Sourdough, or Tiger King quite yet, but I’m sure it’s heading that way. It’s way easier than it looks, and honestly anyone can do it.


Search #focacciagarden and you’ll find many inspiring images. I just looked to see what I had on hand in fresh produce and in the pantry. Green onions cut lengthwise make great flower stems, cherry tomatoes cut are pretty flowers, salad greens make grass, seeds, fruit, and nuts work well too. Keep in mind that greens do shrink once baked, and the more colourful the better. Radishes work surprisingly well, hold their shape, and taste delicious once baked. Fresh or roasted peppers are perfect for making flowers, and items like capers and gherkins shouldn’t be overlooked. Mushrooms and olives could also work well too. If you have time and are quite artistic, try to make some fancy garnishes like carrot roses. I definitely want to try olives, prunes, and dates. Once you get the hang of it, you could do themed decorations, think Christmas, Valentine’s Day; the possibilities are endless.


My focaccia recipe is from Munatycooking.com blog, which I also included below.


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup warm water

  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoon dry active yeast

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

THE TOPPING

  • Flake sea salt

  • 1 tablespoon rosemary fresh or dry

  • 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil

Decorations

  • Fresh or already cooked/pickled vegetables

  • Seeds, nuts, and fruit

  • Cheese if you please


Instructions

  • In a small bowl, add the water, sugar, and yeast. Miix and then cover for ten minutes. After ten minutes if the mixture formed a froth then go ahead with the next step.

  • In a stand mixer with a dough hook, add the flour and the salt, then gradually add the yeast mixture and knead. You can also do this by hand.

  • Knead for 5 minutes, when the dough is smooth and not sticky, add the olive oil and knead for three more minutes. Cover the dough and let it rise in warm place for an hour and a half or until it is double in size.

  • Punch the dough and knead for 1 minute.

  • Pat or roll the dough into a round, or square shape, place it on a lightly greased baking sheet, quiche dish, or a cast iron pan. Make the dough quarter of an inch high if you want crispy focaccia, or make it ½ an inch high for thicker focaccia bread. At this point, do not make dimples on the dough.

  • Cover the dough and let it rise again for 30 minutes.

  • Preheat oven to 375F.

  • Using your fingers make dimples on the surface of the dough.

  • Brush the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with flake sea salt


Decorate

  • Now it’s time to get creative. Use your vegetables and create flowers, a nature scene, or anything you like.

  • Once It’s all decorated, you are ready to bake it. Take a picture before it’s baked and after.

  • Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, until it is golden in color and has reached your desired crispness, look on the bottom, it should lift out quite easily.

  • After it comes out of the oven, I brushed mine with melted butter for flavour and glossiness.


Please let me know if you have any questions or comment below. You can tag me on Instagram @wherelizis


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