If a quick scroll of Instagram foodie accounts is anything to go by, focaccia is undergoing something of a makeover. Soft, chewy and flat, the classic Italian sharing bread makes the perfect blank canvas for the popular garden art trend, which involves topping your bread with colourful vegetables and herbs to create botanically inspired designs. Making a beautiful centrepiece for any gathering, these edible works of art are perfect to serve for lunch with soup or antipasti, or simply enjoyed on their own, dunked in olive oil. And the good news is, they're very simple to create. Focaccia itself is quick and easy to make in your Titanium Chef Patissier XL, while when it comes to creating your design, you can be guided by the recipe below, or just use the ingredients you have to hand. You can even get the kids involved and let them make their own masterpieces.
Here’s what you’ll need to make your own delicious garden art focaccia. The loaf will serve about 8 people and takes around 2 hours 40 minutes to prepare and bake.
370g warm water
80g olive oil
2 tsp salt
500g strong flour
7g dried yeast
75g yellow pepper (deseeded, sliced)
2-3 spring onions (trimmed, finely sliced lengthways)
Baby tomatoes, as needed
Black olives, as needed
Fresh thyme leaves, as needed
Fresh parsley, leaves and stems, as needed
Fresh chives, as needed
3-4 leaves fresh basil
0.25 tsp ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
Coarse sea salt, to taste
Titanium Chef Patissier XL
Large, deep-sided baking tray
Before you get started
Measure out your ingredients and prep your baking area.
Grease your baking tray with a generous amount of olive oil.
Fit the heat shield and dough tool to your Titanium Chef Patissier XL.
Attach the EasyWarm™ bowl to your machine. Add the warm water, olive oil, salt, flour and yeast to the bowl and fit the splashguard.
With the heat setting off, knead the mixture on speed Min for about 1 minute, until combined.
Increase the speed to speed 1 and knead for a further 4 minutes, until a dough forms. Alternatively, if you are using the Titanium Chef Patissier XL you can just use the Dough Kneading preset.
After kneading, don’t worry if your dough is still quite wet, looking more like a batter. Unlike other doughs, it’s not meant to come together as a ball.
Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as you knead, if needed.
Next stage is to prove your dough. Remove the dough tool and then prove at heat setting 2 (with the speed off) for 1 hour, or until the dough has doubled in size. If you’re using your Titanium Chef Patissier XL just use the Dough Proving preset.
Once proven, transfer the dough to the greased baking tray, gently stretching it out so it covers the base of the tray. Cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to prove for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 220ºC.
Once the dough has proved, drizzle with olive oil. Now it’s time to turn your bread into a canvas and start decorating.
Use the toppings to make your design as simple or intricate as you like. From wild and wonderful garden landscapes to blooming bouquets, this is your chance to be creative and just have fun. Here are some focaccia decorating ideas to inspire you:
Use red onion slices or cherry tomato slices to create flower heads
Sliced peppers for petals, with sliced olives for the centres
For flower stems and leaves:
Parsley stalks, spring onions and chives
Arrange the remaining herbs to look like they are additional foliage growing up from the bottom of the focaccia.
You can add in different toppings each time, depending what you need using up- try sweet potato, asparagus, aubergine, feta, parma ham or lardons.
Slice ingredients thinly, but not too thin otherwise they’ll burn.
Parboil harder veg like asparagus or sweet potato first to soften.
Cherry or grape tomatoes work better than larger tomatoes, which give off too much moisture. Avoid using sundried tomatoes as they can burn around the edges.
Less is often more! Don’t be tempted to overload your bread with toppings as it will weigh it down too much.
Drizzle the decorated focaccia with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.
Bake at 220ºC for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190ºC and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until it looks golden brown.
Serve warm, drizzled with olive oil.