Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread

Focaccia is my favorite bread to make at home. It has a crisp outside and soft inside, and is perfect to serve with dinner, soups or even sliced in half and used for sandwiches. The best part is that it’s naturally vegan.

This garlic veggie herbed focaccia bread recipe is very simple to make – no fancy equipment or fancy ingredients are needed at all.

Though it appears plain, focaccia is anything but boring. Its defining characteristics are the olive oil infused flavor and deliciously crisp exterior. Olive oil enrobes the entire crust, seeping into the interior as the bread bakes. Herbs and garlic are popular toppings, but you can add anything like olives, tomatoes, sesame seeds, parmesan cheese, pine nuts, pesto, caramelized onions, and more.

Ingredients

  • All purpose flour – 1 + 1/4 cup
  • Wholewheat flour – 1+1/4 cup
  • Flour for dusting – upto 1/4 cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Extra virgin olive oil – 7 tbsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Yeast – 2 tsp
  • Lukewarm water – 1 cup
  • Dried oregano, basil, chilli flakes – 1 tsp each
  • Garlic – 4 cloves minced
  • Tomato slices, onion slices , capsicum slices and black olives to top

Method

  1. In a bowl , take lukewarm water, add sugar and yeast . Leave covered for 10 mins till the yeast blooms and becomes frothy.
  2. In another bowl, take 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , minced garlic , 1 tsp of oregano , basil , chilli flakes and salt each.
  3. In a big bowl , take 1 + 1/4 cup each of all purpose flour and wholewheat flour. Make a well in centre and add herb infused oil and bloomed yeast mixture. Mix it well to make a wet mix.
  4. Take out the dough on a floured surface and using the stretch & fold method knead for 10 mins. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough sticking to surface.
  5. Knead well to make an elastic dough. In an well oiled bowl cover with a wet cloth and keep in a warm place for 45 minutes to proof. It will double in size.
  6. After 45 minutes, take a 13 x 9 inch baking tin and apply oil on all sides.
  7. Take the dough and knock out the air and spread in the pan . Apply 2 tbsp extra virgin oil on top of dough and flatten the dough using your palms. Use your fingers to dimple the entire dough surface.
  8. Add the desired toppings and press them lightly. I used onion slices, tomato slices, jalapeño slices and sliced olives . Sprinkle dried herbs.
  9. Cover with wet cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 hour atleast .
  10. Preheat the oven at 200*c for 10 mins. Bake the Focaccia for 22-25 mins till the crust becomes a beautiful shade of gold and crisp from top. I baked mine for 30 mins as my kids prefer a more crispy bread.
  11. Once the bread is out of oven drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and leave for 5 mins in the pan.
  12. Serve warm and enjoy the crispy yet soft spongy herbed focaccia.

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