I am not sure about you, but when it comes to stressful times, I need to find a creative distraction. That usually means I am in the kitchen doing something baking or cooking related. However, I have been known to teach myself how to tile a backsplash or fireplace surround in these circumstances as well. Another form of a creative outlet! In this case, I am sharing a focaccia bread recipe that I use as a canvas for my vegetable gardenscape.
The best part is you most likely have all the ingredients in your house for the focaccia recipe. Then get artsy to design the picture you want to make. Once you have that down, check out your refrigerator drawers and cabinets for the veggies and toppings to use in your artwork.
How to decorate your focaccia bread artwork
A sampling of ideas include:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Green onions
- Red onions
As you can see, the choices are endless. The one thing to keep in mind is that you will be putting the design in the oven, so the ingredients have to be able to withstand the heat. If you use celery for example, you may want to add it near the end of the focaccia baking process or add it when it is out of the oven. Same goes for the cheese unless you want it to melt. Items like potatoes would need to be par boiled beforehand as they won’t be in the oven long enough to cook through otherwise. (Unless the design calls for them to be thinly sliced).
It’s also valuable to use a baking pan that is sturdy so it heats the dough evenly. I am a big fan of silicone baking sheets in pans as not only does it make for easy clean up but the bread releases from the pan without sticking. While you can knead the dough by hand, I find it really helpful to use the dough hook on my KitchenAid mixer. Lastly, I think the finishing touch of the design is a sprinkle of Everything Seasoning. It enhances the vegetables and the focaccia flavor.
This is a fun project to do with the kids or as a way to express your creativity. And the best part is you get to eat your work of art!
Focaccia Bread Art
- KitchenAid Mixer
- Dough Hook
- Baking sheet
- Silicone baking sheet
- 2 3/4 cups flour, all purpose
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded optional
- 1 tbsp Everything Seasoning
- Peppers, yellow, orange, red
- Cherry tomatoes
- Red onions
- French green beans
- Olives, green
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water. Start with the mixing paddle on the electric mixer and then switch to the dough hook when ready to knead the dough.
- When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic. This can be done with the dough hook on the KitchenAid mixer. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Punch dough down. Place on a greased baking sheet or on a silicone pan cover. Form dough into a rectangle that is about 1/2 inch thick. Brush top with olive oil.
- Create a design using whatever vegetables and ingredients that you prefer. Place on dough. Drizzle olive oil across the top of all ingredients. Then sprinkle Everything Seasoning across whole design. You can lightly top with parmesan cheese as well if desired.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.