Classic Mediterranean Focaccia With Healing Herbs

Focaccia is similar to a more famous Italian import, but it differs from pizza in that it has no sauce, isn't smothered with cheese and has its ingredients pushed down into the dough rather than on top. You can add a variety of herbs and ingredients to a focaccia, but this one is classic and full of healthy Mediterranean ingredients. Pair it with a salad and dinner is easy, especially if you use prepared dough.

If you'd like to make your own dough, I've included a recipe I've been using for years.

Ingredients:

  • 1 15/16 ounce bag of prepared pizza dough.
  • About 10-12 kalamata olives, cut in half vertically
  • About 10-12 cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half vertically
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly coat a 9 x 13" baking tray (or you can use a round tray of similar size) with olive oil.

Spread and stretch the dough using your hands until you fill the tray.

Mix together the herbs, garlic and parmesan.

Brush the dough with the oil, season with sea salt and spread the herb/garlic/parmesan mixture onto the dough.

Push down with your hands, bringing the dough back to the edges of the tray.

Make random finger holes throughout the dough.

Add the tomatoes and olives and push each down into the dough.

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven, cut and serve.

To prepare your own dough:

  • 1 cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose organic flour (or use GF or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Directions:

Mix water and yeast in a small bowl. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl add 2 3/4 cups flour (reserve the rest to dust your board), sugar, and salt.

Add yeast mixture and olive oil and mix with your hands until dough forms a sticky ball.

Add more flour (a bit at a time) and knead dough until smooth. You can do this in the bowl or on a board.

Coat the dough with a bit of oil to prevent sticking to the bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

Punch down dough, place it on a floured board and roll into a thin circle. Or you can make a thicker circle or rectangle, place it on a baking tray and spread the dough with your hands.


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