This focaccia started with a tasty bread I ate in Tel Aviv at the beach, and when I wanted to make something like that at home, I ended up adding more and more ingredients, including the Indian spice ajwain* that I think goes very well with a lot of mediterranean dishes. I also added sweet potato cherry blossoms.
Ingredients for the focaccia
several slices of sweet potato
2 dried apricots
3 cups flour (400 g)
1 sachet of dry yeast (about two teaspoons)
2/3 cup lukewarm water (160 ml)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 cup olive oil (120 ml)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon pink pepper
pinch of ajwain*
more sea salt
more olive oil
How to make the focaccia
Cut out sweet potato decoration, put aside and chop up sweet potato leftovers in a blender*.
Chop up apricots.
Combine flour and dry yeast in a bowl, then add chopped sweet potato, chia seeds, tomato paste, salt, apricots, olive oil and water. Knead for 10 minutes, I like to use my machine* for that.
Pour a little olive oil into a big bowl and over your hands to avoid the dough from sticking and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it rise for about one hour in a warm place, for example the warm oven. Around 30°C/ 85°F is a good temperature.
After one hour, the dough should have doubled. Punch it to remove the air, then knead again with oiled hands and form two focaccias.
Spread them on parchment paper and sprinkle with ajwain, rosemary, and sea salt. Add the sweet potato decoration and ground pink pepper. Sprinkle with a little more olive oil and poke holes into the focaccia with your fingers to create pools for the oil and the spices.
Let it rest another 20-30 minutes and preheat your oven in the meantime to 210°C/ 410°F.
Then bake for 20-25 minutes. I put my focaccia on my pizza stone* with the parchment paper, that makes it easy and super crispy, but if you don’t have a pizza stone a baking sheet will be fine too.
Once they are ready, sprinkle with a little more olive oil and cut into pieces, I find it easiest with a pizza cutter*.
I like my focaccia best the next morning for breakfast roasted in a skillet. A very nice variation is also to fill them with grated vegan cheese.
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