Vegetable Foccacia

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Being in lockdown, I have had the chance to experiment more with my food. This is my latest creation in a vegetable foccacia-style bread, which is good enough for a weekend dinner.

What you’ll need:

  • 4 cups of whole wheat or bread flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 packet (2 tsp) of active dry yeast
  • 2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium bell pepper, diced
  • 2-3 small tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup of spinach, finely chopped

How to make it:

This recipe does call for an overnight rise in the fridge, it does develop better flavors, as well as a better rise in the oven. Also, this is a rather wet dough due to the large amount of tomatoes.

  1. Warm the water in the microwave. You want it just warm enough so that the yeast will rise, and not so warm that they die in the heat.
  2. Mix in the honey, and pour it into the bowl of your stand mixer.
  3. Add in the olive oil, packet of yeast, mix well and let the yeast bloom.
  4. Toss in all the vegetables and herbs, add your salt and pepper.
  5. Using the dough hook, stir all the vegetables so that they are evenly distributed.
  6. Add the flour, and start the mixer on low speed until all the dough is incorporated. You may need to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times.
  7. Once the flour is incorporated, turn up the speed and knead the dough until it starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Because the dough is rather wet, you won’t have a smooth ball.
  8. Transfer the dough into an oiled container, preferably one made of glass or stainless steel. The container should be large enough to allow for the dough to rise to double or more of its original volume. Add a bit of olive oil on the top to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
  9. Cover the container with a lid or plastic wrap and set it overnight in the fridge for 24 hours.
  10. Take your dough out of the fridge and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
  11. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  12. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and pour your dough out on to the sheet. Using a spatula, you should be able to shape your dough into a rough oval shape.
  13. At this point, you can add any additional toppings that you like. I like to add some dried basil and oregano, and some shredded mozzarella cheese, to make it like a pizza.
  14. Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until a tester comes out clean.
  15. Allow it to cool on the pan before peeling away the parchment paper.
  16. Transfer it to a cutting board, and cut into rectangular slices and serve warm.