mediterranean focaccia bread mediterranean focaccia bread Israeli Kitchen Focaccia is a wonderful appetizer that can be dipped into hummus, tahini or flavored olive oil. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Mediterranean focaccia

These savory, airy focaccia are a creation of Chef Yuval Attias from Jerusalem’s Te’amim Cooking School.

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  • Yield: Makes 12 breads
  • Prep time: 45 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes

I’ve made my own homemade pitas before, but never have I tasted anything as savory, fluffy and absolutely delicious as these Mediterranean focaccia from Chef Yuval Attias in Jerusalem’s Te’amim Cooking School.

Our little group mixed, floured, rolled and sprinkled savory toppings and then waited impatiently for our beauties to come out of the oven. Torn into bite-sized pieces and dipped into super creamy, fresh tahini, they were heavenly. Some people pull them open and stuff them with chicken, lamb or roasted veggies and a drizzle of tahini.

Although there are official measurements, our chef was pretty generous with the olive oil and salt, and you can be flexible as well. And then go all out with your favorite Mediterranean toppings – try olives, diced tomatoes, roasted garlic, whatever suits your fancy.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 1/2-6 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • Scant 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Egg wash*, sesame seeds
  • Minced parsley, garlic, tomatoes, sliced olives
  • Coarse sea salt, za’atar, optional

Directions

Combine yeast, warm water, and sugar until dissolved. Add flour, salt and olive oil and mix until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add more flour if dough is too sticky.

Cover dough and allow to rise for an hour. Flour a clean working surface. Divide dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll into balls. Gently roll out with rolling pin, to about 5” diameter. You can also toss the little dough circles into the air to give them some extra stretch. Careful, now.

Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, and allow to rise in a warm spot for 20-30 minutes. (You can make soft indentations with your thumb in the bread at this point – I chose not to!) Brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with sesame seeds, or parsley, garlic, olives, and tomato. (*Egg wash is one beaten egg mixed with a few drops water)

Sprinkle with additional sea salt and/or za’atar, if desired. Allow to rise another 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 425, and place a pizza stone in the oven (optional, but it helps with heat distribution).

Bake focaccia breads for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack, and serve warm with homemade hummus, green tahini or roasted eggplant dip.

mediterranean focaccia bread A wire rack allows the focaccia to cool evenly on both sides. (Photo: Sarah Berkowitz)

Related Topics: Baking, Mediterranean

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