Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art!

recipe

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

I've never been called an artist, I think that gene is firmly missing from me but I do like to play with my food and these decorative focaccias allow me to do that. Also the reason why I love to make focaccia is:

  • It makes an enormous sheet of focaccia bread that keeps fresh (in the fridge because of the vegetables) for 4-5 days for lunches. Just warm it up and it is a fantastic accompaniment for soups or slice horizontally for a sandwich. For the two of us, that's perfect and it means that we can do with one supermarket shop a week.
  • These decorative focaccias use up odds and ends that you have in your fridge of crisper. Find a use for those extra chillies, last sprigs of herbs or small wedge of cabbage!
  • Focaccia dough is super easy. This is a quick focaccia recipe so the whole thing is ready in about an hour. You can also do it in the Thermomix as it's a super wet dough so you can just pour it out of the jug and not a lot is left behind in the blades. See my Focaccia Thermomix recipe here.
  • I have one really helpful focaccia tip when making you own decorative focaccia, especially an intricate mosaic pattern like this. Lay out your vegetable pattern on a tray beforehand so that you can see what it will look like and adjust it before putting it on your dough. Once you lay it down on the sticky dough, it can be hard to reposition it.

Video: How to make mosaic focaccia bread

  • Also nutritionally speaking, did you know that many bought bread loaves contain up to 15 ingredients while the basic bread here contains four (five including water)?
  • If you have a close look at the packaging most bought bread loaves contain mineral salt 170 (calcium carbonate), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), emulsifiers (427e, 481, 471), vegetable gums (412, 461) and amino acid 920. These are all things that help speed up bread production, allow bread to keep its shape and extend shelf life so that it can stay on the shelf fresh for longer which are great for the brands but not great for the consumer (Choice).
  • Plus you know what? Every time I take my box of focaccia out to make a sandwich or as a soup accompaniment it makes me smile. Even the NYT Cooking Section tagged my focaccia in an Instagram post about decorative breads which was very exciting!
  • Can I use a sourdough starter instead of yeast? Yes! Sourdough starter is ideal for this slow rise focaccia as it can take longer than instant dried yeast to rise. Please use 50g/1.7ozs during summer and 100g/3.5ozs during winter (the dough needs a bit more of a boost during cooler weather).

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

It hasn't all been wine and roses or blissful focaccia baking here though. I made a first run at this focaccia a few weeks before and I really, really screwed it up.

You see we've got this disinfectant solution in a spray bottle that we use to clean my phone and packages etc and it's basically a home made solution using 70% isopropyl alcohol. I labelled it clearly just so it wouldn't get mixed up with the other spray bottles-we have water, mould cleaner and a Teddy cleaner in similar spray bottles.

When it came to spraying this focaccia with water halfway through the cooking process, you can probably guess what I did. I accidentally used the alcohol spray on the focaccia instead of water!

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

Mr NQN heard my anguished cry of pain from the other room where he was working. "What happened?" he said rushing over expecting me or Teddy to be injured. I explained what I had done. "But it's alcohol, it's ok isn't it?" he said. But a quick google showed us that no, it was not ok, even the tiniest amount of isopropyl alcohol can be very dangerous (it's double the strength of ethanol) and can cause central nervous system damage.

So sadly that focaccia went straight into the bin, steaming hot and all! After that we put the alcohol spray away too!

So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever had to bin something entirely? Are you an artistic person?

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

Rated 5.0 out of 5 by 2 readers

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 20 minutes plus 1 hour resting

Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 500g/1.1lbs. plain flour
  • 500ml/16.9flozs. lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast OR 50-100g (1.7-3.5ozs) sourdough starter (see note below)
  • 150ml/5flozs. extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 6 large red chillies, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion
  • Black olive slices, halved
  • Red cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Orange cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 leaf red cabbage, cut into triangles
  • Sliced cheese cut into stars using a star cookie cutter
  • Parsley leaves
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

If you are using a sourdough starter, please use 50g/1.7ozs during summer and 100g/3.5ozs during winter

Step 1 - Line a large, deepish (at least an inch deep) 30x40cm or 12x16inch tray with parchment. Dissolve the salt in water. Mix the salt water with the flour in a bowl and add the yeast and stir to mix. Knead with a dough hook for 5 minutes. It will be a very wet dough.

Step 2 - Pour half of the olive oil onto the base of the prepared tin and spread to the sides with a brush. Pour the bread dough over the oil in the tray and spread to the sides with a spatula. Brush with remaining oil. Cover with another larger tray and then a cloth. Allow to rise in a warm area for 1 hour.

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art

Step 3 - Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Make a mosaic pattern with the vegetables. Bake for 20 minutes and then spray the vegetables with water and then bake at 200C/400F for 10 minutes.

Mosaic Focaccia Bread Art