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How to Make Decorated Focaccia Bread

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Making decorated focaccia bread art is so fun (and it tastes great)! Use our focaccia recipe and decoration ideas as a jumping off point for your own creativity.

decorated focaccia on a piece of parchment
decorated focaccia on a piece of parchment

Why You've Got to Try Decorating Bread

Beyond the fact that you'll have an awesome, delicious pan of bread at the end of this, you are going to have a great time creating art from vegetables and herbs.

It takes a little time to let the dough rise, but the amount of time this recipe takes is largely hands-off.

Decorated focaccia makes for a wonderful gift as well. Make two loaves of it and drop one by a friend's place for a delicious surprise.

decorated foccacia ingredients

Focaccia Ingredients

You'll make a standard base for this focaccia, before decorating. Here's what you'll need.

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Christmas Tree Bread, you'll need:

  • 1 bunch of fresh sage
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, halved
  • pinch of salt and pepper

For the Flower Bread, you'll need:

  • 3 to 4 green onions
  • a few sprigs chives
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives

How to Make Decorated Focaccia

This recipe does take some time, but it's largely hands-off.

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of olive oil mixture to the bowl with the yeast. Stir until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Use two tablespoons of the remaining olive oil to oil a 9x13-inch (or larger) rimmed baking sheet
  7. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan. Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly.
  8. To make the Christmas tree bread - use sage, rosemary, and thyme to form a Christmas tree design. Then add the cranberries around to look like ornaments. Sprinkle the salt and pepper across the top. 
  9. To make the flower bread - lay the green onions out to look like stems, then place the shallot slices against the green onions to look like flowers. Spread out a few chives to look like small stems. Add the sliced black olives around the bread to fill in the empty spaces. 
  10. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. 
  11. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack before cutting. 
focaccia dough proofing
christmas tree focaccia
closeup of a decorated focaccia before baking

Focaccia Topping Ideas

There are so many gorgeous designs you can put on this bread - and there's really no way to mess it up. Choose veggies and herbs you like the taste of and make something great with them.

Here are some more ideas of what to put on your bread.

  • Onions - red onions to look like flowers, green onions to look like stems, shallots to like like flowers
  • Herbs to look like leaves or stems - rosemary, cilantro, parsley, dill, sage, chives
  • Nuts - pepitas or pine nuts for petals, or flower centers
  • Tomatoes - cherry tomatoes to make petals or small flowers, heirloom tomatoes to make large flowers
  • Seeds - poppy seeds, sesame seeds, or sunflower seeds for visual interest
  • Cured meats - sausage or pepperoni
  • Cheese - shredded parmesan, shredded mozzarella, small mozzarella balls
  • Vegetables - mini bell peppers to look like flowers, asparagus to look like stalks, capers to look like seeds

Tips for Making Focaccia Bread Art

  • This recipe calls for a 9x13 inch pan, you can use a baking sheet with edges, a pan, or a larger cookie sheet - just don't spread the dough past 9x13 inches (it will be too thin).
  • Don't pull the bread out of the oven too soon - it should be a nice golden brown.
Yield: 8 servings

Decorated Focaccia Bread

decorated focaccia on a piece of parchment

Making decorated focaccia bread art is so fun (and it tastes great)!

Prep Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of warm water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 1/4 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the Christmas Tree Bread:
  • 1 bunch of fresh sage
  • 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh cranberries, halved
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • For the Flowers Bread:
  • 3 to 4 green onions
  • a few chive sprigs
  • 1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced black olives

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and honey. Stir a few times then let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 1 cup of the flour and a 1/4 cup of olive oil to the bowl with the yeast. Stir until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured surface and knead 10 to 15 times until smooth.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Use two tablespoons of the remaining olive oil to oil a 9x13-inch (or larger) rimmed baking sheet
  7. Transfer the dough to the baking sheet then press it down into the pan (into no larger than a 9x13 inch shape). Use your fingers to dimple the dough then drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Let the dough rise for 20 minutes until it puffs slightly.
  8. To make the Christmas tree bread - use sage, rosemary, and thyme to form a Christmas tree design. Then add the cranberries to look like ornaments. Sprinkle the salt and pepper across the top. 
  9. To make the flower bread - place the green onions to look like stems, then place the shallot slices against the green onions to look like flowers. Spread out a few chives to look like small stems. Add the sliced black olives around the bread to fill in the empty spaces. 
  10. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown. 
  11. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack before cutting. 

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 267mgCarbohydrates: 30gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 4g

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