Artistic Garlic Focaccia Bread

May 4, 2020  •  Breads,

I used to always say I wasn’t creative. Older and wiser, I understand now that I was referring to my talents as an artist. In reality, cooking, done right, is always creative. But this project takes that to a new level. After having been isolated at home for a month thanks to COVID-19, I took inspiration from some of the posts I’d seen online and created by own masterpiece. I used my basic focaccia bread technique ( recipe here), but omitted the step for pushing pockets into the dough, and left off those toppings in exchange for the art you see here.The first thing you’ll want to do is gather ingredients to create your artwork. It doesn’t really matter what you use, mostly that you cut things small and very thinly, and that you get rid of excess moisture – remove tomato seeds, let sliced veggies sit on a paper towel for a few minutes. Think about what you want in the art, and chop accordingly. I used thinly sliced pieces of peppers and tomatoes for flowers, scallions for stems, sage leaves for grass, chopped up sun dried tomatoes for dirt/rocks, a yellow pepper thinly sliced for the sun, and pieces of black olives for the birds.I recommend laying the pieces out on the counter to create the artwork first, as it’s easier to rearrange there than it is once you are placing the veggies onto the dough.I slathered the dough with some chopped garlic and olive oil that I had leftover, but you can just brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder if you prefer. Then transfer the art to the dough that’s been spread onto a baking sheet (sprayed with cooking spray and sprinkled with cornmeal or polenta). When you place the veggies into the dough, you want to press them down into the dough as much as possible – it helps if you first let the dough rise a bit once rolled out. I sprinkled everything with some coarse salt before popping the bread into the oven.The focaccia is soft and savory, and really pretty for a dinner party, so put this on your menu the next time you want to impress your guests!

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