burnt toast

Category: Bread

No-Knead Slow-Rise Parsley-Patterned Focaccia

This is the focaccia of all focaccias, people. It’s chewy, fluffy, salty, and crunchy, and a little bit of a showstopper, too. What defines it is not only its high hydration, but also its very leisurely rise in the fridge overnight. However, it’s the deliciously oily crunchy crust it gets as it sits in a cozy puddle of olive oil in a very hot oven that is possibly the best part. The parsley is merely there for decoration, so by all means, leave it out or replace it with other herbs or thinly sliced vegetables of your choosing (search for “garden focaccia” for a bit of inspo – although you’ll have to take care not to overbrown the crust and veggies to keep the colours popping).

No-Stir Slow-Rise Parsley-Patterned Focaccia

Adapted from the Wednesday Chef.

Makes about one 35x40cm sized focaccia

If you’re feeling like focaccia but aren’t planning a larger gathering, this recipe halves very nicely, too.

750g flour

1 Tablespoon (17g) salt

1 teaspoon (3g) dry yeast

900ml warm water

4 Tablespoons olive oil, plus extra

one big bunch of flat-leafed parsley, leaves picked

flaky sea salt, for sprinkling

In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast. Pour in the warm water and gently mix with a spoon until the flour is incorporated and you’re left with a wobbly and sticky dough that resembles something like a cross between pudding and porridge in texture. in That’s your first step done, and you didn’t even have to roll up your sleeves! Drizzle the olive oil into another large bowl and give it a good swirl around the sides – this will help it slide out easily later. Plop the dough into that container and scoop a little of the oil over the top of it. Cover it well with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge, where you should let it rise for at least 8 hours, overnight, or up to 2 days.

Once you’re nearly ready to bake, line a high-sided baking tray (approximately 35×40 cm in size – you’ve got a bit of room to play there) with baking paper. Take the dough out of the fridge. Tilting the bowl over the baking tray, try to get some of that oil onto that baking paper first before gently scooping the dough onto that oil puddle – that way, you’ll ensure that nothing sticks while also making certain that the focaccia is oiled – and crunchy – on all sides. Using your hands, gently nudge the dough to spread it out to fit the baking pan. Now it’s time to let it rise at room temperature. I like to keep it covered here, too – a great way to prevent your tea towel from drooping into the focaccia is to top the baking tray with the oven wire rack and then drape one or two moistened tea towels over the top. Place the baking tray in a warm place and let the dough rise until doubled – this can take anything from 20 minutes to an hour depending on the time of year it is.

Preheat the oven to 230°C. As the oven is heating up you can get going with decorating the dough with the parsley. Gently arrange the parsley leaves on top of the dough, making sure they are lying flat and sticking to it. Drizzle with a little of the extra olive oil and sprinkle with the flaky sea salt. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden – the focaccia will have come away from the sides and should have a nice crust on the bottom. If you’re feeling vain, keep an eye on the parsley after the 15-minute mark to make sure the focaccia and the parsley don’t get too dark. If you’re worried, you can gently cover the top with some aluminium foil. Once it’s done, remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Dukkah – dusted Focaccia

There are days ( specifically late Saturday and Sunday mornings), when the only thing that will do is bread. Pastry, starch. Anything soothing, filling and comforting. It’s even better if it has some sophisticated twist going on, so you have a reason to eat more, because you know, it’s sophisticated.

This is a beautiful combination of the previous two recipes. I dearly hope that you make it for dinner, and then, like me, have a nibble on a reheated piece the next day.

To weekends, to celebrations, and to my father’s wedding.

Dukkah – dusted Focaccia

I had this combination in Brisbane a few weeks ago at a little Italian restaurant called Conti, and it blew my mind a little bit. Maybe it was the combination of crusty, crunchy, dukkah –studded bread combined with the zingy hit of sharp olive oil and balsamic, or my starved self finally having some food to comfort my belly. Either way, it’s very sophisticated, in a tummy –filling sort of way.

1x focaccia dough, proven once, stretched out on a baking tray

a jar of dukkah, 5-7 Tbsp (about 1/6 of the previous recipe)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Brush your dough with some water – it makes the dukkah stick better than oil would. Sprinkle as much or as little dukkah as you choose over the top, and pop it into the oven, baking it for about 20 minutes or until golden. Serve with a combination of peppery olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and if you’re anything like me, with a dip and a few olives. But that’s entirely up to you.



So um, hey. If I invited you over for dinner, would you say yes? Feel the pressure. Of course you would. I’d spoil you rotten you know that. So if you asked me what you could bring, chances are that if it’s not a bottle of wine, then something to dip with. Because you know me well enough that there will always be dip. That’s how I roll. Now, corn chips or crackers or crisps may be your first choice, and I understand that. But if you’re feeling a little creative, and think of making your own dipping utensils, then baby, you can come again. I’m sure you’ve got your own special cracker/flatbread recipe, which I’ll be more than delighted to taste, but for now, this is what I would make if you were inviting me. And I’ll bring a bottle of shiraz too, just in case.

This is my go-to dough for pizza and focaccia. Often I just top it with some sea salt flakes and a drizzle of olive oil, but I’ve been also known to infuse the oil with garlic, or scatter some fresh rosemary over the top.



300g (2 cups) plain flour

180ml warm water

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 packet (7g) dried yeast

2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Plonk the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Pour in the warm water, and sprinkle the rest of the ingredients over it, including the oil. Stir with a butter knife until roughly combined, then give it a go with your hands, until it comes together and gets that soft and elastic feel. Oil the bottom of the bowl you’ve just used and turn the dough in it. Now cover with cling wrap or a damp towel and place somewhere warm for an hour. Once it’s risen to twice its size, give it a little punching action and transfer it to an oiled baking tray, rolling it as thin or as thick as you like. Ideally now, you cover it again and let it rest for about 20 minutes. I’m usually too impatient and only let it get about 10. Then, once it’s risen again slightly, gently dimple the risen dough back down with your fingers. This is where you can top your focaccia.Olive oil, maybe some halved cherry tomatoes or a scatteing of parmesan. Now place the tray in the oven and bake at 200°C for 20 minutes. After it’s done, drizzle with some more olive oil and cut into wedges.

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