The Community Herb Garden is fresh for the picking; created in partnership with the Buffalo Trace District Health Department, Master Gardeners and the City of Maysville.
Herbs are wonderful to have on hand for fresh cooking but what exactly can you use them for?
Focaccia bread art is a fun and creative way to use fresh herbs for kids AND adults.
Derived from an ancient Roman flat bread recipe, focaccia bread can be found most readily in modern times in the Ligurian Region of the Italian coast.
With a similar texture and taste to pizza crust, this bread can be used to make paninis or eaten plain as a side. Popular variations include focaccia al rosmarino (focaccia with rosemary) and focaccia alla salvia (focaccia with sage).
The recipe is quite simple and easy to make requiring only a few basic ingredients this bread recipe really allows you to explore with your own flavors. (See below for instructions).
We tried this at the health department now it is your turn to get creative at home and enjoy this modern take on an ancient tradition!
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 teaspoon honey
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Infuse Herbs in Olive Oil
To add extra flavor to your focaccia bread, you can infuse herbs and garlic in your olive oil.
In a medium skillet, combine olive oil, minced garlic, herbs (thyme and rosemary are suggested in this recipe,) and the black pepper. Place the pan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 10 minutes or until aromatic, but before the garlic browns. Set aside.
2. Make Dough
Add 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the infused garlic-olive oil mixture to the bowl with yeast and honey. Stir 3 to 4 times until the flour has moistened. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
Stir the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt. When the dough comes together, transfer to a floured board or in the large bowl, knead 10 to 15 minutes until smooth.
Cover the dough with a warm, damp towel and let rise for 1 hour.
3. Assemble the Bread
After 1 hour, heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Use two tablespoons of the remaining garlic-olive oil mixture to oil a cake pan.
Transfer the dough and press into the pan using your fingers to make dimples in the dough. Then drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil mixture.
At this point, you can either leave the bread a blank canvas or you are able to get creative by cutting and washing vegetables and herbs from the garden to create a lovely bread art design.
After your design is assembled, let the dough rise for 20 more minutes until puffs slightly.
4. Bake the Bread
Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool baked focaccia bread on a wire rack.
- Keep in the refrigerator for 2 days and in the freezer for about a month.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates.
Nutrition per serving: Calories 143 / Protein 3 g / Carbohydrate 16 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 0 g / Total Fat 8 g / Saturated Fat 2 g / Cholesterol 0 mg
Original Recipe by Adam and Joanne Gallagher (https://www.inspiredtaste.net/19313/easy-focaccia-bread-recipe-with-herbs/)
This article was written by Samantha Wilson for the Buffalo Trace District Health Department. Published June 17, 2020.