Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

You can make this. I promise. Even if you don't think you're much of a baker. It's a golden crusted focaccia draped with whisper thin rounds of Meyer lemon, studded with black olives, and a showered with sliced almonds. The dough is herb-flecked with a generous boost of hemp seeds, and a percentage of rye flour if you happen to have some on hand. It's the same one I posted to my Instagram feed. I've been on a bit of a focaccia bender lately after making Nigel Slater's Cranberry Focaccia for New Years Eve (from The Christmas Chronicles). I forgot how simple and satisfying it is to make, and all the different ways you can top it based on what you have around the kitchen.

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

The pre-bake: The shot above is what the focaccia looks like prior to baking. I used an enamelled cast-iron baking pan, but(!) you can absolutely make the focaccia free-form (just shape it on a standard baking sheet). A third option is a cast iron skillet. I baked the last version I did in a 9-inch cast iron skillet. Experiment and have fun with it!

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

The yeast: This recipe calls for instant yeast, and I'm including a shot of the exact yeast I used for reference below. You can add it directly to the dough. Different than active dry yeast.

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

If you make this focaccia, or a riff on it, tag me on Instagram (heidijswanson) so I can see :)!

Meyer Lemon Focaccia with Hemp Seeds and Herbs

You basically want 500g of flour here, and you can play around with different flour blends. Here I use strong white bread flour, with a boost of (sprouted) rye flour, plus a good dose of chopped herbs and hemp seeds. I like this ratio - it results in a focaccia that is hearty without being heavy.

400 g / 3 cups strong white bread flour
100 g / 3/4 cup rye flour
1 packet fast-acting instant yeast
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 tablespoons hemp seeds, (optional)
2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons chopped thyme
1 1/2 cups / 350 ml warm water (~120F)
2 Meyer lemons, sliced razor thin
15 black olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup slices almonds

Combine the flours, yeast, salt, olive oil, garlic, hemp seeds, and half of the rosemary and thyme in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water, and mix until the dough comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and knead for five minutes or so, until the dough feels smooth and elastic. Rub the dough with a bit of olive oil, and return to a clean bowl. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm cozy place until doubled - 45 minutes, to an hour-ish.

Preheat your oven to 400F, rack in the middle.

You can bake the focaccia in a (8x12 or larger) pan or free form on a baking sheet. Tip the dough into baking pan, and deflate with flat hands. Arrange the lemons, olives, and almonds on top, and cover with a tea towel again. Leave to rise for another 20-30 minutes, until the dough is nice and puffy. At this point, use your finger to press deep holes into the dough. Drizzle with more olive oil, sprinkle with any remaining rosemary and thyme, and bake for thirty minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Remove from oven and cool on a rack for a bit before cutting and serving. Sprinkle with a bit more salt if needed.

Serves 10.

Inspired by the Cranberry Focaccia recipe in Nigel Slater's The Christmas Chronicles. (4th Estate, 2017)

Prep time: 75 min - Cook time: 30 min

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Looks amazing! I have everything here at home to make it except for the instant yeast-any idea how to make this with active dried yeast instead? Maybe I’ll experiment and see how it goes....


This is a beautiful looking focaccia! I am grain free so I will be using your toppings on a simple mills focaccia mix, but I am sure it will be awesome, such lovely toppings. Thanks..


Is there any way to make this GF and tasty? Thank you!


What a coincidence! This week, I made a brown rice and wild rice dish that included roasted Meyer lemon slices, so I am very attracted to your recipe, with its amazing combo of flavors (olives, lemon, rosemary, thyme, garlic). One thing I will change, though: The roasted lemon slices in my rice dish turned out too strong — probably because of the white pith just under the lemon peel — so I plan to try your focaccia recipe using only the zest of the lemon and maybe add some orange zest, too.

Thanks for always being such an amazing inspiration!

gloria of Veghead, Etc.

I made this gf with a combination of rice, buckwheat, tapioca- came out incredible!


I made this and ended up putting the hemp seeds on top. Should they be in the dough? It was so delicious--thanks for a great recipe. I love the flavor profile.

HS: Thanks Cyndi! Yes to mixing the hemp seeds into the dough, but you could always sprinkle more on top as well ;)


I made this and everyone loved it. I used limoneira because I could not find only Meyer lemons. I will say the rind was very bitter so maybe next time I can add other vegetables like red onion , mushrooms, or any suggestions from you? Can the dough be made using the Kitchen Aid mixer? Thank you again.

HS: Sure Mahnaz, I just feel like it's easier to mix by hand versus cleaning the mixer ;)


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