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.
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!
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.
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.
Inspired by the Cranberry Focaccia recipe in Nigel Slater's The Christmas Chronicles. (4th Estate, 2017)
Prep time: 75 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes