there is something incredibly comforting about carbs- food in general when it comes to things feeling out of control. with everything in the world feeling like something out of a movie (not in a good way), those comfort foods begin to call my name. with this being a food blog, it feels strange to begin this entry with thoughts on the current state of the world. but, with this also being a blog, its the thing that fills my mind at the moment so it makes sense to touch on that here. truth be told, if you find yourself stuck inside for whatever reason…weather or otherwise and have flour, water, dry active yeast, olive oil and salt you can make this easy no-knead za’atar focaccia bread.
things i love about this easy, no-knead za’atar focaccia bread:
- its incredibly user friendly. its pretty hard to mess up! as someone who is just starting out making yeasted breads, this came out perfectly every time (after the first few test rounds)
- this makes a fantastic base recipe for snaking bread, sandwich bread or even pizza….ugh, making, myself so hungry right now
- it has a minimal amount of ingredients and makes A LOT of bread (aka, recipe of my carb loving dreams)
- you probably already have all the ingredients in your pantry! yay for not having to make another trip to the grocery store
- everyone who loves bread loves focaccia bread. its just a fact. olive oil, salt and bread where made for each other. period. end of the story 🙂
a few tips…
- all purpose vs bread flour– ive made this bread using all purpose and a blend of all purpose and bread flour. I really enjoyed the little bit of extra rise provided by the bread flour. but, if you don’t have any on hand, you can use all purpose in its place. I found this article helpful when deciding which flours to use
- za’atar seasoning – this is my fun twist on the traditional focaccia where rosemary is typically used. if you’ve never tried za’atar its such a delicious spice blend. traditionally a middle eastern spice, its tangy, herb forward (think lots of flavor) made from a blend of dried thyme, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, and sea salt. this spice finds its way onto nearly everything savory that comes out of my kitchen. for me its like reaching for salt and pepper. you can find this spice at a well stocked or specialty grocery store. i personally love this one
- pan size- this is purely a personal choice. if you’d like to use this for sandwiches, go with the 11X13 cake pan. for more snacking size, go with the 15X18 “jelly roll” aka, sheet pan
- what’s up with the forks? this technique is something of a revelation for me. Alexandra Stafford’s focaccia bread is where i learned it. so helpful
- while this bread is indeed an easy no-knead focaccia bread, it does need time to rise. overall the bread needs 6-7 hours to rise and bake. trust me, its completely worth the wait! speaking of wait, if needed you can make the dough through step 3 and leave to rise in the fridge overnight.
- you should absolutely pair this with my citrus marinated olives, a glass of your favorite beverage, movie and call it the perfect night in
no-knead za’atar focaccia bread
- two large mixing bowls
- rubber spatula
- 11X13 up to 15X18 baking pan
- plastic cling wrap or lid for mixing bowl
- 1 pkg dry active yeast (2 tsp)
- 1 1/2 c cool water
- 3/4 c hot water (barely boiled)
- 2 c all purpose flour (240g)
- 2 1/2 c bread flour (270g) sub with all purpose
- 1 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1/2 c good quality olive oil, plus more for greasing (1/4 c, 1 tbsp, 2-3 tbsp)
- 1-2 tbsp za’atar seaoning
- flaky salt to taste
- Heat 3/4 c water in a tea kettle, in the microwave or in a very clean coffee pot. The water should be very, very hot, but not boiling. Combine hot water with 1 1/2 c cool water to make lukewarm water. It should read between 100-110F on a food thermometer.
- Make sure to check the date of your yeast, to ensure its fresh. Combine dry active yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together to combine and let sit. Water should look cloudy with several bubbles foming during and immediately after whisking. Sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir in flour and salt using a spatula. Work flour into a shaggy dough ensuring no flour srtreaks remain. Pour 1/4 c olive oil into a well oiled bowl. Rub some of the oil around the sides. Transfer dough to the large, well oiled bowl. Flip the bottom part of the dough to the top, ensuring all parts of the dough are coated with some oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a well fitted lid. Leave to sit at room temperature for 4 hours. Dough should double in size.
- Preheat oven (170F or preheat feature on oven) for 15 minutes. Turn off. Using two forks, gather 1/6 of the circumference of bowl of dough pulling edges in towards the middle. You’re gathering a small portion of the edge of the dough and pulling it up and over into the center of the bowl. Repeat all the way around the bowl until the dough has formed into a smaller”ball.” Using 1-2 tbsp olive oil, grease a non stick 11X13 cake pan or 15X18 “jelly roll” baking sheet. Pour gathered dough onto the well greased pan. If any oil remains, pour on top of the dough. Place uncovered pan of dough into a preheated oven thats been turned off for 90-120 minutes.
- Once dough has risen to double in size, pull from the oven and test to see if its ready. You’ll know its ready when you press a small indentation and the dough slowly rises. Once ready, heat the oven to 440F (preheat at least 15-20 minutes).
- Oil your hands and press fully press fingers into the dough, creating lots of dimples. Pour 2-3 tbsp remaining olive oil over the dough. Scatter za’atar seasoning over the dough. Top with flaky salt. Bake in the fully preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until the top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Slice and enjoy!
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