Oct 4, 2017

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

This spinach and olive focaccia is the perfect savory bread to serve with a salad for lunch, and it's an excellent light bread to serve with dinner.

One of the things that I love about this Spinach and Olive Focaccia is that it does not skimp on the spinach. In fact, you may actually get a full serving of spinach with a couple of slices of this bread.

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

This Spinach and Olive Focaccia begins with a no-knead stretch-and-fold dough.

"What exactly do you mean by that?" you ask! That means that the dough depends on time and the the stretch-and-fold technique to develop the gluten in the dough as well as turn the natural sugar into bubbles.

You don't need a mixer to make this dough. All you need is a little bit of time.

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

This focaccia includes a lot of spinach. When you first drop the fresh spinach into the dough, you will probably begin doubting the wisdom of the recipe. "How will I ever get this spinach incorporated into the dough?"

Spinach and dough

Fortunately, it's pretty easy, especially since you want this bread to be "spinach forward."

Along with the spinach and olives, I included fresh oregano, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and fresh sage. You could also include parsley if you like, or even chives. Pressing some halved cherry tomatoes into the dough right before baking sounds pretty good too. It's totally up to you.

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

This recipe for Spinach and Olive Focaccia makes 6 half-pound loaves. You could also take all of the dough and spread it out onto a half-sheet pan, and make one large loaf. Either way, this bread freezes beautifully, and is great thawed and re-warmed later.

Spinach and Olive Focaccia

I've been enjoying this with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and sprinkled with crushed red pepper. So good!

Spinach and Olive Focaccia Recipe

Spinach and Olive Focaccia Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (680 grams) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 6 3/4 cups (850 grams) unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 1/3 cup (50 grams) pitted Kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • Course sea salt, optional
  • Crushed red pepper and/or freshly ground black pepper, optional

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl or dough rising bucket, add the water, yeast, flour, sugar, and salt. Using your hand, mix the dough by both swirling it and pinching it until all of the yeast, sugar, and salt is dissolved and all of the flour is absorbed. You will have a very sticky dough. This should take about 2 to 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Drizzle a little of olive oil around the rim of the dough and then add the spinach, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and olives to the bowl. Oil your fingers, and then stretch and fold the dough over itself eight times, turning the bowl a quarter turn each time, to incorporate the spinach mixture. Re-cover the dough, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Repeat the "stretch and fold" again, re-cover the dough, and let it rest another 20 minutes.
  4. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of your oven, and preheat it to 475 degrees F.
  5. Generously flour your work surface, and gently turn the dough out onto it. Gently stretch the dough out into a fourteen inch by eight inch rectangle. With a bench knife, divide the dough into six pieces (cut the dough in half and then into thirds).
  6. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and spread about two tablespoons of olive oil over the parchment paper.
  7. Flour another section of your work surface, and place one of the pieces of dough on top of the floured surface. Starting with a short edge of the dough, gently roll the dough into a cylinder. Place it on the oiled baking sheet, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Repeat with the rest of the dough pieces. Set aside to rise for about 30 minutes, until the dough has increased in volume by half.
  8. Dip your fingertips in olive oil, and dimple the loaves with your fingers to stretch out the dough. The loaves should fill the pan and touch each other. Sprinkle the tops lightly with flaked sea salt and crushed red pepper.
  9. Place the baking sheet directly on the baking stone and bake the focaccia for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Transfer the loaves to a wire rack.
  10. This bread can be served while still warm or at room temperature. Wrap and freeze any leftover loaves for up to one month.
Yield: 6 loaves

Recipe adapted from Breaking Breads: A New World of Israeli Baking -- Flatbreads, Stuffed Breads, Challahs, Cookies, and the Legendary Chocolate Babka by Uri Scheft. I highly recommend this book. 


Spinach and Olive Focaccia #focaccia

10 comments:

  1. Hi!
    looks like a wonderful recipe
    one question- do you know how I can subtitute the yeast with sourdough?

    Thanks a lot!

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    Replies
    1. I think you could do a sourdough build by using the hydration percentages in the dough, and then later add the rest of the flour and water. I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it would work. I'd add a couple of more stretch-and-folds, and it might take longer.

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  2. I was waiting VERY anxiously for this one! What a beautiful bread, Karen...

    I feel a new bread phase coming into my kitchen, maybe is the dreadful cold weather approaching (sigh)

    gorgeous bake!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sally! I hope you catch the bread baking bug again (and not a winter flu). This bread freezes really well, and you get veggies!!

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  3. Me too!! I thought this post would never come. I just may be able to make this myself. Definitely going to give it a try. Wish me luck! ;)

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    Replies
    1. As a TWD veteran, I am sure you'll be very successful with this one! Don't you love the green color? =)

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  4. This focaccia looks beautiful and I love the flavor combination!

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  5. I'm baking bread again. Just finished my first slow rise dutch oven sourdough. Turned out marvelous. THIS!! looks so good. It's going on my winter fun recipe list. Love the beautiful colors and it looks tender and tasty. I've never made foccacia. To do list!

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    Replies
    1. Oooh, so happy to hear you are baking bread again!!! Definitely try this. It's pretty easy and so tasty!!

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