Thursday, November 15, 2012

prismatic focaccia recipe and tutorial

These gorgeous mini-peppers inspired a pan of focaccia
What inspires your recipes and cooking? A dream? A craving? A Pinterest image?

The inspiration for the majority of my recipes comes directly from gorgeous produce. I usually know the type of recipe I'll be making within an instant of spying my plant-based muses. The colors and possibilities confront my senses and somehow transmit creative culinary impulses directly to my brain. I can taste the finished product – and see and smell it.

Today's inspiration comes courtesy of a gorgeous package of mini bell peppers that I grabbed at Wegman's. The colors reminded me of an autumnal treescape. Plus, I need to do a wee carb load before this weekend's Rothman 8K, which I'm running as part of Team Vegan Philly. [Don't forget, if you want to sponsor me, all donations will be DOUBLED up to the race, to benefit Philadelphia's Humane League. You can sponsor me here.]

Phytochemical overload, thanks to red, orange and yellow peppers and onions.
Focaccia makes a great, simple lunch or dinner. Alternately, slice it into small squares and serve as a vegan Thanksgiving appetizer. [Need more Thanksgiving recipe ideas? Lookie here.] I know I say this all the time, but it really is easy to make, even if you're not facile with yeast. This recipe may look complicated, but it involves very little hands-on time.

Focaccia, fresh from the oven



  • 2 ¼ tsp dry yeast
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup lukewarm water-not too hot, not cold or cool
  • 3 to 3 3/4 cups flour [I used half unbleached white, half white spelt]
  • About 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornmeal

Pepper topping:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups red, yellow and or orange bell peppers or mini bells, sliced [I quartered the minis] 
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
Makes one focaccia

Brush a medium cookie sheet with about 1 tsp of olive oil. Sprinkle with about 1 tsp cornmeal.

Remove the blade of your food processor. Sprinkle the yeast in your food processor cup. Pour the warm water over it, and add the sugar. Stir well with a fork and let stand for about 5  minutes. It should start to bubble, foam and/or appear to “move” slightly. This is the water and sugar at work, "waking up" and "feeding" the dormant yeast.

Add about 1 cup of flour and the salt. Attach the blade and process briefly to mix. Slowly add the remaining flour, about ½ cup at a time, processing between additions. Stop adding flour when the dough starts to form a dough ball and sticks to the sides of the processor. At this point,  spin it about 25 times in the food processor.

Dough, before rising

When you remove the dough, it should be smooth and stretchy. Oil it, place it in a large bowl and cover with foil or a damp tea towel. Place in a draft-free, warm place, and let it rise until it doubles-about 1 hour.

Dough, after rising

Punch down the dough [the fun part!] and knead it for a few minutes.

Roll it out slightly ....

...And stretch it onto the oiled cookie sheet. Again, cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 400 degrees.


Heat oil over medium in a large pot. Saute onion and garlic until softish, about 5 minutes. Add peppers and saute for another 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook slowly until very soft, stirring occasionally, about 35-45 minutes.


Just before baking, use a chopstick or your fingers to make rows of small craters in the dough. Add peppers and adjust seasonings. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

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dreaminitvegan said...

This is absolutely beautiful and looks very delicious! The farmer who sells onions/garlic/peppers at the Farmers Market got me hooked on Italian Peppers. They look like Anaheim chilies but are red/orange and taste a lot like bell peppers but yummier.

Andrea said...

That foccaccia is a sight to brighten a dark fall day! It's made the way I like pizzas, focaccias and such to be topped — a full load from edge to edge. Ban skimpy toppings!

Caitlin said...

That is such a beautiful, colourful dish! My food inspiration usually starts with a country or region -- I begin by thinking of the flavours of that region's style of cooking. :)

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