Focaccia is an italian flat bread that’s traditionally topped with various vegetables and often seeds that are usually used to form a picture on top of the bread. Focaccia also typically features oil both in the baking of the bread and brushed on top but for those of us that avoid oil in our diets for whatever reason this can be a bit of a problem so I decided to find out whether you can create an oil free focaccia and I think it worked pretty well! For me, focaccia is all about the decoration on top anyway, it signifies the beginning of spring and the seasons of growing vegetables in the garden. Its also a great way to use up any spare veggies you have left over.
To start with we need to make our dough. Its really similar to making any other bread dough. Weigh out 500g of strong white bread flour and place in a large bowl. Add an 11g sachet of fast acting yeast along with a pinch of salt and mix well. If you only have traditional yeast, that will work too. Use a 7g packet of traditional yeast and later when it comes to rising and proving, double or even triple the time needed.
Add in 350ml of lukewarm water and mix well to form a slightly sticky dough. If there is still flour that isn’t incorporated into your dough then keep adding a small amount of water until it all sticks together. If your dough becomes too wet and sticky add more flour. Don’t forget if you have to add too much more of either your yeast may not be as effective.
Flour a clean work surface and tip your dough out onto the flour. Knead your dough for 5-10 minutes. To knead your dough, use the heels of your palms to push into the dough almost as if you’re trying to push it away from you then fold the dough back over towards you and repeat, turning occasionally. When your oil free focaccia dough can hold itself up when formed into a smooth ball it is ready.
Place in a dish (I like to use whatever tray I’m using for baking) and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave somewhere warm to rise for 1 hour until sufficiently risen. Once your oil free focaccia dough has risen you can pat it down and stretch it out to the size of your baking tray before leaving under the tea towel to prove for 30 minutes.
During this time we can prepare our decorative vegetables. I think it’s really good to use up whatever you have lying around so for me that was some spring onion, red onion, pepper, tomato, rosemary and I also had a chili but didn’t end up using it, i also added some dried oregano. You really can use anything you like, I had even intended on adding some seeds but completely forgot about them! You can make your design as your preparing them. I used my chopping board to map out my design as it was roughly the same size as my focaccia.
When your focaccia has finished proving, use your finger to poke holes all over it to give it a traditional focaccia look and then gently press your veg into the top of the dough. I’d really recommend looking on pinterest for some inspiration of tips and tricks to turn your veg into art work. Bake in an oven preheated to 180c for 25-30 minutes until the top has turned golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
Serve with dips, soup or even as part of a charcuterie style board. Check out some of the suggestions below for what to serve with your oil free focaccia.
- Low Calorie Stuffed Peppers Recipe
- Caprese Salad Recipe
- Yogurt Bark Recipe With Berries
- Oil Free Focaccia
- Chocolate Avocado Muffins Recipe
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Oil Free Focaccia
- 500 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
- 11 g fast action yeast packet or 7g traditional yeast packet
- 350 ml warm water
- pinch salt
- Vegetables for topping see above for suggestions
- Mix together dry ingredients. Flour, yeast & salt.
- Slowly add the warm water, mixing well. You may need slightly less or more.
- Keep mixing in water until you have a ball of slightly sticky dough.
- Flour a clean work surface and tip your dough onto it. Knead the dough for 10 minutes until a smooth ball forms.
- Put your dough in a clean bowl or baking tray. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm space to rise for 1 hour.
- Once your dough has risen stretch the dough out to fill your baking tray and recover. Leave for a further 30 minutes to prove. Pre-heat your oven to 180c.
- Whilst your dough is proving prepare whatever veggies/herbs/seeds you have chosen and plan your decoration on top. When your dough has proved gently press your veggies on top of your focaccia.
- Bake your dough for 25-30 minutes until cooked.
Love bread of all kinds?
Check out my favourite bread recipe, a gorgeous rosemary loaf recipe.