No Knead Focaccia

No Knead Focaccia

What can I say about this phenomenal no-knead skillet focaccia? It’s amazing. It’s so simple to make.

No Knead bread is nothing new and the concept was developed by Jim Lahey, the owner of Sullivan Bakery in New York City. Instead of kneading, this method uses long fermentation process to develop the gluten in the flour. It’s characterized by low yeast content and really high hydration of the dough.

Look at the texture of that bread. Yum!

This recipe/technique was popularized by Mark Bittman, the columnist for the New York Times at that time, in 2006. It turned traditional baking upside down, literally, across the globe.

But all the historical details aside – this focaccia bread baked in a skillet is so quick and easy to make and is absolutely delicious. The inside texture is fluffy, chewy and soft while the exterior is crisp and crusty.

Look at that bottom crust – crunchy, golden and delicious!

We lightly season the focaccia with salt, red pepper flakes, a few other herbs and liberally coat with olive oil. When the bread just comes out of the oven (just 16-20 minutes later) fresh shaving of Parmesan adds another layer of flavour. But feel free to add any other toppings – some suggestions are listed in the recipe.

I will shortly post another recipe where I scale this up for a crowd and bake in a giant cast iron or heavy aluminum baking sheet. But for everyday suppers, I find 10″ focaccia just perfect.

I am confident you will absolutely love this recipe and hope you give it a try.

Yields8 Servings

For the dough:
 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour (or ideally, bread flour)
 1 cup water
 ¾ tsp instant yeast (not active dry, it must be Instant)
 2 tsp kosher salt
For topping:
 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
 2 garlic cloves, minced
  cans of whole tomatoes
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ½ tsp dried basil
 red pepper flakes, optional
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
 freshly ground black pepper
 Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

1

Combine all of the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl. The dough will rise, a lot, so ensure your bowl is large enough. Stir it with a fork, then gently knead with your hands to get the process going. Cover well with plastic wrap and set aside for 8-24 hours. Make sure to cover it tightly, also place a dish towel on top - if the air gets in, it will harden the dough and you don't want that happening.

2

Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into 10" cast iron skillet. Turn the dough out into the skillet, coat well in oil and with the heel of your hand and your fingers press it into the skillet. Make little indentations in the dough with your fingertips. Cover well with the plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

3

Half an hour before baking, preheat the oven to 550.

4

Take a few whole tomatoes, crush them with your hand and drain on paper towels. They should be quite dry. Mix the tomatoes with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and garlic.

5

Drizzle your focaccia with a bit of olive oil. It should already be quite oily. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, if using and salt and pepper. Scatter tomatoes over the focaccia. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. The bread should be golden and the bottom crust (slide a butter knife under, lift it to take a loot) should be golden and crisp.

6

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Ingredients

For the dough:
 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour (or ideally, bread flour)
 1 cup water
 ¾ tsp instant yeast (not active dry, it must be Instant)
 2 tsp kosher salt
For topping:
 3 tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
 2 garlic cloves, minced
  cans of whole tomatoes
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ½ tsp dried basil
 red pepper flakes, optional
 ¼ tsp kosher salt, or to taste
 freshly ground black pepper
 Freshly shaved Parmesan cheese

Directions

1

Combine all of the ingredients for the dough in a large bowl. The dough will rise, a lot, so ensure your bowl is large enough. Stir it with a fork, then gently knead with your hands to get the process going. Cover well with plastic wrap and set aside for 8-24 hours. Make sure to cover it tightly, also place a dish towel on top - if the air gets in, it will harden the dough and you don't want that happening.

2

Pour 3 tablespoons of olive oil into 10" cast iron skillet. Turn the dough out into the skillet, coat well in oil and with the heel of your hand and your fingers press it into the skillet. Make little indentations in the dough with your fingertips. Cover well with the plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

3

Half an hour before baking, preheat the oven to 550.

4

Take a few whole tomatoes, crush them with your hand and drain on paper towels. They should be quite dry. Mix the tomatoes with a teaspoon or so of olive oil and garlic.

5

Drizzle your focaccia with a bit of olive oil. It should already be quite oily. Sprinkle with basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, if using and salt and pepper. Scatter tomatoes over the focaccia. Bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes. The bread should be golden and the bottom crust (slide a butter knife under, lift it to take a loot) should be golden and crisp.

6

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

No-Knead Foccacia

Happens to be Vegetarian.

Make it Vegan: omit Parmesan.

Make it Dairy-Free: omit Parmesan.

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