Today I have my focaccia recipe for you guys.
I love making focaccias because these are so easy and have so much style even with such simple ingredients. My favorite focaccias are the super thin ones, full of flavor from the garlic and herbs, and super crispy thanks to the generous coating of olive oil. This is exactly the focaccia I have here for you.
The other thing that is great about this recipe, is that it is very quick to make. Because I used Jessica’s Merchant’s no rise needed pizza dough recipe, you do not have to calculate in any rising time.
If I do have time and are planning ahead, I let this dough rise anyway. I like the idea of the yeasts colonising and converting the flour abit. But if I am in a rush – and need to make and bake immediately, I can skip the rising part no problem. I cannot say I notice much of a difference with letting the dough rise, versus not rising it.
If you are wondering when is a good time to make a focaccia – anytime! For lunch / brunch, snacking in between, as an appetizer, or even as part of a simple supper.
I think that where focaccias really shine is as part of a drinks and snacks setting. You can mix up the dough and the olive oil herb and garlic topping beforehand. When you want to make the focaccias, rolling them out and putting them into the oven is very quick.
Because this focaccia dough does not need to rise, this makes this recipe a good option to keep up your sleeve for those times when people come over unexpectedly. You know when the conversation is so good, and you don’t want anyone to go away because they are hungry. Making a couple of focaccias in this situation is perfect! : )
Another great time to make focaccias is if you want to make a simple and light lunch or brunch, but do not want to serve up sandwiches. What I would do in that case is make enough focaccias to feed everyone, and pair them with a salad.
Are Focaccias Healthy?
I do not eat or make focaccias everyday, seeing as they mainly consist of white flour. White flour is highly refined and does not contain enough fibre or nutrients for it to be a nutritious food. Most white flour has also gone through bleaching processes, might possibly be genetically modified, and of course contain pesticide residues.
However, a homemade focaccia is of course a lot healthier than a take out one from a fast food outlet. You can control what goes in. In you use organic flour which is unbleached, then your homemade focaccia or pizza will be a lot less unhealthy than a ready made one.
Also, if you serve your focaccias with things like salads or vegetable sides, then this will also provide a source of fibre to help one’s digestive systems to process the refined flour.
The Power of the Inclusion Based Diet
I have been wanting to touch on this for some time – because it is fundamentally the philosophy that drives this blog and these recipes.
I believe that if you include a broad selection of nutritious and healthy foods in your diet, then eating something which is less nutrient dense once in awhile is totally ok.
I have been following the inclusion based eating approach for a couple of years now, but only recently discovered the science behind my practice.
The Subconscious Mind Struggles to Hear Negatives – Particularly Related to Food
Apparently, our subconscious brains have difficulty processing negatives. How often have you said something like “don’t forget to pick up milk on your way home”, and it seems like the person only hears “forget the milk”, and promptly comes home without the milk. This works in a similar way when we try to make decisions about not eating certain foods. “I will not eat cake”……. Subconscious mind hears, “eat cake!”
So this explains why we often fail when trying to follow diets which direct us to cut out certain foods. It also explains why when trying to lose weight, one sometimes gains weight. There one is, thinking “I will not eat until supper” – and immediately we are hungry, because we are thinking about food and that will stimulate appetite. Also, we have just told our brain “eat, until supper” !!
Actionable Commands are Easier to Follow than Non Action Based Commands
The other piece of the puzzle came to me from observing small children. Ever noticed how if you tell a small kid to stop being ________________ (insert unwanted behaviour) it often just continues or gets worse?
If on the other hand one gives a child something positive and concrete to START doing, instead of telling it to STOP doing something, the situation can diffuse pretty quickly!
Although as adults we might be more capable of STOPPING to do something, we still naturally do better when given something to START doing. This is particularly applicable to food and healthy eating.
Including Healthy Foods You Like, Until There is Less Space for Unwanted Foods
There are a lot of healthy foods. Not all of us like all healthy foods. But most of us probably like certain foods which also happen to be healthy, have good levels of nutrients, fibre, etc.
There is also only so much space in one’s diet. We say, ‘Oh, I could etc xyz food all day long’. But physically, this is not necessarily true. It can get uncomfortable at some point.
If you combine these two things, by incorporating the healthy foods that you like, into your daily diet (which has limited space), you will find that you will slowly start to have less room for unwanted foods. The reason why this can work easefully, is because it is an actionable plan, which does not contain subconscious wrong-eating bait, and is something where you actually have foods to eat.
One of the biggest pitfalls with an exclusion based approach to eating and health is that if one is making a big change, and cutting out many items, you are literally left with nothing to eat. And nothing to eat is a recipe for extreme hunger, then a stressed based food decision, and finally overeating.
Because all us have different tastes and different goals, creating an inclusion based eating plan will look different for everyone. But the way to start is to pick out your top favorite foods which are good for you, and start to buy them, make them, eat them and celebrate them!
It get’s really good, I promise you. : )
On a Personal Note
Up about 2 years ago, I used to try and exclude all sorts of things from my diet (maybe it’s part of being a teenager and young adult), and now that I have finally come to follow an inclusion based diet – food and eating is a non issue. I eat what I want, get excited about healthy foods, and I am supremely happy that the days of cutting out this then that are over. My weight maintains itself really well, and I feel great. In fact, I weigh less than I did before, and I have more energy. I feel like I have narrowly escaped a life of eating disorders and food based stresses.
I know that there are many people out there who really HAVE to cut out things like dairy and wheat. I understand this.
But I also understand that scientifically, for a person without intolerances or chronic illness, saying to oneself – I won’t eat gluten or I won’t eat dairy, or I won’t eat junk – often ends up in one eating lots of that thing that we said we were not going to have!
Whereas if we say things to ourselves like “oh, I think I am going to start eating lentils, because they are so nutritious and satiating” then it is an actionable thing. And if one starts to say this about a lot of healthy foods and incorporate them into meals – then there starts to be very little space left for the unhealthy things.
And then what happens, is we get to a point where we can make and eat a focaccia or a pizza no problem! With no guilt, no stress. Because we know that tomorrow we are going to be enjoying green smoothies, or bowls, or salads, or nutritious soups, or whatever is your favorite choice of healthy food. : )
Reach Out to Me
I really would like to be a support to anybody who is looking to turn their diet into an inclusion based healthy eating habit. Please, if there is anything I can do, particular recipes you would like, or even just to chat – please please do not hesitate to reach out.
This is the main reason why I run this website and share these recipes – so do not think that contacting me with questions, requests, ideas or simply to talk is an intrusion in any way. I want to know what you need to get to the place you want to be with your cooking, eating, weight, healthy and emotions around food. Hit me up! : )
Oh and in case you were not here for a information overload on inclusion based eating – we are finally at the recipe for this delicious and classy focaccia.
Best Quick and Thin Easy Focaccia BreadPrint This
- For the dough:
- 3 cups white flour
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoons honey (you can also use sugar)
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- For the topping:
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 5 large cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons dried thyme
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano (or 2 tablespoons if dried)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2-3 teaspoons nutritional yeast (you can also swop this out for a light sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese)
How to Make the Focaccia Dough:
First off, it’s time to put the dough together. As I said above, this dough is a no rise recipe, so you can simply make it and roll out your focaccia bases. Or you can make it ahead of time and let it stand – either way.
- Combine lukewarm water, honey and yeast in a large bowl.
- Leave to sit until the surface is slightly foamy (about 15 minutes).
- Now add in flour, salt and dried rosemary. Mix together until combined.
- Grab the dough and form a ball in your hands.
- knead for about 10 minutes, or until the dough has an elasticated consistency. At this point you can either let the dough sit (if you only want to bake the focaccias later), or you can proceed to the rolling out.
If you are going to let the dough sit for awhile, coat the ball with some oil. This will prevent the surface from drying out. You can also wet a dish towel and drape this over the top of the bowl that the dough is in. This is a good idea if the humidity is very low where you are.
How to Make the Herb Topping
If you like, you can simply brush the olive oil over the top of your rolled out focaccias, and then sprinkle on the herbs, crushed garlic, salt and nutritional yeast. However what I like to do is to mix this all together in a small bowl and then spread it on. That way the garlic and herbs flavors and infuse a little into the olive oil and make for an even tastier focaccia!
- Peel and crush the garlic.
- Chop the oregano if fresh.
- Combine all topping ingredients except for the nutritional yeast into a small bowl, and stir.
- Allow this to stand while you roll out your focaccia bases. You can also make this ahead of time if you are prepping your focaccias for a dinner or party. Extra standing time will not do any harm.
Rolling Out the Focaccias, Topping them and Baking
This is very simple:
- Preheat your oven to 450° F or 230 ° C. This is important, you want to get the focaccias into a nice hot oven.
- Flour a decent sized amount of counter space, as well as a rolling pin and your hands. If you do not have a rolling pin, an empty wine bottle also works great.
- Divide the dough into two equal portions and make into balls with your hands.
- Roll out the balls until you have two rounds of rolled of dough which are nice and thin.
- Carefully slip these rounds onto two sheet pans, or pizza stones.
- Spoon the olive oil, garlic and herb mix over the two focaccia bases, and try to spread it out evenly over them with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle on the nutritional yeast.
- Place the two pans into the oven and bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until they start to become golden. Keep a close eye on things, because they can over bake quite quickly.
- Once done, slip them onto a wire rack to cool, slice and serve!