Focaccia (Jalapeño Cheese and Tomato Herb)


This simple and rustic sheet pan focaccia has two topping options: jalapeños & (vegan) cheese or tomatoes, herbs & garlic.

Flatbreads like focaccia are great for beginners! They use simple ingredients and tools, they don’t require much active cooking time, they’re highly customizable, and it’s easy to tell when they’re cooked through.

Toppings

Spread your choice of toppings (minus olive oil and sea salt) over the surface of the dough. Then, work the toppings into the dough by dimpling it quickly and thoroughly using all your fingers (like you’re a very passionate but absolutely awful pianist). Top the surface with a generous drizzle olive oil and a dusting of sea salt before baking it until it’s golden-brown.

Jalapeño & Cheese

Pickled jalapeños, vegan cheese,(optional), garlic, sea salt, and olive oil.

I use “tamed” pickled jalapeños. They’re flavourful but mild so you can use a lot of them without their heat becoming overwhelming. If you use hot pickled jalapeños (and you’re sensitive to spicy food) you can chop them up and use less of them.

Use your favourite vegan cheese shreds. I like Daiya’s Cheddar Style Shreds (the Original kind) because they melt quickly and they’re widely available.

Tomato, Herb & Garlic

Cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced garlic, fresh or dried herbs, sea salt, and olive oil.

You can use fresh or dried herbs, depending on what you have. I used a dry Italian herb blend of rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, and thyme. Bruise hardy herbs like rosemary to release their flavourful oils before adding them.

Other topping ideas and variations

We also have a lovely potato & rosemary focaccia recipe on the blog. It’s a tidier looking version made in an 8” cast iron skillet.

You can make focaccia as simple or elaborate as you like. Other topping ideas are: olives, marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, shallots, sliced potato, roasted garlic, vegan pesto, and caramelized onions. Feel free to be creative or try multiple flavour combinations on divided sections.

Pizza dough

This focaccia dough is perfect for homemade pizzas, we used it in our Mediterranean pesto pizza recipe. For a thick pizza crust that’s eerily similar to Pizza Hut’s pan crust, liberally oil your pan/parchment paper before assembling and baking.

Using up leftovers (if you have any!)

Garlic toast

Cut leftover focaccia into slices, spread with garlic butter, and cook it butter side down in a hot skillet until it’s golden brown. Serve with spaghetti or other pasta dishes.

Croutons

Cube leftover (preferably slightly stale) focaccia. Add vegan butter or olive oil to a hot skillet. If desired, add some Italian herbs, minced garlic and/or garlic and onion powder. Add the cubed focaccia and cook, stirring often, until the croutons are golden brown and crisp. Use the croutons in a salad like our vegan crispy chick’n Caesar.

Using a stand-mixer vs. kneading by hand

You can knead focaccia by hand or in a stand-mixer. I prefer using a stand-mixer for bread because it’s much easier to keep the dough moist. When you knead by hand you use more flour to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands and countertop. Start by adding ¾ the amount of flour and then add more, using the minimum amount required to keep the dough workable.

Proofing yeast

Bread recipes often start with a proofing step (adding yeast and sugar to warm water and waiting for the yeast to froth and rise to the surface). It tests yeast to make sure it’s active. Proof your yeast if you’re not sure how fresh it is to make sure your dough will rise. If you’re using fresh yeast you can skip this step.

Print

Ingredients :

  • 1½ cups (375 ml) warm water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sugar
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • 4½ cups (540 grams) all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • 1 cup (140 grams) pickled (tamed) jalapeños
  • ½ cup (45 grams) vegan cheese shreds (I used Daiya)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Optional: vegan Parmesan, to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 1 cup (160 grams) halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • Fresh or dried Italian herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary, basil, etc.), to taste
  • Sea salt, to taste

Instructions :

  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine warm water, sugar, yeast, salt, and ¾ of the all-purpose flour. Mix to combine. Knead (by hand or in a stand mixer with a dough hook) until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes), add remaining flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking.
  2. Coat the dough ball with olive oil and place it in a large bowl covered with a damp kitchen towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
  3. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Drizzle the parchment paper with olive oil.
  4. After the dough doubles in size, punch it down. Flatten and stretch the dough to fit your sheet pan. Cover lightly with a sheet of plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size (about 40 minutes).
  5. While the dough rises, preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C) and prepare toppings.
  6. After the dough has risen, add your choice of toppings. Use your fingers to thoroughly dimple the dough, pressing the toppings into the bread. Drizzle with olive oil and season with sea salt.
  7. Bake focaccia until golden brown, about 25-30 minutes.

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