How to Make Focaccia Bread Art | Just DOugh It

What's better than a Monet or a Van Gogh inspired work of art? 

An edible Monet or Van Gogh inspired work of art.

And that's just what focaccia bread art is all about- creating edible masterpieces using cut herbs and veggies arranged in eye-popping designs on a blank canvas of focaccia dough. 

Focaccia Bread Art

Creating focaccia bread art took kitchens around the world by storm in 2020 thanks to 'Vineyard Baker', Terri Culetto's out of the box, brilliant brain wave.

Painting sunflowers

Why stop at painting sunflowers? Let's put them on dough instead. And that's how "Focaccia Van Dough" came to be. An Instagram post of her masterpiece went viral and the rest, as they say, is history.

Focaccia Bread Art

I'm a classic kinda gal who doesn't jump on the trend wagon easily. But, this was one food trend I was itching to try. It was a dough or die situation, if you will.

I had such fun designing and decorating my personal focaccia garden/ botanical masterpiece that I just had to share my tips to encourage anyone half toying with the idea, to go for it. 

Perfect for a fun family activity or a solo endeavor, this is one easy baking trend that both young and old will enjoy....both making and eating :)

So, let's get started. Like any artist, you require 2 things...

1. Your canvas and

2. Your palette 


YOUR BLANK CANVAS:

If you want the recipe for your blank canvas (focaccia dough)- See my Harvest Focaccia for the dough recipe. This recipe is for a focaccia bread baked in a skillet. Follow the recipe through Step 5 (Second Rise), brush with olive oil and dimple slightly. And now you're ready to start decorating...


YOUR PALETTE:

Vegetables to use to decorate focaccia


Best Herbs, Veggies and Spices to use:

  1. Mini multi-colored bell peppers: Sliced longitudinally or into circular rounds, they can be used to form colorful flowers, grass or stems.
  2. Full-size bell peppers:  Cut into slivers, they work well for flowers. They hold up well to being baked.
  3. Olives with pimiento:  Cut into round slices, they are attractive for flower centers or petals.
  4. Black olives: Chopped into bits, they can be used for the center of flowers.
  5. Capers: Can act as berries. Push them down slightly into the dough to prevent them rolling off after baking.
  6. Cherry tomatoes: Cut into round slices, they work nicely as flowers or petals. It's best to lay out the slices on cut paper towel to absorb excess liquid before using them. Can use varying sizes, types and colors of tomatoes from cherry, grape and campari tomatoes to create interesting patterns.
  7. Crushed chili flakes: They not only work as attractive, colorful decoration but also pack a nice punch.
  8. Sesame seeds: Can be used to provide interest.
  9. Black sesame seeds: Provide good contrast against the golden brown baked bread. Works well for the centers of flowers or for general decoration.
  10. Parsley: Can be used for leaves and stems. Brush/spray well with oil to prevent the leaves from burning in the oven. Can easily curve stems to create a softer, more curvilinear design.
  11. Basil: Can be used for leaves.
  12. Dill: Use to create light, feathery foliage.
  13. Chive leaves: Work well as long flower stalks and stems. Brush/spray well with oil.
  14. Red onions: When cut into two and then sliced thinly, they form attractive flowers.


How to decorate Focaccia Bread

1. While the focaccia bread is going through the second rise (approximately 30 minutes), start prepping the herbs and veggies you plan to use.

2. Lay out all your cut vegetables and herbs between 2 sheets of kitchen paper towel to absorb all the excess liquid that will come out of the vegetables.

3. Plan a rough design on paper towel before actually placing veggies on the dough. It's not very easy to move things around once they are placed on the dough.

4. Use a fork or toothpick to move veggies and herbs around on the dough. It's easier to lever them up with a toothpick or fork than with your fingers.

5. After placing all your veggies and herbs, coat your masterpiece with cooking spray, particularly the greens as they are prone to crisping up.

Focaccia Bread Art
Focaccia dough decorated and spritzed with cooking spray. Ready to be popped into the oven.


Focaccia Bread Art
Baked to perfection!


I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post!

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If you liked this recipe, you may also like my other decorative breads:

- How to Braid a 6-Strand Challah Bread

-How to Make Hot Cross Buns


Check out my other bread recipes, by clicking on "BREAD" below.

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