Say hello to carb heaven.
Pure, unadulterated, unapologetic carb HEAVEN.
This focaccia is seriously the only bread product I could eat for the rest of my days and I would be totally and completely happy. It is so, so delicious! And much easier to make than it may sound.
The key to anything using yeast is TIME. Well, time and patience. Baking has helped me to appreciate that. You can’t rush certain things. You can’t finagle your way through a baked good recipe. You must follow the rules and you must allot the proper time in order for things to turn out.
These are two hard lessons I’ve learned over the years of baking. I adore it so, and one of the many reasons why is that it slows me down. It has a rhythm to it and the results are always worth the time and patience (two things I am almost always lacking). This recipe, in particular, turned out exceptionally well. Better than I was hoping or expecting.
I’ll be making this focaccia for our at-home NYE festivities, and I don’t think there is a better way to send out this year. With buttery carbs. I hope you join me!
The key to any good focaccia (aside from the aforementioned time and patience) is olive oil. GOOD olive oil. I’m channeling my inner Ina Garten here when I tell you that a decent olive oil can be the difference here. Not only does it impart wonderful texture, but the FLAVOR is really the key factor. Focaccia should taste like the olive oil used to make it. So, do yourself a favor, and pull that special bottle of olive oil that you were gifted and put it to good use here. It will be so worth it!
Focaccia is essentially pizza dough that is cooked in lots of olive oil. It gets crisp on the bottom like pizza but has the softest top layer, dimpled with texture and all the goodies you decide to top it off with.
In this case, we’re making a simple herbed brown butter to drizzle over top and finishing things with some festive pomegranate arils and shavings of parmesan cheese. Oh, and don’t forget the flaky sea salt! It sort of MAKES the situation.
Easy but impactful! That’s how I like to keep the toppings. Because, really, it’s all about the dough here. The olive oil and the dough. The toppings are there really to just garnish and make things look pretty. Yes, they add amazing flavor, but again, the dough is the star.
This is the sort of thing that is IDEAL for a New Year’s shindig. Unfortunately, like all other events this year, we aren’t having a full-on shindig this New Year’s Eve. I am still making this, though! It goes swimmingly with SO many things!
We’re doing a shrimp scampi appetizer, this focaccia, and a cheeseboard. The focaccia will be the perfect accompaniment to the other food, and it may even be the star of the show.
Here’s to new traditions and looking forward to a (hopefully) better year ahead. I fully plan on bringing this focaccia with me into 2021. I suggest you do the same!
This Herbed Brown Butter Focaccia is a stunner! It’s flavored with good olive oil, herbed brown butter, pomegranate arils, and shavings of parmesan cheese. It is good enough for a cozy night in or a festive cocktail party! The toppings can be mixed up as you see fit – it’s all about the dough anyway! Pure carb perfection.
For the Focaccia Dough:
- 2 cups warm water (100-110°F)
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 2¼ teaspoons instant yeast (dry active yeast will also work)
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the bowl and baking sheet
- 4–5 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ⅓ cup fresh sage leaves
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- ½ cup parmesan cheese shavings
- Flaky sea salt
For the Focaccia Dough:
- Add the warm water to the bowl of your stand mixer and drizzle in the honey. Stir to combine and then sprinkle the yeast evenly over the surface of the water.
- Allow the yeast to sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Pour in the olive oil and turn on the mixer to low and allow the ingredients to mix.
- Add in roughly 3 cups of the flour and the salt and mix in with the dough hook attachment. Keep adding the remaining flour until the dough comes together and is only slightly sticky.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and with floured hands, knead the dough for a few minutes until it is smooth and elastic. If you poke your finger into the dough, it should bounce back a little bit.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with a kitchen towel, and place in a warm spot to rise until it has doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes (the actual rise time will depend on the temperature of your house and the type of yeast you use. Instant yeast will rise faster than active dry yeast).
- Once the dough has risen, oil a large rimmed baking sheet with roughly 3 tablespoons of olive oil and then remove the dough from the bowl, gently pressing it down to release excess air bubbles.
- Using your hands, gently and gradually stretch the dough over the pan in an even, flat layer. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as we are going to let this rise again and any imperfections will even out. Just try to get it as evenly spread out as you can.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in a warm place for another hour.
- After the dough has risen again, preheat the oven to 425°F and prepare the toppings.
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a skillet or saucepan (I use a light-colored pan so I can see when the butter is actually browned).
- Swirl the pan and watch it carefully, making sure that the butter does not burn. The butter is ready when golden brown bits have formed and it smells nutty. Remove from the heat and stir in the fresh herbs and olive oil.
- Prepare the pomegranate arils.
To Assemble & Bake:
- Using your fingers, gently press down into the surface of the dough, creating dimples all over.
- Pour the brown butter and herb mixture all over the top, making sure to pour it evenly so that each nook and cranny in the dough gets some.
- Sprinkle over half of the pomegranate seeds. Sprinkle a generous amount of flaky salt all over the dough.
- Transfer the focaccia to the hot oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is golden brown and crisp all around the edges and on the bottom. The top should be lightly golden brown and still somewhat soft and pillowy.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for a bit, and then garnish with the remaining pomegranate arils and the cheese shavings. Slice and serve! This is wonderful warm or at room temperature.
This focaccia is best eaten within a few hours of baking, but it will keep at room temperature, well wrapped, for another day or two. I suggest heating it up in a warm oven before serving again.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes (plus 2 hours of inactive rise time)
- Category: appetizers
Keywords: herbed brown butter focaccia, holiday focaccia, brown butter and pomegranate focaccia, homemade focaccia with herbs and brown butter