Skillet Focaccia | Vegan Pizza Recipe
September 25, 2020
Skillet focaccia can seem like a huge baking endeavour, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This super simple vegan pizza recipe is as fool-proof as it is rewarding. We’ve topped with tomatoes and herbs but you can customize with anything from olives, garlic, artichoke hearts, or even sour plums and grapes.
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 40
- Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
For the Focaccia
- 1 ½ t quick yeast
- 215 g water at around 20c
- 290 g strong white bread flour
- 5 g fine sea salt
- 10 g extra virgin olive oil
- Extra olive oil for greasing
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 t flaky sea salt
- Handful of cherry tomatoes halved
- 5 sprigs of rosemary
- ½ t dried oregano
- Combine the yeast with the warm water in a small bowl and whisk well. Leave to bloom for 5 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, place the flour, sea salt, and olive oil. Pour over the yeast and water mixture and knead on low speed for around 5-8 minutes.
- Once kneaded, the dough should be smooth and quite loose. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix the ingredients together with a silicone spatula until roughly combined. Grease a clean work surface and your hands with some olive oil and turn the dough out. Knead for 5-8 minutes.
- Grease the inside of a medium bowl with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Leave to proof for an hour at room temperature – the dough should have doubled in size.
- After an hour, it’s time to de-gas the dough. Pinch some dough from the edge of the ball and stretch it up and over the ball of dough, rotate the bowl slightly and repeat. You should feel the dough deflating but be careful not to squeeze out every last bubble.
- Line the base of a cast-iron skillet with a circle of baking parchment and grease the sides with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough to the skillet and push the dough into the edges of the skillet. If the dough springs back, cover the skillet with a damp tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes. After the dough has rested, try to push the dough out again – you want to fill the base of the skillet completely.
- Cover the skillet and leave to proof for a second time – this time for 40 minutes. At the 30 minutes mark, preheat the oven to 220c/430f (fan).
- Once proofed, the dough should look nice and bubbly. Top with the 2 T extra virgin olive oil and push your fingers into the dough to make irregular dimples. Sprinkle with the flaky salt and top with the cherry tomatoes, rosemary, and dried oregano.
- Place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes, rotating the pan after 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before slicing and serving.
Skillet focaccia is deceptively easy to make! Here are my top tips for getting the perfect bake for this vegan pizza recipe!
Bloom Your Yeast
You may have heard recipes refer to “blooming” yeast before adding it to the recipe. I personally have never noticed any difference in the final bake when I bloom the yeast versus adding it with the flour. However, it’s a great way to make sure your yeast is active and ready to get to work! If your packet of yeast has been open for a while or is approaching its use-by date then it’s definitely worth following this step. All you need to do is combine the yeast with the water and leaving it to “wake up” for a few minutes!
Allow a Good First Proof
Baking any bread is about patience! A good first proof should take around an hour but mostly you just want to make sure the dough doubles in size. Take a picture of the dough once kneaded so you can compare with an “after” shot and make sure there’s a significant rise!
Allow the Dough to Rest
For the second proof, you’ll be transferring the dough to the skillet which you’ll be baking the focaccia in. You want to make sure the dough is pushed out right into the edges of the skillet. This can be tricky if the gluten in the dough is all worked up and elastic. If you’re struggling to stretch the dough out to the edges, just cover the skillet with a damp tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. This resting time allows the gluten to relax and you should notice a big difference in texture and resistance afterward.
Be Liberal with Toppings
Once your dough is proofed for a second time, it’s time to dimple the dough with your fingertips and top with whatever you fancy! In this recipe, I’ve used tomatoes and rosemary but you can really get creative with your toppings. Olives and garlic make a beautiful addition but you can even add super thin slices of potato, figs, and herbs of all kinds!
Bake Until Crispy
It can be tempting to take focaccia out of the oven too early, but like pizzas, it’s best to let it pick up a good amount of colour before removing it. The cast-iron skillet should make sure the bottom is beautifully toasted, but if you’re not careful you may end up with a rather soggy bottom! Stick to around 40 minutes in the oven before removing.
Love our skillet focaccia vegan pizza recipe? On a baking kick? Check out all our vegan dessert recipes.
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