You can make any garden on this delicious focaccia bread and impress your family and friends. Eat it warm right out of the oven or dip it in olive oil with balsamic or make a fresh tomato sauce for dipping.
2 T. cornmeal
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (King Arthur brand is my favorite)
1 teaspoon salt
1 T. olive oil
1 package yeast - active or rapid
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
Sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet and set aside.
Place flour, salt and olive oil in a large mixing bowl of a stand mixer.
Mix flour and yeast mixture (see note below) by hand until all ingredients are incorporated. Using your mixer and kneading attachment, knead for 5-7 minutes until your bread looks smooth. If you do not have a kneading option on your mixer, you can simply knead the dough by hand. Knead until the mixture is soft and springs back to the touch - about 7-10 minutes.
Drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a clean bowl and place the dough in the bowl turning dough so it is lightly covered in oil. Cover with clean kitchen towel for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut the vegetables that you are using for your botanical bread. I used small bell peppers, red onion, cherry tomatoes, flat leaf parsley, thyme, chives, rosemary, basil leaves. Your options are endless and you can become the food artist. (olives, corn, toasted sesame seeds, artichokes, eggplant, red potatoes...).
Note: Make sure to coat your herbs with olive oil. If not, they will dry out and lose their flavor. A little oil helps to enhance the flavor of your herbs.
When your dough has doubled in size, punch down dough and roll or pull to size. Place the dough on your prepared pan.
Create your garden and drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Set aside for 25 minutes so the dough can rise again.
Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes. Until brown and remove from oven.
Cut into squares and serve with olive oil or warmed red sauce.
Pour water (110° or warm tap water), 1 teaspoon sugar and the package of yeast (sugar is not necessary but helps speed up the process) in a small bowl. Stir and wait 5-15 minutes, depending on the temperature of your kitchen, until the yeast mixture looks like foam on top. If your yeast creates foam, it is ready to go.