Recipe: Focaccia bread and edible art

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s a trend that blew up during the pandemic, and now we’re getting a little slice of that heaven. We’re talking about edible artwork on delicious focaccia bread.

Robert Duensing, owner of Best Regards Bakery and Cafe in Overland Park, joined the Morning Show to show how it’s done. Unfortunately, there were some connection issues, but you can still hear some helpful tips when crafting your creative craving!

This is a two-day recipe, but the results are worth the wait. Here’s how to do it:

Day 1: Poolish (starter) ingredients

  • 1 cup (4.25 ounces) unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup (.75 ounces) warm water
  • Pinch of active dry yeast

Directions

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, water and yeast with whisk or fork.
  2. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and let rest overnight on counter to ferment.

Day 2: Focaccia ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (18 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the standard mixing paddle, mix poolish with flour, water, yeast, salt and olive oil on low speed. On medium speed, continue mixing until a stringy dough forms, about 6 minutes; the dough will be very wet.
  2. Form a ball and place the dough in large bowl or deep cake pan. Cover with plastic wrap and rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  3. On a clean surface, stretch and fold each of 4 sides all the way over on itself. Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Repeat the process of stretching and resting 3 more times. The dough will stiffen a bit more each time which means you’re developing the gluten in the dough. Large bubbles will appear, and this is a good thing!
  5. To assemble the focaccia: Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil on bottom of an 18-x-13-inch rimmed half sheet pan. (If you have another size pan, that’s fine. Just make sure it is rimmed and well oiled.)
  6. Gently place the dough in bottom of pan. Don’t dimple as you need a flat canvas for your art!

Suggested artwork ingredients

  • Picture of focaccia decorated with vegetable flowers
  • Picture of Best Regards owner holding focaccia
  • Red/yellow/orange bell peppers
  • Mini bell peppers (variety of colors)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red onions
  • Broccoli
  • Asparagus (split in half)
  • Fresh basil
  • Capers
  • Olive slices
  • Pepperoni
  • Basil pesto
  • Shredded cheese

Art directions

The key to making edible art using a bread platform is to thinly slice your vegetables. This is so that you don’t add too much moisture to the bread.

Be careful not to overload your focaccia with tomatoes, zucchini or squash, and if you use them for color, be sure each vegetable is very thinly sliced.

  1. Allow dough to rise 20-40 minutes in a warm place to proof until dough is jiggly.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Bake focaccia for about 15-18 minutes until the top is slightly browned

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