You HAD to see this coming.
I can’t seem to stop with bread art. I have no intentions of ever stopping with bread art. It find it soothing, therapeutic, relaxing and inspiring. CARB ART. How can anyone be against this?
And you don’t have to make a tree. But I made a tree with randoms I had in the fridge, so let’s peepeth!
The bread dough – you’ll make it the day before. By now you know just HOW stupid simple it is. Bread flour + yeast + salt + water. And by the next day it rises and bubbles up and is so pretty you won’t know how to handle your life.
Then you’ll just pull it out into a well-oiled casserole dish and sort of spread it out with your fingers, nestling it in the dish and dimpling with your fingers. Drizzle some more oil, too. This IS focaccia after all.
So I started with fresh rosemary sprigs and formed a tree out of it. Do this however you like. Some people add sage to their trees, but I love the simple look of rosemary alone. But you fly, little bird.
THEN, what I did was slice the cherry tomatoes – not quite in half – but almost. I wanted them to look like little ornaments. You can cut them into little balls or ovals or slices.
Same with the pearl onions if you can find some. I peeled them and sliced them in half. BUT – what I will say is that about five minutes in baking, I turned them around. Like, cut side up. I realized I wanted to see the rings of the inner onion. So do that!
Then for the red onion I just sliced and sort of dangled them in places. It might be a janky approach, but do you know me at all?
This is in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes. You might need a hair longer, or a hair shorter, depending on your oven. The bread will rise, turn golden brown and puff beautifully.
The tomatoes will darken and slightly shrivel, and the onions will soften and brown in places. The FRAGRANCE is out of this world, so get ready.
And the pear! Nearly forgot – I cut a little chunk out of the pear to create a tree base. And then more little strips as the star. Cute, right?
You canNOT not make this. Here’s the video!
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1 2/3rd cup warm water
- Pear, pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onion
- Fresh rosemary sprigs
- Coarse salt
- Plenty of olive oil (a few Tbs.)
- In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt. Whisk until combined, then add the warm water. Using a wooden spoon, stir the dough together until it’s shaggy and wet. Perfect. Cover it with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and let it sit on the counter overnight. At least 12 hours.
- Next day: Grab a casserole dish (mine was 7x12ish) and drizzle a decent amount of oil on the bottom. Uncover the bread bowl and look at that! It should be risen, bubbly and beautiful. Tip the dough out of the bowl and into the casserole dish. Spread it with your hands to fit the dish snuggly, then dimple it with your fingers and drizzle with more oil. Let this sit, lightly covered for two more hours. Then it’s time to decorate!
- Preheat your oven to 400.
- So, we’re just building a tree. You can honestly do this anyway you want. I used the rosemary as the tree branches, sort of fanned out in places. Slice a small piece of pear and use it as the tree base. Slice your cherry tomatoes in half, creating little “ornaments.” Do the same with the pearl onions. Peel and slice in half. Maybe a little bit of sliced pear for the tree topper? Anything works. Get creative!
- Once you’ve decorated your tree the way you like it, sprinkle with a little bit of coarse salt and bake for 25 minutes, until the bread is puffed and golden, and the toppings have set. It’s so pretty.
- Let it rest a few minutes, then slice and serve!
- Makes one focaccia loaf.
Let it cool a few minutes and slice on in! If you can even wait that long.
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