My no-knead focaccia bread with garlic and thyme is made right in a cast iron skillet, giving it a soft and chewy interior and crispy edges. Easy! Great for dinner or for paninis!
Course Side Dish
Prep Time 11hours
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 11hours15minutes
Author Just a Little Bit of Bacon
15oz(3 cups) all-purpose flour
4tspkosher salt,1 tbsp + 1 tsp
1 1/3cuproom temperature water
1/4cupextra virgin olive oil
1tbspfresh thyme leaves
In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast, and salt. Add the water and stir with a large spoon until the flour is completely incorporated. You may need to get your hands in there to finish mixing in the flour. The dough will be wet and sticky. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm spot in the kitchen for 10-12 hours.
As soon as you are done mixing the dough, make the garlic oil. Heat oil on medium heat with the garlic. Once it starts bubbling, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. The garlic will be soft and lightly golden. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the garlic out of the oil. At this point you can either toss the garlic or reserve it to work into the focaccia. Let the oil cool to room temperature.
Once the dough is covered in bubbles and looks puffy the dough is ready to be shaped.
Take 2 tablespoons of the oil and put it into a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet. Using your fingertips, scrape the dough out of the bowl into the skillet and turn it to coat it with oil. Spread out the dough over the bottom of the skillet. If it doesn't reach the edges, wait about 10 minutes and then gently push it out some more.
Cover the skillet with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 1 hour.
After 30 minutes, set a rack to the lower middle position and turn on the oven to 500F.
When ready, top the dough with more of the garlic oil. Then sprinkle thyme leaves, coarse salt, and the reserved garlic slice (if desired) over the top. Dimple the dough with your fingertips, working some of the toppings down into the bread.
Bake until the middle is cooked through, the top is brown, and the bottom is crispy. 15-20 minutes in a 12-inch skillet. 20-25 in a 10-inch skillet.
You can use a heavy baking sheet to make this bread. It won't get as crispy as the cast iron version, but it will work just fine.
I use a 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet. I gave it a couple extra rounds of seasoning when I started using it. I also pan fry in it fairly frequently and give it a nice thin coat of oil after I've washed it up and I'm done with it. The focaccia just slides right out of my pan when I'm done.
If your dough is too dry to mix in well when you're adding the water to the flour, add another tablespoon or two of water.
While I do consider the garlic oil to be essential, feel free to use different herbs over the top if you don't have thyme on hand. Rosemary, sage, parsley, and basil are a few of the herbs I would like on this bread.
If you want to make the little tomato salad I have in the picture, take one or two large beefsteak tomatoes and chop them in 1/2 dice. Grab a few large basil leaves and slice them. Then toss it with some kosher salt and olive oil (basically a sprinkle and drizzle or two). My daughter highly recommends the focaccia with the salad. She likes to soak it in the juices from the salad and then top bread with the tomato chunks.