Garlic Focaccia Bread Recipe


Inn Serendipity Garlic Focaccia Bread
Photo by Lisa Kivirist

What blends warm, crusty comfort food with an immunity boost? Garlic Focaccia Bread. My husband John Ivanko and I have become big focaccia fans, thanks to our son, Liam, embracing his inner chef. His perfected and versatile focaccia recipe is shared below.

Garlic, specifically the German red hardneck varietal, is a cash crop for my family business at Inn Serendipity Farm and Bed & Breakfast. When we go to split our seed garlic in late October, we always have some of the smaller cloves that don’t make the “to plant” cut. Some cloves are frozen so we have plenty to cook with from February through July of the following year. Some garlic cloves are used up when we start making tomato sauce on top of our woodstove, using our remaining onions and ripe tomatoes we froze back in August or September.

Finally, some garlic cloves are used in this Garlic Focaccia Bread, generously mixing in halved-cloves scattered on the the bread; as they cook, the cloves soften perfectly. Besides baking this focaccia in a traditional convection oven in our farmhouse kitchen, we’ve also had great success making this bread in our wood-fired oven outside, usually after we finish off our artisanal pizzas, so we can enjoy the focaccia the following day. We’re always trying to optimize baking in the outdoor wood-fired oven, making and roasting as many items or dishes as we can during each firing.

Rooting in Italy, focaccia is a flat oven-baked bread that is similar in texture, flavor and style to pizza dough but more bready with only light toppings like shavings of cheese or fresh herbs when in season. There's no layer of tomato-based sauce or gobs of cheese for this bread. Focaccia can be used as a side to many meals. We find focaccia works well for grilled sandwiches, too. Finely sliced into strips, the focaccia can also make for a fancy appetizer when you add your thickened, homemade tomato sauce for dunking. Goat cheese or homemade pesto also make great spreads to accompany the bread.

If you’re baking under your state’s cottage food law and selling food products from your home kitchen, this could be a great item to sell at a farmers’ market or deliver locally. As farmstead chef Liam likes to say: “It’s an easy and very versatile recipe. Every time I make it, I try a different cheesy topping or use fresh herbs when available.”

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