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How to Make Decorated Focaccia

This light and fluffy focaccia bread by Gesine Prado is a blank canvas for your inner artist! Decorate with some vegetables to create your own garden art focaccia masterpiece.

Learn how to make this Decorated Focaccia recipe by watching the step-by-step tutorial video, review Gesine’s tips, and get a full printable recipe below.

Gesine’s Guide to Decorated Focaccia:

Gesine Prado is sharing her Decorated Focaccia recipe. With only 6 ingredients (all-purpose flour, bread flour, water, Platinum Yeast, olive oil and sea salt), this focaccia dough comes together easily with the use of an autolyse (don’t be intimidated, it’s simply mixing the flour and water ahead of time) that helps minimize kneading time.

Start by making the autolyse: Mix together both flours and water in a large bowl until complete combined and no dry flour is remaining; the dough will be rough and shaggy. Cover and let rest until dough is soft and elastic, about an hour.

An autolyse is simply flour and water mixed together and allowed to rest for a period of time to allow the flour to fully hydrate and gluten to begin forming. This process results in less kneading required after mixing the dough.

Tips for making the dough

Add the yeast to the water, stir to dissolve. Add yeast-water mixture, olive oil and salt to the autolyse. Using your fingers in a ‘pincer-like’ manner, incorporate all ingredients together until liquid is fully incorporated into the dough.

When the dough has come together but is still a little shaggy, it is time to knead. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Because this is a wet (high hydration) dough, the “slap and fold” method works best — and it’s a lot of fun!

Slap and Fold Method of Kneading

Place dough in an oiled bowl; cover and let rise until doubled in size. Once risen, place dough in oiled 1/2-sheet pan, then make dimples across the dough with your fingertips while spreading dough evenly out to edges of pan. Drizzle olive oil lightly over dough; use fingers to spread evenly over dough. Cover; let rise until dough has reached the top edge of pan.

While dough is rising, prepare your veggies and herbs. Gesine used red onion, red, yellow & orange mini bell peppers, black olives, heirloom cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley & dill.

Start creating a design on parchment paper (should be the size of your pan). Some ideas are a flower garden or landscape scene; watch the full video tutorial at above for a lots of tips and tricks. Once dough has risen, gently transfer the design (one piece at a time) on to the focaccia. Lightly press vegetables and herbs into dough once the design is finalized and then coat them all with oil using a pastry brush.

Bake in preheated oven at 375˚F for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and crisp on top and bottom.


Decorated Focaccia

Decorate this easy-to-make focaccia with your favorite veggies for a delicious side to your dinner, or serve with olive oil for an appetizer or snack.




  • 5 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon (700g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) unbleached bread flour (see note 1)
  • 2 3/4 cups + 1 tablespoon (650g) water (80-85˚F/27-29˚F)


  • 1/3 cup (50g) water (80-85˚F/27-29˚F)
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tablespoons (55g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) fine sea salt


  • 6 tablespoons (84g) plus more as needed extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetables, sliced for decoration (suggestions: mini sweet bell peppers, red onion, heirloom cherry tomatoes, black olives, fresh parsley and dill)


  • Make the Autolyse: Add both flours and water to a large bowl or Cambro bucket. Mix with a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon until the flour and water are completely combined. You may need to use your hands a bit at the end to make sure there is no dry flour left; the dough will be rough and shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until dough is soft and elastic.
  • Make the Dough: Add the yeast to the water, stir to combine. Add yeast mixture, olive oil and salt to the autolyse.
  • Use your hands in a pincer-like manner (see video, linked below) to combine the added ingredients into the autolyse. (Note, you can also use a mixer on low for this process.) The water and oil will slop around for a bit without combining, so be patient. This may take a few minutes to fully combine.
  • When the dough has come together but still a little shaggy, it is time to knead. Knead dough until smooth and elastic. Note, because this is a wet dough, the "slap and fold" method of kneading is ideal (see video, linked below). Shape dough into a tight, round ball.
  • Place dough ball in an oiled bowl, turning to coat all sides of dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes. (See note 2 for optional overnight rise.)
  • Prepare ½-sheet pan: Add about 3 tablespoons of olive oil to pan, spreading around to evenly coat pan.
  • Transfer dough to prepared pan. Coat your fingers with olive oil. Use fingertips to dimple and spread the dough evenly in pan as close to the edges as the dough allows. It doesn't need to fill the entire pan; the dough will continue to expand outwards and upwards while it rises. Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the top of the dough and gently spread it evenly over dough.
  • Cover and let rise in warm place until dough reaches the top edge of the ½-sheet pan, about 1 hour. (If the dough was in the refrigerator overnight, the rise time may be longer due to the colder dough temperature.)
  • Prepare vegetables: Slice vegetables and place on parchment paper in desired arrangement. (See video for detailed instructions, ideas and tips – linked below.)
  • Preheat oven to 375˚F/190˚C.
  • Once dough has risen, remove plastic wrap. Transfer vegetables to the focaccia, gently pressing them into the dough once in the proper place. When the design is complete, lightly brush olive oil over all the vegetables.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and crisp on top and bottom.


  1. If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all all-purpose flour (8¼ cups/700g total flour). Leave out the remaining cup/50g of water in the dough.
  2. Optional Overnight Rise: In step 5, after dough is in covered bowl, place in refrigerator overnight (do not let it rise to double in size, just place in refrigerator), about 8 hours. This longer rise creates loads of flavor. When ready, continue with step 6.
Recipe created by Gesine Prado.

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Gesine Prado

Gesine Prado is a self-taught baker, teacher and author. Visit Gesine’s website for more of her delicious recipes.

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