With a wonderful flavor, plenty of crisp edge and a soft crumb inside, this lemon thyme focaccia is such a delicious, versatile homemade bread!
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I often think I should make bread a bit more often. I do love the taste when I do, but I often find we don't eat quite enough when it is first made and many kinds don't taste as good after a day to feel worth the effort.
This lemon and thyme focaccia is an exception. We both had a fantastic, fairly huge caprese focaccia sandwich from one of the loaves. Then we had some dipped in oil, and made more sandwiches for the next day. I've also made a half batch sometimes, just to enjoy the flavors.
Focaccia is a very versatile bread to make as you can dress it up simple like this, or with more extravagant toppings. Aromatic flavors work really well, which is why lemon and thyme seemed a good choice, and it was.
The recipe makes two small loaves, each one big enough for around 2-3 good-sized sandwiches. It's also good in chunks alongside soup, or simply dipped in good quality olive oil and balsamic vinegar to nibble with cheese or whatever else you fancy.
I've made the loaves a bit smaller than some you see and crisper, too. Personally, we really like it this way rather than the very big, super-soft loaves, but it's all a personal preference.
How to make lemon thyme focaccia
While it takes a bit of time to make as with most breads, most of that is letting it rise. So there's plenty of time in between to do other things, you just need to keep an eye on it.
Some focaccia recipes use just plain, all purpose flour but others use bread flour, sometimes partly with semolina flour as well. I have tried it both ways with this recipe and like both, so really make as you prefer.
I have written it as plain (all purpose) flour since that's probably what most people have and it works well.
Make sure you don't forget to make some dimples in the top before baking and drizzle it with a good olive oil and sprinkle on a little salt. This is part of what distinguishes a focaccia from other breads. That oil works its way in to the bread and helps give that lovely crust.
When baking, do check after around 15 minutes as it may cook a bit quicker depending on your oven. Focaccia is a relatively thin loaf so it doesn't take long to bake, and the result is lots of nice crispy crust as well.
See how it comes together in the short video!
Focaccia to me always feels like a more summery bread, probably as I like to enjoy it either with very Mediterranean fillings as a sandwich or dipped in a good olive oil, both of which I associate with warmer climates.
When I made this we had some delicious sandwiches with it, spread with homemade pesto and filled with fresh mozzarella, tomato and prosciutto on some as well.
If you're tempted to make fresh bread, and like one with a good flavor and lots of crusty edge, this lemon thyme focaccia is a must make. Easy, so tasty and perfect for nibbling, dipping, and sandwich-making. Believe me, you want to try it.
Like making bread? Try these other tasty recipes:
- Japanese milk bread
- Sourdough rye bread
- Spelt rolls
- Fig and walnut bread
- Plus I love the sound of Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories BLT focaccia.
- And get more side dishes in the archives.
Lemon thyme focaccia
- ¼ oz dried active yeast 7g, 1 packet (instant yeast)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ cup water 300ml, warm
- 4 cups all purpose flour 480g plain flour
- ¼ cup olive oil 4 tbsp (for dough)
- 1 tsp fresh thyme chopped, plus more for top, or approx ½ tsp dry
- ½ lemon zest ie zest from ½ lemon or 1 if small
- ½ tsp salt or up to 1tsp max
- 1 tbsp olive oil (for baking)
- Mix yeast, sugar and water so that the sugar and yeast dissolve then allow to sit until the mixture bubbles, around 5-10min.
- Meanwhile, mIx flours, thyme, lemon zest and once bubbled-up, add the yeast water. Mix to combine, tip out onto a floured surface and knead for around 5 min (stretching the dough out, folding over, turning 90 degrees and repeating) until the dough is no longer sticky.
- Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough in and leave to prove for around 1 hour until it has doubled in size.
- Tip out the dough, press down to take out the air, divide in two (if you want two loaves, as I'd suggest) and stretch them out relatively flat. Form slightly as you prefer. You can also form directly on the baking sheet/tray.
- Lay on oiled baking sheet/tray(s), either tossing in the oil or drizzling a little more on top to get on both sides. Allow to rise again for around 20min.
- Preheat oven to 425F/210C.
- Make finger marks on top, sprinkle on some more thyme, and a little salt, and drizzle over a little more oil so it sits in the dimples.
- Bake for approx 20min until golden on top and it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool a few minutes before cutting.
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