Focaccia with olives and za'atar lies sliced on a board.
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Focaccia with olives & za’atar

Focaccia with olives and za’atar is something very special. It unites two culinary regions: the Levant and Italy. On the one hand, you get super moist and fluffy focaccia bread and on the other, the famous Levant Za’atar spice mix on top. This recipe is simple and sure to succeed! Try the classic in a completely new way.

Focaccia is a dream of bread

Focaccia is a flatbread from Liguria, a region in the northwest of Italy. The bread is world-famous, especially for its rich flavor, which it gets thanks to a whole lot of good olive oil. Focaccia is therefore an absolute classic of Italian cuisine for good reason.

The bread consists of a rather moist yeast dough that requires a long resting time. The olive oil gives focaccia its extra kick of flavor. An absolute dream!

Sliced focaccia with olives and za'atar

Focaccia with a touch of Levante

I top my focaccia with aromatic olives and a good portion of the Levantine spice mix za’atar. The mixture of super moist and fluffy flatbread, olive oil and olives really goes extremely well together.

Za'atar in a light-colored bowl stands next to a bowl of green olives.

Incidentally, this recipe for focaccia with olives and za’atar is inspired by Lebanese manakish. These are also flatbreads, which are traditionally spread with olive oil and za’atar. However, Manakish are rather thin, like a pizza. Interestingly, focaccia is even seen as the predecessor of the classic pizza.

What you need for succulent focaccia with olives & za’atar

The best thing about the tastiest things is that you don’t need many ingredients. Here are the ingredients you need for my focaccia recipe. You will find the exact quantities below in the recipe card.

All you need for the dough is:

  • Wheat flour (type 550)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Dry yeast (but you can also use fresh yeast)
  • Olive oil (for spreading)

For the topping you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Olives
  • Za’atar
  • To taste: Pinch of salt
A light-colored bowl filled with green olives.

Knead & fold: How to easily prepare focaccia

Basically, preparing focaccia with olives is very simple. However, the yeast dough needs time to rise properly. Plan to walk for at least 8 hours.

Especially at the beginning, it is important to stretch and fold the dough, which is actually very moist. Here you will find an overview. You can find the exact instructions with the times and temperatures in the recipe card below.

Prepare the dough

Focaccia dough in a dark bowl.
  1. First, mix the water with a little yeast and leave to stand for a short time.
  2. Then mix all the ingredients for the dough and knead into a very moist and sticky dough.
  3. Oil a mold properly. The dough should rest in it. Now place the dough in this tin and brush it with plenty of olive oil to prevent it from drying out. The dough is then allowed to rise slowly.
Focaccia dough in a transparent container.
  1. While the dough is rising, it should be folded and stretched 2-4 times. To do this, simply reach under one end of the dough with wet hands, pull the dough up and fold it over the rest of the dough. Repeat on the remaining 3 sides and cover the dough again.
Focaccia dough is raised.
Focaccia dough is folded.
Focaccia dough is folded.
A stretched and folded dough is placed in a container.
  1. After stretching and folding, cover the dough airtight and leave to rise overnight in the fridge or at room temperature. In summer, however, it is better to put the dough in the fridge and take it out of the fridge approx. 2 hours before further processing and bring it to room temperature.
  2. Once the dough has risen sufficiently, you can place it in a baking tin coated with plenty of olive oil.
Focaccia dough in a baking dish.
  1. Then you should pour plenty of olive oil over the dough and make indentations in the dough with your fingers. The delicious olive oil then collects in the hollows.
Focaccia dough was covered with olive oil.
Make indentations in the focaccia dough with your fingers.
  1. Now press the olives into the dough and sprinkle with za’atar.
Green olives are pressed into the focaccia dough.
Za'atar was sprinkled on the focaccia that was still to be baked.
  1. Finally, all you have to do is bake the olive focaccia. It is crispy on the outside and super fluffy and juicy on the inside.
Baked focaccia with olives and za'atar on a light-colored board.

An absolute delight: how to eat olive focaccia

Personally, I could eat the freshly baked bread straight away while it’s still warm. There is already enough flavor. You have fresh bread, the best olive oil, aromatic olives and delicious za’atar. A mixture that is heavenly in itself.

You can also slice the flatbread and top it with fresh tomatoes, a little mozzarella or burrata and some mortadella, for example. Then you have the perfect sandwich.

I have another tip for you: In my opinion, the Lebanese cream cheese labneh is the perfect dip for this olive focaccia.

Labneh cream cheese from the Levant

The bread tastes best fresh, of course, but you can also keep it in aluminum foil or bread paper in the fridge for a few days.

In any case, I hope you enjoy trying out the recipe and, of course, bon appétit.

Feel free to let me know in the comments how you liked it.


Recipe for focaccia with olives and za’atar

Focaccia mit Oliven und Za'atar angeschnitten auf einem Brett serviert.
Print Recipe Rezept speichern
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Resting time 12 hours
Servings 8 Slices
Calories 305

Equipment

Ingredients

For the batter

  • 500 g Wheat flour type 550
  • 370 ml Water
  • 8 g Salt
  • 3 g Dry yeast
  • 2 Tablespoon Olive oil

For the topping

  • 80 g Olives
  • 4 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 3 Teaspoon Za'atar

Zubereitung

  • Dissolve the yeast in the water, stir in 2 tablespoons of the flour until smooth and leave to rest for approx. 10 minutes.
  • Mix the salt and flour in a bowl.
  • Grease the casserole dish with 1 tablespoon of oil.
  • Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and knead into a smooth dough using a food processor or your hands. The dough is very moist, making it difficult to shape into a ball.
  • Place the dough in the oiled tin, brush with 1 tablespoon of oil to prevent it from drying out, cover with foil or a fresh kitchen towel and leave to rise at room temperature for approx. 2 hours.
  • While the dough is rising, it should be folded and stretched 2-4 times – i.e. approx. every 30 minutes or 1 per hour. To do this, reach under one end of the dough with wet hands, pull the dough up and fold it over the remaining dough. Repeat on the other 3 sides and cover the dough again.
  • After stretching and folding, cover the dough airtight and leave to rise overnight in the fridge or at room temperature. In summer, it is better to put it in the fridge, take it out of the fridge approx. 2 hours before further processing and bring it to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 200°C fan. Halve the olives.
  • Pour the remaining olive oil over the dough and gently press into the dough with your fingers. Alternatively, you can mix the oil with the za'atar and spread over the dough.
  • Top with olives and za'atar and bake in the oven for approx. 25-30 minutes until golden and crispy.
  • To serve, cut the focaccia with olives and za'atar into thick slices.

Notes

Recipe contains affiliate links.

Nährwerte

Calories: 305kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 548mg | Potassium: 78mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.2g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 23mg | Iron: 3mg

Would you like to try some classic Levantine breads? Then I recommend the sesame bread or the Cypriot olive bread.

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