The prettiest pink and most marvelously magenta no-knead beet-a-licious focaccia! The beets add a sweet earthiness and it’s brined-before-baked making for a perfectly chewy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside focaccia that’s full of fabulously colorful flair!
ALL YA NEED IS: flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, honey, vinegar, olive oil, water – that’s it!
If you’ve been following my Instagram adventures lately, you know I’ve been quasi obsessed with making beet-a-vicious focaccia ever since I laid eyes on Carolina Gelen's fab creation! Been experimenting with all sorts of focaccia making ways; from how it’s made, to what it’s made with (to fermenting times and more. And this unofficially yet very rigorous focaccia research let to me Samin Nostrat & Diego making Ligurian focaccia on Netflix.
Let’s just say I’m *officially* on team brine-your-focaccia ALL THE WAYYYYYY!!!
THAT FABULOUS COLOR!
Is au natural and from roasted and pureed beets. Gotta love that natural coloring agent that’s beet juice! Sometimes the hue is pinker. Sometimes it’s more purple. That’s what happens when ya work with a natural coloring agent; the exact shade is a bit variable but always fabulous!
3 different roasted beet focaccia doughs = 3 diffident shades of pink/purple!
That’s a brined and long fermented focaccia from the north western region of Italy, called Liguria. Traditionally, a salt and water mixture is poured over the dough before the final rise then baked (gasp! Pouring water over dough?! Have ya ever heard of such a thang?!).
I riffed on the classic brine and added some white vinegar to preserve our precious beet color (spoiler alert: much color is lost in da oven).
Love how the brine settles into the cutie dimples and the vinegar turns a hot pretty pink!
Note: The dough will look wet, like really, really, really wet and that’s alrighty! The brine adds a divine saltiness to your crispy crust!
Key Ingredients: yeast, flour, salt, olive oil
All-purpose flour: stick with it. Save your fancy flours for other recipes.
Olive oil: use your good stuff; the flavor really comes through. And it’s an olive oil bread after all.
Diamond kosher salt: worth seeking out if ya can. Otherwise modify salt quantity to accommodate your variety.
Top the dough with fresh or dried herbs, edible flowers, or anything else your heart desires.
Just remember to plan in advance cause this beauty needs to rest overnight (don’t we all?!) and have fun in the process!
And don't be too bummed when a open to the oven door to find the pretty pink and marvelous magenta color significantly dimmed... it's still super delicious!
Have ya tried this recipe? I’d love to hear about it and see it too! Please leave a comment below and take a pic and tag it on Instagram with @DanielaGerson. You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest to see more colorfully delicious food and all sorts of awesome adventures!
Let's make waves in the kitchen!
For the Beet Puree
- 4 medium beets roasted, cooled, and skinned
- 1/4 - 3/4 cup of water
For the Dough:
- 2½ cups lukewarm water
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2½ teaspoons honey
- 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt or 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 10-11 tablespoons olive oil; divided for dough, pan and finishing
- Flaky salt for finishing
For the Brine:
- 1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- ⅓ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
- Chop roasted and skinned beets and puree beats in a blender, adding water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until mixture is completely smooth. Measure out 1.5 cups and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine water, yeast, and honey; stir until dissolved. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add the yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and 1.5 cups of beet puree. Stir until flour is just incorporated. Dough will be very wet, and no kneading is necessary. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Leave out at room temperature to ferment until at least doubled in volume; 12 -14 hours (rising time will vary considerably depending on the season).
- When ready to bake, spread 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil onto an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Using a spatula or your hands, gently fold dough onto itself and transfer onto the prepared pan. Pour an additional 2 tablespoons of olive oil over dough and gently stretch it to the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath and pulling outward. The dough will keep shrinking, so repeat and stretch once or twice over the course of 30 minutes until it’s fully stretched out and completely covers the pan.
- To dimple the dough, use oiled fingertips and pressing the pads of your first three fingers in at an angle.
- To make the brine, stir the salt, water, and vinegar together until the salt has dissolved. Pour the brine over the dough to fill dimples and set aside at room temperature for the final proof, until the dough is light and bubbly, about 45 minutes.
- 30 minutes into this final proof (15 minutes before baking), adjust oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone, place it on rack. Otherwise, invert another sturdy baking sheet and place on rack. Allow to preheat with the oven until very hot, before proceeding with baking.
- When ready to bake, sprinkle focaccia with flaky salt, to taste (remember there’s also salt in the brine).
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, directly on top of stone or inverted pan, until the bottom crust looks golden brown and crispy. To finish browning top crust, place focaccia on upper rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more.
- Remove from oven and brush with 2-3 more tablespoons of olive oil over the entire surface. Let cool for 5 minutes (the oil will absorb into the bread as it sits). Serve warm or at room temperature.