So, if you have Netflix and are even remotely interested in eating or cooking food, I’m guessing you’re very familiar with the series Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat. It’s the Netflix series that follows the same format as the cookbook from Samin Nosrat that focuses on each of the four elements of good cooking.
Each episode focuses on one of the four elements, and I know I’m not alone in saying the focaccia making on the episode on Fat (which focuses on things like olive oil and slow roasted porchetta) was simply mesmerizing. The way she described the focaccia and the process for preparing it and baking it was captivating.
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The cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is highly worth investing in for any aspiring home cook. It breaks down each of the four elements in fun and informative detail (there’s a reason the drawings themselves are sold as prints). The book focuses less on specific recipes and more on how to cook certain things and why.
It’s the type of cookbook that could sit on your nightstand instead of your kitchen counter. You rely less on a following a recipe to the T, but you wake up in the morning with lots of inspiration for what to cook that day and confidence on how to approach it.
But given the format, the Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook doesn’t have the recipes Samin cooks on the show. So no epic olive oil focaccia recipe to be found here. Lucky for us, the Salt Fat Acid Heat website DOES have all the recipes cooked on the show, so when my friend sent it to me before she came down to visit for the weekend, I knew there was going to be some serious bread making going on.
And guys, let me tell you – the focaccia from Salt Fat Acid Heat DID NOT disappoint. At all. It was perfectly salty and olive oil-y with an addictively crispy crust and soft air pockets for days.
My husband, who tends to be less verbose than me, described it best: “Dang! This is good as sh*t!”
I personally love focaccia that is topped with other ingredients, so I did some experimenting with the original recipe to come up with this Garlic Scape & Onion Focaccia. I’ve made it twice now in two weeks because it is so damn good, and I’m here to break down for you exactly how to make it. Because everyone should be able to experience this focaccia.
How to Make Garlic Scape & Spring Onion Focaccia
The first thing to note about making this focaccia or any variation of it is that it takes time. It’s hands-off time, but it’s time nonetheless, so you need to plan accordingly. After the dough is mixed it needs to rest for 12-14 hours, though I went a little longer than that with one batch and it was fine as well.
My suggestion is to prepare the dough the night before you’re going to bake the garlic and onion focaccia so it can rest for the 12-14 hours overnight. You’re literally making bread in your sleep!
The second thing worth talking about is your ingredients. This recipe calls for a good amount of olive oil, and I recommend breaking out the good stuff for this recipe. Good olive oil actually has a taste, and it shines through in this onion focaccia. At the very least, use really good olive oil at the very end, when you brush it on the hot freshly baked crust.
Plus, olive oil goes bad! So use the good stuff when you buy it. This is a perfect recipe to do just that.
The addition of garlic scapes and sliced spring onion takes this focaccia to new heights. If you’re not familiar, garlic scapes are the flowering stem of garlic bulbs. They’re removed when garlic is growing so the plant focuses on the bulb production instead of flowering. They have a mellower, grassier flavor compared to the garlic cloves.
When garlic scapes are cooked they mellow out even more and get slightly sweet, reminiscent of roasted garlic. And coarsely chopped roasted garlic is exactly what I would use in place of garlic scapes if you can’t find them (check your farmers’ markets in late spring!) or if they’re out of season. Very thinly sliced garlic cloves would also work well for a stronger garlic flavor.
Next up is the spring onion in the Garlic Scape & Spring Onion Focaccia. Spring onions are slightly more bulbous than green onions and have a stronger flavor. You can substitute green onions (for a milder flavor) or shallots (for a stronger onion flavor as well).
And the last note is on flour. Use regular, all-purpose flour for this recipe. Brad and Samin elaborate in this Bon Appetit video, but the gist is that whole wheat flour or anything other than all-purpose will require more water. If you use the ratios as they are written with any other type of flour, your focaccia will not be as soft and moist as the onion focaccia you see here.
I tested this inadvertently because I was running low on all-purpose flour and found that even 1 cup of whole wheat flour changed the texture of the bread. So don’t get fancy here!
Making the Focaccia Dough
Making the dough for this garlic scape and onion focaccia is very easy. I tried this two ways, once with garlic scapes and sliced spring onion directly mixed in the dough and once with them only on the top of the dough pre-baking. Both turned out well, but I liked the extra savory kick and sweet onion pockets when the onions and garlic were baked directly in and on top of the focaccia.
To make the dough, you dissolve dry active yeast into warm water and honey (yeast <3’s sugar) then add that to the flour, salt, garlic scapes, spring onion, and olive oil.
Mix the dough in a REALLY big bowl. This focaccia dough gets big. After you mix it, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and place it to rest in a warmish place (don’t put it in front of an AC vent or a draft window for example).
After 12-14 hours your garlic and onion focaccia dough should be more than doubled in size and nice and pillowy looking. At this point, you can start shaping the dough. You first need to coat a 10″x13″ baking sheet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Use a little extra if it feels like too thin of a layer.
Once you have an olive oil coated baking sheet, you turn out your dough onto the baking sheet handling it as little as possible. The more you handle the dough here, the more you will lose the air you got from your first rise.
Over the course of the next half an hour or so, you’ll stretch the focaccia dough intermittently until it fills the pan without springing back in on itself. Waiting allows the gluten to relax and you can stretch it more easily.
The Final Proof
After the focaccia dough has relaxed and stretched to fit the baking sheet, you’re ready for the final proof. Add a coating of garlic scapes and spring onions and make those signature dimples in the garlic and onion focaccia by pressing your fingers firmly into the dough.
The key to this final proof is then adding the salt water brine to the top of the dough. To make this, just dissolve the kosher salt in warm water and pour it over the top of the dimpled focaccia dough. You’ll want to sprinkle it with flaky sea salt for extra oomph.
Finally, you’ll crank up your oven to 450 to thoroughly preheat and let your garlic scape and spring onion focaccia masterpiece proof for 45 minutes.
Baking the Focaccia
The crust MAKES this focaccia, and to achieve the perfectly crisp exterior you want to bake your focaccia on a very hot surface in a very hot oven. So, if you have a pizza stone or baking steel add it to the middle rack of your oven and preheat it along with the oven to 450 while the focaccia dough proofs (30 min at least).
Preheating the oven and baking surface this way allows the focaccia to start baking over high heat as soon as it goes into the oven, and BOOM – your crispy crust is born.
After 25 minutes of baking on the pizza stone in the middle rack, you’ll move the focaccia to the upper rack for 7-9 minutes or until the top gets browned and crispy too. This is what focaccia dreams are made of.
The Finishing Touches
After your onion focaccia is done baking, remove it from the oven and brush it immediately with 2 tbsp of olive oil. Yes, it seems like a lot. Yes, it is worth it. The focaccia drinks the olive oil up like a sponge and creates a beautiful sheen and extra intense olive oil flavor.
Let the focaccia sit in the baking sheet for 5 minutes or so to soak up the olive oil, then cool it on a wire rack. Test your self-control by seeing how long you can go without tearing off a piece. (Hint: it’s not long).
Serve this garlic scape and spring onion focaccia with just about anything. Or devour it on its own. I’m not judging.
A note on leftovers
Samin suggests storing leftover of this focaccia wrapped in parchment paper and in ziploc bags. I actually preferred the focaccia stored back on the baking sheet with foil over top. But neither option held a candle to the focaccia the day it was baked.
If you do end up having leftovers, I recommend restoring the focaccia by slicing and toasting it or reheating it quickly in the microwave. That will breathe some of the life back into the focaccia, but it still won’t be as good as the day it’s baked.
I sliced my focaccia in half, toasted it, and smeared goat cheese over the top and it was near perfection. The tangy goat cheese with the olive oil in the focaccia was everything.
Garlic Scape & Spring Onion Focaccia
Inspired by the focaccia from Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat – this Garlic Scape & Spring Onion Focaccia takes this recipe to the next level! Perfectly savory, crunchy, and soft you'll want to make this on repeat.
For the Dough
- 2 ½ cups warm water
- 2 ½ tsp honey
- ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 5 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp thinly sliced garlic scapes divided
- 4 tbsp thinly sliced spring onions divided
- ¼ cup + 3 tbsp, extra virgin olive oil divided
- Flaky sea salt to finish
For the Brine
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- ⅓ cup warm water
To Make the Dough
Dissolve active dry yeast in warm water and honey and stir to dissolve
Add water and yeast mixture to 5 1/3 cups flour, 2 tbsp kosher salt, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp garlic scapes, and 2 tbsp spring onions and mix in a very large mixing bowl.
Cover the dough in the bowl with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and let rise for 12-14 hours or until it is doubled in size
To Shape the Dough
After the dough has risen, coat a baking sheet with 1-1 1/2 tbsp olive oil and turn out the dough onto the baking sheet.
Stretch the dough to fit the baking sheet. It will likely spring back. Wait 10-15 minutes and stretch again until the dough fills the pan without springing back .
Toss an additional 2 tbsp garlic scapes and 2 tbsp spring onions over top of the dough. Press firmly into the dough with your fingers to create dimples.
To Proof the Dough
Prepare the brine by dissolving 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt in 1/3 cup warm water. Pour the brine over the dimpled focaccia dough, sprinkle flaky sea salt on top and let the dough proof for 45 minutes
While the dough proofs, preheat the oven to 450 and add a baking steel or pizza stone to the middle rack of the oven. Make sure the oven preheats with the baking steel or pizza stone for at least 30 minutes.
To Bake and Finish the Focaccia
After 45 minutes of proofing and preheating the oven, bake the baking sheet of focaccia directly on the baking steel or pizza stone for 25 minutes
After 25 minutes move the focaccia to the top rack of the oven to brown the top. Bake for 7-9 minutes more.
Remove the focaccia from the oven when the top is sufficiently browned and brush with 2 tbsp olive oil. Let sit for 5 minutes
After 5 minutes remove the focaccia from the baking sheet and place it on a wire rack to cool