Saturday, March 27, 2010

Avocado Focaccia

We had a farewell lunch party at work yesterday. It was last working day for two of my colleagues and we were told that it would be a pizza party. I have stopped eating pizza for some time now. I am not vegan, but I don't eat any of the hard cheeses. I had packed my lunch since I knew I won't be able to get anything from there. But, the secretary who is so kind insisted I go through the menu and order something. Menu indeed had Focaccia and I asked her to order me one slice with vegetables as toppings instead of just olive oil and herbs. She did the best she could and ordered a vegetable focaccia.

The pizza delivery guy comes and there are 4 boxes of pizza and one box with the name focaccia. I went and opened it to see what vegetables he had given. It was two thin crusts of pizza put together as a sandwich. Wait, let me tell you what was the filling between the two. It was pepperoni and on the top was tomatoes and lettuce. I burst out laughing saying it is not focaccia. Long story short, she had to re-order asking for a vegetable pizza without cheese and that was something that I could eat. On the way back, I was thinking of making some. I have made many types of focaccia before and I have posted an easy one here. I wanted to try something different. I had just one Avocado waiting to be used and I used that and the end product was really good. I might use a jelly roll pan next time since the dough was too much for a cast iron pan and it kind of made a crown on the top which was delicious and crunchy by the way.

Here goes the recipe..

  • Bread flour - 3 1/2 cups to 3 3/4 cups (Depending on how big Avocado is)
  • Avocado - 1 ripe medium size
  • Olive oil - 2 TBSP for the dough and more for topping
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Red chilli flakes - 2 tsp
  • Cayanne pepper powder - 1 tsp
  • Warm Water - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 2 TBSP
  • Active dry yeast - 2 1/2 tsp

For the topping:
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Red Onion - 1 medium sliced thin 
  • Red chilli flakes - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste
  • Garlic - 2 pods sliced
  • Cilantro - 2 TBSP chopped

I used a breadmachine to make the dough. You can knead the dough by hand and knead it for 10 minutes and let it rise once and the punch down and place it on the prepared pan. I placed all the ingredients mentioned (not the topping ingredients) in the bread machine pan and selected dough cycle. Meanwhile, heat a tsp of olive oil in a pan and saute onions and garlic. Add salt, chilli flakes and cook till they brown. Set aside.
When the bread machine cycle is complete (The dough has doubled in bulk after manual knead), Place it on a greased 12" cast iron skillet. (I made a mistake of using 10" which was small for this much of dough) You can use a 10 X 15 jelly roll pan instead. Spread the dough to cover the pan and dimple the dough with your fingers. Pour the topping as evenly as possible on the dough and cover and let rise for another 30 - 40 minutes in warm place. (I turn the oven to warm and turn it off and place the dough in the oven to rise)

Towards the end of the rise time, preheat the oven to 375F. Place a shallow dish or cookie sheet in the bottom most rack. When the oven is preheated, drizzle 1 - 2 TBSP of olive oil on the top of the dough and place it in the oven. Immediately, pour about a cup of hot water into the shallow pan you have placed in the bottom rack. Bake for 20 minutes. Open the oven door and remove the shallow pan with water in it. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F and bake for another 15 minutes or till golden. If the top is getting brown too soon, cover with aluminum foil and continue to bake till it is done and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and transfer to the wire rack to cool completely. It makes a very delicious focaccia.

I am sending this to Susan's 'Yeast Spotting' hosted here.   

Have a good weekend,
Happy Baking!! Pin It


  1. wow !! its looking so tempting..instead of bread flour can we use any other flour ??

  2. Your avocado focaccia looks great and fulfiling. Very good Pics.


  3. Wow..have book marked this..Will make it defiently...something new for me

  4. Lovely focassia. Lovely the topping choices! The end-result is looking awesome!

  5. Lovely & yummy foccasia, loved the final result, texture & toppings of this bread..

  6. Sonu,
    Bread flour is a high gluten flour suitable for as the name says Bread. You could use just all purpose flour or maida and still get beautiful results. Bread flour is expensive compared to all purpose flour and I have even tried baking with all purpose flour but add some vital wheat gluten and the result is same as bread flour, much cheaper.

  7. I love focaccia, its been a long i prepared them..Avocado focaccia looks awesome and lovely toppings..

  8. Avacado focaccia looks tasty and fab!!

  9. This looks so beautiful with those crispy onions on the top!!!

  10. Hi,this avocado focacia really looks very delicious,beutiful pics and lovely narration.

  11. Nice idea to use avocado. I am yet to try your other breads..Been baking buns after buns :)

    Made a coconut filling instead of potato palya this weekend. It was yum..

  12. Hi, Lately I have been seeing a lot of blogers using avocado to make bread. I glad you got your veggie pizza and got inspired to create this focaccia.

  13. Looks beautiful and tempting...

  14. Champa, I love using avocado as a fat substitute in breads. This is an intriguing recipe-- I don't have a bread machine, and I've never thought of getting one before. Apart from the convenience, do you find it does a better job overall in the quality of the bread?

  15. Vaishali,
    Bread machine kneads the dough so well that the gluten gets formed very well and that yields better loaves. Also, it avoids adding too much of flour to make it handle and that gives more moist loaves. I have seen your avocado brioche and that looks awesome too.

  16. I love this focaccia! It's so original!

  17. Champa, that looks very tempting. I was reading an artisan bread book recently and the recipe was complex to make focaccia... I wonder how difgerent that would be from your wonderful looking bread. I have couple of question. That book suggests to always use instant yeast instant of active dry yeast. In your experience has there been any difference between the two? What other kind of toppings would you suggest?

  18. Swapna,
    I use instant yeast all the time. Only difference between the active dry yeast and instant yeast is, you don't need to proof the instant yeast. You can mix it with dry ingredients and since the granules are so small, they start working just fine. They also make the dough raise faster than the active dry yeast. Read my post about yeast basics.
    You can use any toppings that you like. My favorites are onions, olives and sometimes jalapenos, sun dried tomatoes. Treat it like pizza sans sauce and cheese.


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