Za’atar and Olive Focaccia Recipe


The Stuff:

  • 2¼ tsp (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1¾ cups warm water (105°-110°F)
  • 5 cups (600 grams) bread flour + more as needed
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, Diamond brand (use less if using table salt or Morton brand)
  • 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided + more as needed
  • ½ cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 Tbsp Never Not Eating Za’atar, or more to taste
  • Flakey salt, to taste


The Method:

  1. Dissolve the yeast with sugar in the warm water, and allow it to sit for 10 minutes, or until the mixture looks foamy and bubbly.
  2. If using a measuring cup instead of a scale, spoon flour into the measuring cup and then level it off with the back of a knife. Add the flour and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Alternatively, you can make this dough by hand, but note that the dough is on the sticky side.
  3. Add the water and yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the flour mixture. Turn the mixer to stir, and allow it to mix until a shaggy dough is just formed. Turn the stand mixer up to medium for 5-6 minutes, or until a smooth, soft, and elastic dough forms. It is ok if it is a little sticky, if it isn’t forming a cohesive dough at all, you can add a little more flour a spoonful at a time. Remove the dough from the mixer, gently form into a ball, and transfer to a well-oiled bowl; turn the dough in the bowl so that all sides have touched the oil. Cover the dough with a lightly oiled peace of plastic wrap, and then cover everything with a kitchen towel. Place the covered dough in a warm part of the kitchen and allow the dough to rise until doubled in size, about 1½-2 hours.
  4. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a rimmed baking sheet. Punch down the dough that has risen in the bowl, then transfer it to the baking sheet. Gently press the dough into the edges of the baking sheet to form a rectangular shape, and flip it over so that both sides of the dough are equally covered in the oil. Press your fingertips deeply into each part of the dough, making dimples and helping the dough hold its shape. Cover the dough loosely with a well-oiled piece of plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again for 45 minutes to an hour. While the dough is rising again, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  5. Before baking, top the dough with the olives, za’atar, and a generous sprinkle of flake salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown with a crisp crust.
  6. Once out of the oven, drizzle with more olive oil and allow to cool slightly before serving.

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