Strawberry Basil Focaccia Bread.
Hello new favorite summer bread! It’s strawberry focaccia and I am all about it.
And the first strawberry recipe of the season is out of the gate!
Okay so I might have, like, ten strawberry recipes for you this year. I CAN’T HELP IT.
They’ve been my favorite fruit for as long as I’ve been eating fruit.
Strawberry has also always been my go-to flavor. We’re talking artificial flavors, of course. While both of my brothers worshipped at the altar of anything cherry, I was strawberry all the way. Cherry tasted like cough syrup and I just couldn’t do it.
Sure, that’s changed and now I do like cherry. BUT I LOVE STRAWBERRY. Forever and ever. Amen.
And I 100% am the person who leaves behind all of the grape popsicles. Never could get into grape.
This year, I have been living for savory strawberry recipes. Yes, I have two sweet ones to share with you too (one is actually from last year… it’s a long story, haha), but I’ve been craving savory recipes where strawberries are just part of the bunch. Where they add a hint of sweetness.
Sort of like this strawberry pizza that may have freaked you out.
And like this focaccia!
Okay – they might add more than a hint of sweetness. But it’s in a really good way. The focaccia bread is still chewy and salty – oh and especially those crispy, crunchy edges?! Live for them.
I threw a ton of basil on top. I was already hooked on the idea of strawberry basil focaccia. Then I googled strawberry focaccia to make sure it wasn’t completely over done. And I saw saveur had added caramelized onions to a strawberry focaccia, knew I’d love it since I did it on pizza, so I had to add caramelized onions to my strawberry focaccia!
Yes, the obsession with this bread is still going. Last year I made a grilled focaccia and I still dream about that. Honestly might make it this weekend because it’s incredible. And of course – pretzel focaccia! I don’t even want to think about it because it’s unreal.
I’m excited to add this one to the bunch. It’s chewy, salty, sweet and has the most refreshing bite from the herbs. Serve it as an appetizer, a snack, a side dish at dinner… whatever you like!
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 5 cups all-purpose flour plus more for your workspace
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more for sprinkling
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 ½ cups sliced strawberries
- flaked salt, for sprinkling
- 1 big handful of basil leaves, thinly sliced or torn
In a bowl, stir together the water, yeast and honey. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes until foamy.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the flour, 1 tablespoon of salt, 1/2 cup of olive oil and the yeast mixture. Stir, using the dough hook, until the mixture comes together. Knead it on medium-low speed for 5 to 6 minutes. If it's super sticky, sprinkle in a bit of extra flour. You want it to be silky!
Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it. Place it in a warm spot and let it rise for 1 hour, or until it's doubled in size.
After it's doubled, place the remaining oil in a 15 1/2 x 10 inch jelly roll sheet pan. Place the dough in the sheet pan and turn it over to cover it in the oil once, then press and spread it until it fits in the pan (or almost fits in the pan. it's going to rise again!). While doing this, press to make finger marks in the dough so it looks like traditional focaccia. Cover the sheet pan and place the dough back in a warm place to rise for another hour.
While it’s doing the second rise, heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add the butter. Stir in the onions with a pinch of salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often, until softened. Stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until caramely.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Uncover the pan and cover the bread with the caramelized onions and thinly sliced strawberries. Sprinkle with a pinch of flaked salt. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake the bread for 15 to 20 minutes, until it's golden and toasty. Remove from the oven and let it cool. Top with fresh sliced basil and cut into pieces. Serve!
You can make this ahead of time and slice right before serving. You can reheat in a low temp oven (like 250) for a few minutes before eating.
It’s like savory dessert focaccia!