No-Knead Beetroot Focaccia
This beautifully pink loaf is absolutely delicious and much easier to make than you might think. No kneading and no fancy equipment required! Enjoy it plain or top it with your favourite topping(s).
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Total Time: 8 hours
- Yield: 12 1x
- 650 g beetroot, raw, peeled and quartered
- 500 ml water
- 7 g yeast, fast active dried yeast
- 1 tbsp honey, runny
- 675 g white bread flour, strong
- 10 g sea salt, fine
- 6 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil, high-quality, divided
- butter, for greasing, or greaseproof paper
- Blend the beetroot with the water then press the mixture through a sieve to get the beetroot juice. You’ll need 500ml.
- Heat the beetroot juice in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat until lukewarm then transfer to a large bowl.
- Whisk in the yeast and honey and let sit for 5 minutes. It should get foamy, or at the very least, creamy. If it doesn’t, your yeast is dead and you’ll need to start again with fresher yeast.
- Add the flour and salt and mix with a rubber spatula (or wooden spoon) until a shaggy dough forms and there are no dry streaks. It should look and feel wet and sticky. Wet dough = super fluffy focaccia!
- Pour 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a large bowl – emphasis on large, the dough will rise a lot! Transfer the dough to the bowl and turn to coat in the oil.
- Cover with cling film and let sit at room temperature for 4 hours, or until doubled in size. It should look very bubbly. For an even more flavourful focaccia, cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate it for 8 to 12 hours.
- Line a 38cm x 26cm (approx.) roasting tin with greaseproof paper or grease generously with butter. This step might seem excessive, given the amount of olive oil this recipe calls for, but helps prevent sticking, especially if you’re using a glass dish. Pour 1 tbsp olive in the centre of the tin.
- Back to the dough. It should now be wet, bubbly and very fluffy. We’re now going to deflate the dough using a technique I learned from @alexandracooks. Using two forks, release the dough from one side of the bowl and pull it up and over into the middle of the bowl. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat. Do this two more times – this will help deflate the dough and form it into a rough ball.
- Using your hands, transfer the dough to the prepared baking tin. Pour any oil left in the bowl over the dough and turn to coat in the oil. Cover and let rise in a dry, warm place for 2 to 4 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Place a rack in the middle of your oven and heat it to 220C.
- To check if the dough is ready to bake, press it gently with your finger. If ready, it will leave a small indentation that slowly springs back.
- When the dough is ready to bake, lightly oil your fingers and dimple the focaccia all over, stretching the dough to fill the dish (if necessary). You want to be aggressive with the dimpling – the goal is to create lots of deep dimples.
- Bake the focaccia for 25 to 30 minutes, or crisp and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Cut into squares and serve warm – enjoy!