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Za'atar & Olive Focaccia: A Mediterranean Delight


By Let's Cook Published 2 months ago 3 min read

Focaccia has always been my go-to bread for both baking and eating. Its versatility and rich, flavorful profile make it a beloved staple in many kitchens. Today, I’m excited to share with you my favorite focaccia recipe, enhanced with the aromatic blend of za’atar and the briny taste of green olives. This combination not only elevates the bread but also brings a touch of the Mediterranean to your table. Keep reading to find out the delightful dip I paired with this beautiful bread.

Interested in more healthy vegan recipes? Click here.


500g bread flour

10g sugar

7g instant yeast

10g salt

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

420ml warm water

Extra virgin olive oil (for coating and drizzling)

Za’atar (a blend of thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt)

Flaky sea salt

Green pitted olives


Mixing the Dough:

Start by combining the warm water, salt, sugar, yeast, and olive oil in a large mixing bowl. Stir until the yeast is dissolved and the mixture is well combined. Gradually add the bread flour to the mixture, stirring continuously to form a sticky dough.

Initial Rest:

Clean down the sides of the bowl to ensure all ingredients are well incorporated. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 10 minutes. This initial rest helps to hydrate the flour and starts the gluten development process.

Stretch and Fold:

After the initial rest, begin the process of stretching and folding the dough. Perform four rounds of stretches and folds, with each round spaced 10 minutes apart. This technique involves pulling one side of the dough up and folding it over the rest of the dough, rotating the bowl slightly with each fold. This step helps to strengthen the dough and develop its structure.

Rising Time:

Once the stretching and folding are complete, cover the bowl again and let the dough rise for 30 minutes. The dough should show some signs of rising but won’t have doubled in size yet.

Shaping the Dough:

Prepare a 9x13 inch baking dish by coating it generously with extra virgin olive oil. If you know your dish tends to stick, you can also line it with parchment paper. Transfer the dough to the prepared dish and gently stretch it towards the corners. Be careful not to deflate the dough too much during this process.

Final Rise:

Cover the dough and let it rise for an additional two hours, or until it has doubled in size. This final rise allows the dough to develop a light and airy texture.

Dimpling and Topping:

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Once the dough has risen, it’s time for the most fun part: dimpling! Generously coat the surface of the dough with extra virgin olive oil, then use your fingers to create deep dimples all over the surface. Sprinkle za’atar generously over the top, followed by flaky sea salt. Finally, push green pitted olives into some of the dimples, ensuring they are well embedded in the dough.


Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped. The aroma of za’atar and olives will fill your kitchen, making the wait worthwhile.

Interested in more healthy vegan recipes? Click here.


Once baked, allow the focaccia to cool slightly before slicing it up. The exterior will be beautifully crisp, while the interior remains soft and fluffy. This za’atar and olive focaccia is perfect on its own or paired with a delicious dip.

The Perfect Accompaniment: A Flavorful Dip

To complement the flavors of the za’atar and olive focaccia, I recommend a creamy garlic and herb yogurt dip. Simply mix Greek yogurt with minced garlic, fresh chopped herbs (such as parsley, dill, and mint), a squeeze of lemon juice, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This dip adds a refreshing, tangy contrast to the savory focaccia, making it an irresistible pairing.

Enjoy the Experience

Baking focaccia is not just about the end result; it’s also about the experience of creating something beautiful and delicious from scratch. The process of mixing, stretching, folding, and dimpling the dough is therapeutic and rewarding. Plus, the satisfaction of pulling a golden, aromatic loaf from the oven and sharing it with loved ones is unmatched.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this za’atar and olive focaccia as much as I do. Don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for more delicious recipes and delightful dips to accompany your homemade bread. Happy baking!

Interested in more healthy vegan recipes? Click here.


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