Big Sur Focaccia

big sur focaccia
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 8Servings


  • 1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees to 115 degrees )
  • 3 - 4 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup instant polenta, prepared according to package instructions, cooled to room temperature and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 jar (16 oz.) giardiniera, drained


In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the yeast and warm water. Let stand until the yeast dissolves, about 10 minutes. Add 3 cups flour, 1/4 cup EVOO, the sugar and the sea salt. Mix until a very sticky dough forms, about 4 minutes by hand or 2 minutes in the mixer. Add the polenta. Knead until the dough is shiny, adding flour by the tablespoon if the dough is too sticky (it will be relatively wet), about 8 minutes by hand or 4 minutes on medium speed in the mixer.

Pour 1/4 cup EVOO into a 10-inch cast-iron skillet. Using a rubber spatula, turn the dough into the pan, gently rolling it in the oil until coated. Using your hands, press the dough to fit the pan. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Press the dough gently with your fingertips to create divots and to deflate the dough slightly. Cover and let rise 30 minutes more.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees . Using your fingertips, press the dough down one last time. Spread with the tomato sauce, scatter with the giardiniera and drizzle with EVOO.

Bake 20 minutes; reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees . Bake until golden-brown on the edges and cooked in the center (lift the vegetables to check), 25 to 30 minutes more. Let cool in the skillet 10 minutes. Place a plate on top. Carefully invert the focaccia; remove the skillet. Place a metal rack on top; invert again. Let cool; cut into squares or wedges.