The Easiest Focaccia

Let’s talk about bread. And let’s talk about life.

For those of you who go way back with me — you’ll already know that Arabic classes took up the majority of my time in college. I met some of my favorite people, discovered my favorite foods, and daydreamed about someday living in the Middle East, basking in the heat and eating my weight in mana’eesh.

But something that we learned early in our intro courses was the word for bread: khubz. And in the Egyptian dialect, there was a synonym for bread — the same word you used for life: aishe.

That stuck with me.

This, my friends, is my first food blog post since 2014 — it’s been quite a while. And even though I’ve been talking about getting back into blogging for a couple of years, it was really hard to bite the bullet and build up the courage to start writing again. Life gets in the way.

After my first year working at CAVA, we called CAVA the blog killer. Back in the day, everyone on my team had a blog — and then we joined a company that we believed in, and we blogged for CAVA instead. I learned how to take better photos, how to cater to an audience, and how to focus our energy toward creating beautiful recipes and stories with CAVA’s food.

And when it came time to build things for ourselves, we were exhausted. Our blogs died.

I left the food industry for a quick minute, taking a job that taught me so much in so little time — and a job that also reminded me that I loved the food industry, and missed those weekly photo shoots that gave me so much doubt in my days working for a restaurant chain. So I left it, and decided to explore this abyss of freelancing and running your own business. And after years of stress, of restaurant openings and delays, of messy photo workshops with my favorite people, and the frustration you feel when you lose the love you once had for your work — I let it all go. And for the first time in what felt like years, I have my life back.

I emailed friends and colleagues, cold called businesses, and took gigs that were outside of my comfort zone. And I learned that when I’m not at a day job, I’m actually pretty bad at managing my own time. But I was free to work out in the middle of the day, and free to take on whatever photo projects I wanted, at whatever time I wanted. The freedom is worth it.

After surviving the holidays, and moving into a new house with a boy, I had this undeniable urge to start baking again. After all, ten years ago, I got to know DC and so many people I love through learning how to bake with Sweetsonian. So in this new house, with a new beginning, I was ready to bake.

Enter bread.

There’s no wonder the Egyptians call it life. It’s the carb of all carbs, and something I simply cannot realistically give up (and sometimes I wonder — why did I ever want to?)

With just a few cheap ingredients, you can create something so full of warmth and full of life. So obviously, it was one of the first things I wanted to make for coming back to the blog.

Given my absence from baking and writing together, I turned to Bon Appetit’s Shockingly Easy, No-Knead Focaccia recipe. Step by step, it was easy, and I even doubted the proof of the yeast — but the ingredients did everything the recipe said they would. After tasting the bread, I adapted some measurements and ingredients to better suit the flavor I was going for, so here’s the jist of that below.

Enjoy bread, and enjoy life. Neither lasts long enough.

The Easiest No-Knead Focaccia

The Easiest No-Knead Focaccia

Yield: One 9x13 loaf
Prep Time: 6 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes


  • 1 1/4 oz activated yeast (1 envelope, usually)
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp Morton's kosher salt
  • 1 tsp Maldon or other brand flaky sea salt
  • 6-8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


  1. First, whisk the activated yeast, warm water, and sugar into a large mixing bowl until fully dissolved and foamy. Let rest about 5 minutes.
  2. Then, use a spatula to mix in the 5 cups flour and 2 tbsp. salt. You'll have a rough dough -- and just mix until there are no dry spots left.
  3. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a fresh mixing bowl, and transfer the rough dough into this bowl. Turn the dough with your hands to ensure it's covered in oil. Cover with a kitchen towel, and let rise at room temperature for 3-4 hours -- it will double in size.
  4. Grease a 9x13" baking pan -- with a generous amount of olive oil.
  5. Then, take two forks and pick up the edge of the dough, lifting it and pushing it into the center of the bowl. Turn the bowl a few times until you've rotated and flipped the dough all the way around. Transfer the dough to your baking sheet, and let rise one more time, for 1-2 hours.
  6. When you return to the dough, it should have spread to the edges of the pan fairly evenly.
  7. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Use your fingers to poke holes in the dough throughout, and sprinkle a tablespoon or so of flaky Maldon salt on the surface of the dough.
  8. Add cherry tomatoes throughout, pressing them firmly into the dough so they stay in place.
  9. Bake on the center rack for 20-30 minutes, until the top of your bread is a golden brown.
  10. Serve with your favorite olive oil, or slide horizontally to use for sandwiches.

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Discussion about this post

  1. Really a great blog, and very informative with proper Ingredients and instructions.

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