Ligurian Beet Focaccia
Chef Daniela Gerson
The prettiest pink and most marvelously magenta no-knead beet-a-licious focaccia! The beets add a sweet earthiness and it’s brined-before-baked making for a perfectly chewy-on-the-inside and crispy-on-the-outside focaccia that’s full of fabulously colorful flair!
If you’ve been following my Instagram adventures lately, you know I’ve been quasi obsessed with making beet-a-vicious focaccia ever since I laid eyes on Carolina Gelen’s fab creation! Been experimenting with all sorts of focaccia making ways; from how it’s made, to what it’s made with (to fermenting times and more. And this unofficially yet very rigorous focaccia research let to me Samin Nostrat & Diego making Ligurian focaccia on Netflix.
That fabulous color is au natural and from roasted and pureed beets. Gotta love that natural coloring agent that’s beet juice! Sometimes the hue is pinker. Sometimes it’s more purple. That’s what happens when ya work with a natural coloring agent; the exact shade is a bit variable but always fabulous!
- 4 roasted, cooled, and skinned medium beets
- 1/4 - 3/4 cups water
2 ½ cups lukewarm water
- ½ teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2½ teaspoons honey
- 5 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons Diamond Crystal Kosher salt
- or 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
- 10-11 tablespoons olive oil (for dough, pan and finishing)
- Flaky salt for finishing
- 1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- ⅓ cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon White Vinegar
- 2 tablespoon Spice Tribe Porcini Paradiso
Spice Tribe Pink Peruvian Salt, to taste
For the Beet Puree
For the Dough
For the Brine
Chop roasted and skinned beets and puree beets in a
blender, adding water 1-2 tablespoons at a time until
the mixture is completely smooth. Measure out 1.5 cups and
In a medium bowl, combine water, yeast, and honey; stir
until dissolved. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and
salt. Add the yeast mixture, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and
1.5 cups of beet puree. Stir until flour is just incorporated.
The dough will be very wet, and no kneading is necessary.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Leave out at room
temperature to ferment until at least doubled in volume;
12 -14 hours (rising time will vary considerably depending
on the season).
When ready to bake, spread 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
onto an 18-by-13-inch rimmed baking sheet. Using a
spatula or your hands, gently fold the dough onto itself and
transfer it onto the prepared pan. Pour an additional 2
tablespoons of olive oil over the dough and gently stretch it to
the edge of the sheet by placing your hands underneath
and pulling outward. The dough will keep shrinking, so
repeat and stretch once or twice over the course of 30
minutes until it’s fully stretched out and completely covers
To dimple the dough, use oiled fingertips and press the
pads of your first three fingers in at an angle.
To make the brine, stir the salt, water, and vinegar
together until the salt has dissolved. Pour the brine over
the dough to fill dimples and set aside at room
temperature for the final proof, until the dough is light and
bubbly, about 45 minutes.
30 minutes into this final proof (15 minutes before
baking), adjust the oven rack to the center position and
preheat the oven to 450°F. If you have a baking stone, place it
on a rack. Otherwise, invert another sturdy baking sheet
and place it on the rack. Allow to preheat with the oven until
very hot, before proceeding with baking.
When ready to bake, sprinkle focaccia with 2 tablespoons
of Spice Tribe Porcini Paradiso and Pink Peruvian salt, to
taste (remember there’s also salt in the brine)
Bake for 25-30 minutes, directly on top of stone or
inverted pan, until the bottom crust looks golden brown
and crispy. To finish browning top crust, place focaccia on
the upper rack and bake for 5 to 7 minutes more.
Remove from the oven and brush with 2-3 more tablespoons
of olive oil over the entire surface. Let cool for 5 minutes
(the oil will absorb into the bread as it sits). Serve warm or
at room temperature.