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When Playing With Your Food Leads to Something Great

Published April 28, 2022

A gardenscape focaccia inspired by Bittman Bread

All photos: Holly Haines

Food tastes better when it’s pretty, and focaccia happens to be an excellent medium for making edible art. For my fourth bake with “Dough’sephine Baker” — that’s what I’ve named my sourdough starter — it’s the focaccia from Bittman Bread that I’ve also made into a gardenscape. 

I didn’t make any changes to the recipe in the book, just added a little extra effort with toppings. Between the third and fourth folds, I started prepping the vegetables. This batch used scallions, cherry tomatoes, shallots, and nasturtium leaves. After the fourth fold (it’s the same four folds as described in the book), I placed the dough in a parchment-lined 10” springform pan, gently dimpled the dough with my fingertips, and thought about my design; the veggies go on after the fourth fold and the dough is in the pan.