Just when the world needed a distraction, focaccia bread came to the rescue in the form of bread art or bread gardens. Atop the bread, cherry tomatoes become petals, and scallion stalks become the stems. Yellow bell peppers bloom with black olives as their centre; red onion takes the shape of a spiral bud in a bush made of aromatic herbs.
activities during the pandemic are taking social media by storm, bread art may
be the most captivating. A bread garden—the art of making pretty ‘bread’scapes
is taking over the baking world. Bread art is where the loaf is the canvas,
your fingers are the brushes, and food is the vibrant paint. These bread
paintings are being attempted all over the world.
The intricate cut work on the surface of sourdough was traditionally considered as bread art, where as the bread rose in the oven a delightful would be etched on the surface. Focaccia bread is a flat oven-baked bread where topping such as rosemary, olives and garlic are common. Taking a step toward bread art wasn’t an exponential leap. Fruits, spices, vegetables and herbs are being tactically positioned to create an art piece and baked again to bring out a beautiful and colourful landscape. We wonder if the bakers even bring themselves to eat such masterpieces.
US-based baker and Instagram user Teri Culetto who goes by @vineyardbaker, curated a series of focaccia bread gardens inspired by the famous Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh. She playfully titled her loaves of bread as ‘Vincent Vandough’. This idea led to other bakers, novice and professionals, to follow in her footsteps, and suddenly focaccia bread gardens went viral in the food community.
Enough with the bread garden dreaming now, time to learn how to decorate focaccia bread. If you are looking to beautify your bread further, we'll assume that you already know how to bake one. And if you don't, here is the recipe.
Now, it’s time to get artsy! Grab all your favourite vegetables, herbs, spices and olive oil.
Ideas to prepare your vegetables:
• Slice bell peppers (red and yellow); cut cherry tomatoes in half to make beautiful flowers
• Use kalamata olives or normal olives for the centres of the flowers
• Add in sliced shallots as they make beautiful rocks (or petals or even stems of the flowers)
• Select ‘leafy’ herbs, where you can use the leaves and stems, to create flower stems, leaves, or grass. Try parsley, basil, chives, dill, or sage to add aroma.
• Use pine nuts and pumpkin seeds can to add texture and flavour at the centre of flowers or to represent ‘soil’.
adding juicy ingredients like cherry tomatoes, roasted peppers or olives, make
sure you dab the moisture away with a tissue. These might make the bread soggy
or run colours.
Drizzle a generous amount of olive over the uncooked loaf and bake. Let it cool for five minutes on a tray. You can eat it warm or keep admiring it for a day before serving. Cut slices of the bread, drizzle some olive oil and coarse salt before biting in.
There’s a loaf of focaccia bread waiting for you to create it and make something amazing out of it. To plant a garden is to hope for tomorrow……to bake a garden? We’ll let you ponder over as you dig into your focaccia bread garden.
Featured image: Shutterstock.com