Have you ever had one of those food moments where as soon as you take the first bite of something the world goes quiet, you seem to be chewing in slow motion. Then suddenly it’s vanished, you ate the entire thing with no regard for napkins, manners or self respect? It’s happened to me countless times and this Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia is now in the “Don’t talk to me, I’m eating” hall of fame.
This focaccia recipe has got that thing that makes the rest of the world seem to blend into the background and it becomes the only thing worth living for. Another notable recipe that induces this emotion is my Cheesy Garlic Bread Pizza, FYI. So good.
I am participating in a blogger round-up of all things leeks, cheekily referred to on Instagram as #LeeksOnFleek! Rebecca of Square Meal Round Table and Annie of What’s Annie Eating. They have wrangled together a big batch of us food bloggers to rally around the humble leek. We’ll share our favorite leek inspired recipes with you all on our blogs and all over Instagram on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019. Yay!
This Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia was born out of my incessant and completely unnecessary obligation to always pair potatoes with leeks.
It’s an undoubtably dynamic duo, just check out my Roasted Potato Leek Cauliflower and Kale Soup or my heavily leeked Apple Cider Brined Chicken with Roasted Veggies & Herbs for further evidence. But, it’s spring and we are approaching summer and that combo just feels a little hearty and heavy to me for this time of year.
So, I put my leek thinking cap on and imagined thinly sliced leeks, melted down in butter and spritzed with bright and zesty lemon. Sounds pretty nice, right? But just a bowl of lemony leeks didn’t really excite me, so I had to think up a way to incorporate them into a recipe. Then it occurred to me that I’ve been wanting to share an easy focaccia bread recipe on the blog for ages. I got to work and all came together in this light and bright recipe for Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia.
Leeks, lemon and thyme are a triple threat of complimentary flavors.
- Leeks – thinly sliced and lightly sautéed, melt down into little flavor bombs.
- Lemon – sliced as thin as paper bakes up and behind a barely there chew from the rind with a flavorful citrusy kick.
- Thyme – gives the focaccia an herby, earthy intrigue.
I pulled out my badass Japanese Mandoline and sliced up paper thin slices of lemon that also seem to melt away into the focaccia with a zesty brightness that has the whole skillet singing with flavor. I threw in a few hefty glugs of good quality olive oil and was able to achieve that signature, crusty browned bottom that sets focaccia apart from other basic (often boring) breads.
This Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia is a quick rise recipe that doesn’t require days of aging the dough.
You just mix it up in the morning, let rise a couple of times, top it and bake it off for the perfect pick-me-up in the afternoon. Along with the balance of earthy, herby, salty, rich and acidic flavors, the texture plays a key factor in this focaccia recipe.
The simple skillet focaccia recipe bakes in a 12″ cast iron skillet giving the bottom and sides a deeply browned crust that offers a delightful crunch against the airy and chewy center.
I like to serve this Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia with a simple side salad of arugula, radish and parmesan shavings tossed with an easy lemon herb vinaigrette that mirrors the flavors of the focaccia. I love a good spring salad. But, I am of the camp that a salad on it’s own is not a meal. It needs a support system to serve as a full meal deal. And let’s be honest, this Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia is the real deal.
Be sure to check out the #LeeksOnFleek on Instagram for all kinds of leek inspo and visit the hot links to this big ol’ blogger collab & their lovely instagram accounts at the bottom of this post. A special shoutout to Rebecca of squaremealroundtable.com and Annie of whatsannieeating.com for hosting this lovely leek get-together!
Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 12 servings
This deep dish Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia is crusty in all the right places with a light and chewy herby interior topped with earthy leeks and paper thin lemon wheels that have the whole skillet singing with zesty brightness.
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water (- at 110°F)
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (- good quality)
- 1 1/8 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups +2-3 tablespoons bread flour
- 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1 medium lemon (- zested & very thinly sliced, preferably with a Mandoline, seeds removed)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (- finely chopped)
- 1 medium leek (white and tender green parts only) (- about 1 cup when chopped into 1/2″ half moons)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- a sprinkle of sea salt flakes (- to taste)
- Whisk water, 2 tablespoons oil, and yeast together in liquid measuring cup until yeast dissolves. Allow to sit for 5-7 minutes while the yeast blooms up a bit.
- Whisk 2 1/2 cups of bread flour and fine sea salt together in bowl of stand mixer. Using dough hook with mixer on low speed, slowly add water mixture and mix until dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and continue to mix until dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. If after 4-5 minutes dough is still very sticky, add 1 to 3 tablespoons extra flour; until the dough starts to amass on the dough hook and pull away from the sides of the bowl. During the last minute of kneading the dough, stir in the 3/4 tablespoon of the finely chopped thyme and lemon zest.
- Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 30-60 minutes in a warm place.
- While the dough is resting, prepare the leeks. Trim the leeks down to just the whites and the tender greens only. Halve the leeks lengthwise and then slice into 1/2″ half moons. You should have about 3/4 – 1 cup chopped.
- In a 12″ cast-iron skillet or oven-proof pan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are very tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl to cool and set
- Gently press center of dough to deflate. Grab the top edge of the dough and carefully fold partially risen dough over itself by gently lifting and folding the edge of dough toward middle. Turn the bowl 90° and fold dough again; repeat turning bowl and folding dough 2 more times until it starts to shape back into a ball. Turn the dough over so the smooth side is facing up, then cover with plastic and let rise for another 30 minutes.
- Grease a 12-inch cast-iron skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the dough to prepared skillet and slide the dough around skillet to coat with oil. Flip over and gently stretch the dough to the edges of the skillet. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp, clean kitchen towel and let rise for 30 more minutes.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500° F to preheat, you want to oven super hot.
- Using fingertips, press dough back out toward edges of skillet. Then use your fingertips to poke small indentions over entire surface of dough. Sprinkle with cooled leeks, then gently press in the thin lemon slices over the top (make sure the seeds are removed). Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and sprinkle with sea salt flakes and remaining chopped thyme. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Transfer skillet to oven and reduce oven temperature to 450°F. Bake until top of loaf is golden brown, 23 to 26 minutes, rotating skillet halfway through baking.
- Using potholders, carefully transfer skillet to wire rack and let loaf cool for 10 minutes. Being careful of hot skillet handle, remove loaf from skillet, return to rack, and let cool for at least 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Recipe inspired by the methods used in the America’s Test Kitchen recipe for Cast Iron Rosemary Focaccia.
- This recipe is made in a 12″ cast iron skillet or oven-proof pan.
- I used Bread Flour in this recipe to give the focaccia a chewier texture. You can absolutely use All Purpose Flour instead, it just won’t be as chewy.
- Prep Time: 30 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Lunch, Snack
This recipe for Leek Lemon and Thyme Focaccia was developed in collaboration with a super talented crew of food bloggers friends.
#LEEKSONFLEEK COLLABORATOR RECIPES
- What Annie’s Eating – Roasted Side of Salmon with Fennel + Grapefruit Slaw
- Jessie Sheehan Bakes – No Knead Bread with Caramelized Leeks and Black Pepper
- @farmandcoastcookery – Spring Frittata
- Gobble The Cook – Gyoza Japanese Potstickers
- Whatcha Cooking Good Looking? – Baked Bacon, Leek, and Tomato (BLT) Risotto
- Clean Plate Clb – Rigatoni with Leeks & Bacon
- Bappy Girl – Poached Cod with Leeks in Peppered Milk
- Jean Choi – Paleo & Keto Quiche with Smoked Salmon and Leeks
- ¡Hola! Jalapeño- Chicken and Leek Soup with Lemon Carrot Top Pesto
- Le Petit Eats- Broccolini & Leek Pizza
Thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. It was another wonderful way to use leeks.
Oh yay! I am so happy to hear that. Thanks so much for sharing, you made my day. Happy baking! 😀