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Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia by Baking The Goods

Leek Lemon and Thyme Skillet Focaccia

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5 from 2 reviews


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)


  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Transfer dough to lightly greased bowl, cover tightly with greased plastic wrap, and let rise for 30-60 minutes in a warm place.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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 
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 500° F to preheat, you want to oven super hot. 
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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