Fully-Loaded Strawberry Focaccia

Fully-Loaded Strawberry Focaccia | Kailley's Kitchen

So, I have this thing for focaccia. Or, as my boyfriend, Nick, and I like to call it (yeah, we’re one of those disgustingly adorable couples who’ve created our own lexicon), “FO-CHA-CHA.”

I’ve been a fo-cha-cha fanatic for pretty much my entire life, but my passion really started to spin out of control the first time I visited Charlatan, a Midwest-farm-fare-meets-Italian-countryside restaurant that opened in late 2014 in Chicago. Charlatan doesn’t have a complimentary bread service like most places, which is a major buzzkill, but they make up for it with “daily focaccia” tucked away within the contents of their menu. Said focaccia is inexplicably crunchy/crusty on the outside with a light and airy crumb, and the roasted garlic compound butter with Maldon sea salt it’s paired with? Ohmigod, the combo is transcendent.

That said, the following focaccia recipe is NOTHING like the one at Charlatan; I’m not venturing into that territory until I can do it proper justice, and I’m just not there yet (but stay tuned, fellow carbaholics).

Since it’s spring (and perhaps even more importantly, STRAWBERRY SEASON), I wanted to make a riff on fo-cha-cha that’s fresh, colorful, and balanced. I came across this recipe from Saveur and was immediately intrigued– I’m all for anything sweet-and-savory. I ended up making quite a few tweaks and adjustments, but the finished product is seriously the stuff that fanciful springtime daydreams are made of.

Fully Loaded Strawberry Focaccia

Fully-Loaded Strawberry Foccaccia | Kailley's Kitchen

Fully Loaded Strawberry Foccaccia | Kailley's Kitchen

Fully-Loaded Strawberry Foccaccia

Fully-Loaded Strawberry Foccaccia


    For the base:
  • 1¼ oz package dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (100–110 degrees F)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 4 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • For the onions:
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Pinch salt
  • Fresh-cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Additional toppings:
  • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, sliced chiffonade
  • 8 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • Coarse sea salt
  • *Lemony olive oil for dipping recommended!


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix together yeast, warm water, and honey; let rest until bubbles form on the top, about 5 minutes
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, stir together flour and kosher salt, set aside
  3. Add ¼ cup olive oil to the yeast mixture and stir until incorporated
  4. Add yeast mixture to flour mixture and knead on medium-speed for 5 minutes; dough will be sticky
  5. Grease a medium-sized bowl with 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  6. Form dough into a ball and place in greased bowl; lightly cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise until roughly doubled in size, about 1 hour
  7. While dough is rising, make onions
  8. Heat canola oil in a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat
  9. Add onions, salt, and pepper; stir occasionally and let cook until tender and golden-brown, about 15 minutes
  10. Add balsamic vinegar and honey; stir and cook about 5 more minutes
  11. Remove onions from heat and set aside
  12. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
  13. Brush a 9" x 13" baking pan with 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  14. Remove dough from bowl and press it into the prepared baking dish with your fingers until it touches the edges
  15. Using your fingers, gently press indentations into the the surface. Gently brush the dough with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil; lightly cover and let rest until it puffs up slightly, about 30 minutes
  16. Press strawberry slices into the indentations on the surface of the dough
  17. Sprinkle basil, 4 ounces of goat cheese, onions, and sea salt on top
  18. Bake until lightly golden, about 20 minutes
  19. Remove from oven, top with remaining 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese and serve with a citrusy olive oil for dipping



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