Middle Eastern Style Focaccia

PREP TIME: 15mins


I love focaccia! In fact I would say it is one of my favourite breads to bake and eat. Soft, pillowy and made to dip into olive oil or other interesting things.

It is true that I love cooking with spices and love anything Middle Eastern, the cuisine lends itself to rich flavours, vibrant colours and interesting textures.

It made total sense to incorporate some of the spices I love into a bread that I love – magic. Thank to Sabrina Ghayour for the recipe that I adapted.

Makes 1 large loaf

Getting Ahead: I am not sure anything beats a loaf fresh from the oven, best made on the day you would like to serve it but slices can be toasted the next day.

Seasonal Swaps: Make the foccacia your own by adding any spices you like, things like sumac, za’atar or coriander seeds would work well sprinkled on just before baking.

Serving Suggestion:

Well, where do I begin, would be lovely alongside my, Moroccan Harira and Red Lentil & Kale Soup and dipped into a good olive oil and my Dukkah.


What you'll need:

A tin or baking tray to bake your bread in, I used a 24cm x 24cm deep lidded ceramic brownie tin.


  • 125g cold soured cream
  • 150ml cold water
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 3 teaspoon sea salt flakes (plus extra for topping)
  • 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 550g strong bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoons ground coriander
  • 1 cup good olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons black onion seeds


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the soured cream with the cold and boiling water. Add the salt, yeast and sugar and combine well.
  2. Add the flour, 2 tablespoons cumin seeds (the other 1 tablespoon will be for the topping) and the ground coriander to the wet mixture and combine until a rough ball forms. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest, somewhere warm, until doubled in size, about a good hour or two.
  3. Once risen, tip the dough into a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, roughly stretch the dough to the size of your baking tin.
  4. Line the baking tin with greaseproof paper, place the dough on top. Further stretch out the dough to the size of your tin, then using oiled fingers, poke holes all over the dough creating deep dimples. Cover and leave to rest somewhere warm for 1 or 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200c a good 30 minutes before you intend to bake your bread. Remove the clingfilm and drizzle the dough generously with extra virgin olive oil, making sure the bread is well oiled! Sprinkle the surface with sea salt, black onion seeds and remaining cumin seeds.
  6. Bake on the top shelf of the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and well risen. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool down.
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