Growing Chefs! Family Recipe - Herby Asiago Focaccia

Friday, May 22, 2020

We have started a fun project that we hope will spread some much needed cheer and inspiration during our time at home and away from the kitchen at Growing Chefs!  Our staff would like to welcome you into their own kitchens and families, and will be sharing some of their favourite recipes that they cook at home. Try them out and let us know what you think. We would love to see some pictures from you and hear what you are cooking at home as well!  Please enjoy this scrumptious recipe coming to you from chef Ryan's kitchen!

In this video, Chef Ryan shows us how to make a delicious Herby Focaccia using fresh herbs from Parkway Gardens, one of our long-time supporters! Using fresh herbs is a simple and dramatic way to elevate any dish, adding a delicious depth of flavour to your dishes. Here is one of chef Ryan's favourite recipes that's unique each time he makes it depending on his herb combination. Enjoy!

Herby Asiago Focaccia

This recipe yields two large loaves.


  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • ¼ olive oil, plus more for brushing on top and greasing the proofing bowl
  • 7 cups of all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons of salt
  • 3 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed. - To make roasted garlic just take a whole bulb of garlic, wrap it in tin foil and place in a 350° oven for about 20 minutes. Allow to cool and the cloves should squeeze out of the garlic paper with ease.
  • ½ cup of asiago cheese, grated. You could substitute parmesan or an old cheddar here
  • ½ cup of freshly chopped herbs of your choice, I like rosemary and thyme
  • Flaky salt to finish


  • A stand mixer with hook attachment
  • A large bowl for proofing
  • A set of measuring spoons
  • A set of measuring cups
  • Cheese grater
  • Cutting board
  • Chef knife
  • A pastry brush
  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat 
  • Rolling pin


In the bowl of the stand mixture measure out the 3 cups of warm water and teaspoon of sugar. You want to make the temperature of the water slightly warmer than room temperature. If the water is too warm you will kill the yeast.Wait about 5 minutes for the yeast to bloom, you will notice that the yeast has begun to foam and bubble.

To the yeast mixture add the flour, salt, and ¼ cup of olive oil. Turn the mixer on low for two minutes and then increase speed to medium for 6 minutes.

Next add in the mashed garlic, cheese and herbs and mix for another minute or until everything is fully incorporated. You should have a neat tight ball of dough that has pulled away from the sides of the mixing bowl. Transfer dough to a well oiled bowl and cover with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour, the dough should nearly double in size.

After an hour of proofing, punch down the dough and divide it in half. I like to shape my focaccia into an oval but a circle or rectangle works nicely as well. Using a rolling pin, flatten your dough so that it is about an inch thick. Place dough onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet and brush liberally with oil. Leave the dough in a warm spot to proof for another hour. I know it seems like a lot of resting time but trust me, it's worth it! This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350° 

Once the dough has proofed a second time, use the tips of your fingers to create dimples all over the top of the focaccia, sprinkle it with flaky salt and put it into the oven for about 25 minutes. The top of the focaccia should be nicely golden brown. Let cool preferably on a wire rack. Cut and enjoy with pasta, salad or just a glass of prosecco!

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