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Creamy Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip

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How to make vegan caramelized onion dip

It wouldn’t be caramelized onion dip without the caramelized onions!

Creamy Vegan Caramelized Onion Dip from Minimalist Baker →

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Roasted Beet Salad with Vegan “Goat Cheese”

Too often dairy-free folks have to settle for less than desirable cheese substitutes. Not anymore! This roasted beet and vegan “goat cheese” salad hits ALL the notes you remember from this classic pairing. 

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Roasted Beet Salad with Vegan “Goat Cheese” from Minimalist Baker →

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Ultimate Antipasto Platter

An antipasto platter is ideal for entertaining! Pile a board with Italian antipasti like cheeses, cured meats, olives, marinated vegetables,…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

An antipasto platter is ideal for entertaining! Pile a board with Italian antipasti like cheeses, cured meats, olives, marinated vegetables, and more. 

Antipasto Platter

Entertaining and not sure where to start? Try an Antipasto Platter! This board of Italian appetizers is an explosion of colors and flavors, and it’s almost guaranteed to be the centerpiece of any party. Add traditional antipasti like cheese, meats, marinated vegetables, olives, crackers, breads, and more to a platter and serve with small plates to let your guests get to snacking. You can make homemade components, or grab a bunch of items from your local deli counter or olive bar. Here’s how to put together this beautiful tray!

What is an antipasto platter?

An antipasto is the first course of an Italian meal: a starter or appetizer. Antipasto is the singular, and antipasti is the plural for more than one dish. Traditional antipasti you might enjoy in Italy include cured meats like prosciutto and salami, cheeses, olives, marinated vegetables, pepperoncini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and more.

An antipasto platter is a tray layered with Italian antipasti (cured meats, cheeses, marinated vegetables, and so forth). Similar to a cheeseboard, it’s an easy appetizer to whip up for entertaining because it’s more about arranging items than cooking them.

Antipasto platter

Ingredients in an antipasto platter

The ingredients you’ll use for an antipasto platter can vary greatly based on your tastes and what’s available to you! Check your local grocery store deli counter or olive bar for ideas. Some groceries have whole displays dedicated to marinated vegetables and olives, which is where we stocked up on many of the items for this platter. You can also make a few components homemade (which we recommend!). Here are some ideas for an antipasto platter:

  • Marinated mozzarella: It’s fast and easy to make homemade Marinated Mozzarella Balls, but you can also find them purchased
  • Marinated mushrooms: These Marinated Mushrooms have incredible flavor
  • Olives
  • Aged cheeses
  • Jarred marinated artichoke hearts
  • Jarred roasted peppers or pepperoncini
  • Other marinated items from a grocery olive bar or deli counter
  • Cured meats (prosciutto, salami, chorizo, sopressata, bresaola, etc)
  • Cherry tomatoes or other fresh vegetables
  • Crackers
  • Italian breadsticks
  • Focaccia bread slices
Antipasto platter

Tips for styling the platter

It’s one thing to assemble all the ingredients for an antipasto platter: it’s yet another to style it into an attractive platter! Here are a few tips for making a beautiful board, similar to styling a killer cheeseboard.

  1. Place the largest ingredients on the board first, then fill in with smaller ingredients. In this case, it’s small bowls of olives and marinated vegetables. Make sure the bowls aren’t too large so they don’t crowd the board.
  2. Fill in the remainder of the space on the board with piles of marinated vegetables, crackers, breads and other items. Arrange the ingredients with variation in color and shape in mind. Start with the largest ingredients and gradually fill in the smaller items.
  3. Add garnishes like herbs or flowers. Once the board is mostly complete, tuck in a few sprigs of fresh herbs to complete the tray. Serve with small plates, forks and toothpicks if desired.
Antipasto platter

How long can an antipasto platter sit out?

Making your antipasto platter in advance? If you’re making this for a party, here are a few serving tips to make prep a breeze:

  • A cheese board can sit out for up to 2 hours at room temperature. This source suggests a 2 hour maximum for cheese.
  • Make the board up to 24 hours in advance, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. This makes party prep easy! Allow it to come to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.
Antipasto platter

More appetizer ideas

Looking for entertaining ideas? Here are a few more fun appetizer ideas:

This antipasto platter recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free crackers or omit.

 

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Antipasto Platter

Ultimate Antipasto Platter


Description

An antipasto platter is ideal for entertaining! Pile a board with Italian antipasti like cheeses, cured meats, olives, marinated vegetables, and more. 


Ingredients

  • 1 recipe Marinated Mozzarella Balls (or purchased)
  • 1 cup Marinated Mushrooms (or purchased)
  • 1 cup mixed olives
  • 2 blocks aged cheese
  • 1 cup jarred marinated artichoke hearts or roasted peppers (or other marinated items from a grocery olive bar or deli counter)
  • 2 types cured meats (prosciutto, salami, chorizo, sopressata, bresaola, etc)
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls crackers
  • 1 handful Italian breadsticks
  • Optional other items: focaccia bread slices, roasted nuts, jarred pepperoncini, etc

Instructions

  1. If using homemade, make the Marinated Mozzarella Balls and/or Marinated Mushrooms.
  2. Prepare the other ingredients as necessary: cut the cheese or meats, and place the olives and nuts in small bowls.
  3. Place the ingredients onto a large board. Place the bowls of items first, then fill in with cheese slices, meats, marinated veggies, crackers and breadsticks. Once the board is mostly complete, tuck in a few sprigs of fresh herbs to complete the tray (like rosemary or thyme sprigs).
  4. Serve immediately, with small plates, forks and toothpicks if desired. The antipasto platter can sit out for up to 2 hours at room temperature. Make the board up to 24 hours in advance, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate: allow to come to room temperature 30 minutes before serving.

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Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup (Thai-Inspired) from Minimalist Baker →

Perfect Focaccia Bread

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on the inside.

Focaccia Recipe

Did you know it’s easy to make bakery-style focaccia bread at home? Introducing the perfect focaccia recipe! No need to shop around. Make this simple bread once, and we guarantee you’ll find it’s the best focaccia bread you’ve made at home. It’s thick and airy, crispy on the outside with beautiful pillowy air pockets on the interior. The flavor is developed and perfectly seasoned, with the classic notes of salt, rosemary and olive oil notes. Even better: it’s one of the easiest homemade bread recipes. Our family goes crazy over this one, and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Why this focaccia recipe is the best

Focaccia bread is an Italian flatbread baked in a sheet pan and flavored with olive oil. A good focaccia should be thick and airy, with signature air pockets in the crumb (interior texture). Focaccia dough is similar to pizza dough, but it’s made using a strong flour and more yeast, which makes it taller and fluffier.

There is a lot of variation in focaccia recipes on the internet. If not formulated correctly, focaccia bread can come out very dense, with little or no holes in the crumb. Or it can come out very thin or dry, or fluffy and soft like a roll. None of these are what you want with this special bread! What’s great about this focaccia bread recipe? You’ll find it:

  • Is very thick, perfect for eating plain or slicing in half as sandwiches
  • Has a beautiful airy crumb, which comes from an overnight rise in the refrigerator
  • Has a developed, well-seasoned flavor that tastes like it’s from an Italian bakery!
Focaccia Recipe

How to make focaccia bread: an overview

Here’s the basic outline of the of the focaccia process. The process takes 5 minutes the night before, and then about 2 hours the day of. It is one of the easiest bread recipes we have, but you do need to think ahead! We like to make the dough at around 9:00 pm the night before, then bake it around 1:00 pm the next day. Here’s an outline on the steps required:

Mix, Rest overnight5 minutes active, 12 to 16 hours hands off
Shape & Proof5 minutes active, 45 minutes hands off
Add brine5 minutes
Bake35 minutes, hands off
Cool45 minutes, hands off

Required equipment

One of the great things about homemade focaccia? You need minimal special bread-making tools. Many of our bread recipes require a Dutch oven, bread basket, special knife for scoring, and other equipment. That’s not so here! There are a few optional tools that are helpful, but not required. Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:

  1. Large bowl
  2. Plastic wrap or large zip-top bag
  3. 9 x 13″ baking dish
  4. Kitchen scale (optional): while it’s optional, we highly recommend weighing the ingredients for best results when you’re baking
  5. Pizza stone (optional): it helps to heat the bread quicker and make an airier dough. Here’s the pizza stone we use. (You can also use it for these pizza recipes and other breads, so it’s a great investment.)
Focaccia Recipe

Ingredients for this focaccia recipe

There are only a few ingredients required for this focaccia recipe: but each is important! Here’s what to know:

  • Bread flour: Bread flour has a higher protein content than all-purpose flour, which makes for a lighter, airier texture. It’s worth finding for this recipe!
  • Active dry yeast
  • Kosher salt
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary is traditional in Italian baking of focaccia and it adds just the right herbaceous scent to the fresh bread. Trust us: it’s required!

Tips for baking

Once you’ve got your ingredients and tools, baking focaccia bread is simple! Here are a few tips to remember when you’re making the recipe:

  • Remember to start the night before! That’s right: you’ll need an overnight rise. Think about mixing up the dough around 9 pm, and you can bake the bread around 1:00 pm the next day. 16 hours is best if you can swing it.
  • Be gentle when shaping and handling the dough. A great part about homemade focaccia bread is that it doesn’t require any rolling or technical shaping. All you do is gently press it out into the pan. Just use care so you don’t deflate any air bubbles.
  • Use a pizza stone if you can. Again, a pizza stone lets the bread get hotter, thereby making it rise faster and get taller and fluffier. If you don’t have one, here’s the pizza stone we use.
Cheese Board

Serving focaccia bread

That beautiful loaf of focaccia bread will make your kitchen smell like a bakery. If you can resist, wait until it’s fully cool to take a taste. However, this type of bread won’t suffer if you try to sneak a piece when it’s warm (which is a no-no with sourdough bread). Focaccia works served on its own as a side for lunch, dinner, or soups, or sliced for sandwiches. Here are a few ways to serve focaccia bread:

How do you plan to serve it? Let us know in the comments below!

Storage info

How to store homemade focaccia bread? You can store homemade focaccia for up to 3 days in a sealed plastic bag with excess air squeezed out, or in a sealed container. It’s great room temperature or you can reheat it in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven until warm.

More homemade bread recipes

Making homemade bread is a fun hobby that makes delicious sides and sandwich bread for your weekly meals! Here are a few favorite bread recipes to try:

This focaccia recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Focaccia Recipe

Perfect Focaccia Bread


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 12 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 12 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 18

Description

This focaccia recipe makes the perfect bread! It’s tall and fluffy, crispy on the outside with pillowy air pockets on the inside.


Ingredients

For the bread

  • 630 grams (4 ½ cups) bread flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 532 ml (2 ¼ cups) warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil

For the brine

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For topping

  • Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, yeast and kosher salt. Add the warm water and 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil and stir with a wooden spoon until sticky dough is formed.  With wet hands, lift the bottom of the dough and wrap it over the top a few times, folding the dough to make a ball and to ensure all of the flour has been incorporated. Place the dough back in the bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or place in a large zip-top bag.
  2. Proof overnight at room temperature, preferably 12 to 16 hours. The dough will rise and double in size, and then collapse. (For example, we like to mix at 9:00 pm and start the baking process at 1:00 pm the next day.)
  3. After the rise, add a small drizzle of olive oil into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and use your hands to spread it across the bottom. With your oiled hands, turn the dough into the baking pan and gently press and stretch the dough so that it is evenly distributed across the pan (take care not to smash all of the air out of the dough). It may take several times of stretching it out to reach the corners. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a large zip-top bag and rest for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit with a pizza stone inside. You can still bake without the pizza stone, but it will yield an airier dough.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the brine ingredients.
  6. Pour the brine over the puffy dough and lightly press your fingers into the dough, all the way across, to dimple the dough. Sprinkle with rosemary leaves.
  7. Bake immediately: place the pan on the pizza stone and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Cool completely before cutting. Store up to 3 days in a sealed plastic bag with excess air squeezed out or a sealed container. 
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Focaccia, focaccia recipe, focaccia bread, focaccia bread recipe, best focaccia bread, recipe for focaccia bread

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