Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread

October 11, 2022

No-knead focaccia is turned into a tasty bite for Halloween with this Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread recipe dotted with black olive spiders and a garlic and rosemary mixture.

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You know the sourdough obsession that started during the pandemic?  Yeah…I never hopped on that trend because it seemed like too much work.  Having to feed the sourdough starter sounded like having a whole ‘nother pet in the house that I wasn’t ready to take care of.  In fact, most bread – outside of burger buns and sandwich bread – seemed like too much work to make.

Like focaccia.

Man, that is some beautiful bread!  And because it’s so beautiful, I immediately thought that it had to be hard to make.  WRONG!  About a month or two ago, Martha Stewart’s Instagram page finally made me take the plunge.  On my first try, I made a gorgeous, black cherry tomato studded focaccia bread.

Having aced my first lesson in focaccia making, I decided to create a Halloween version of olive focaccia. Instead of just gently pressing olives into the bread, I wanted to to turn the olives into spiders to give my focaccia a spooky touch!

I also dressed my focaccia with coarse sea salt, fresh rosemary, minced garlic, and a tiny bit of crushed red pepper to add some extra flavor to the bread.

Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread

The hardest part about making focaccia is waiting for the dough to rise.  But the dough is an easy, no-knead recipe adapted from MarthaStewart.com.  And once baked, you end up with beautiful focaccia bread that can be used for sandwiches, served toasted, or used in place of garlic bread.

The first thing we need to do is make the dough, which is pretty simple.  In a large mixing bowl, add flour, yeast, sugar, and 1 tbsp. salt.  Whisk together.

Add the cold water and 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Then, use a dough hook, or your hands, to form a wet dough.

Transfer the dough to a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover.  Let the dough rise overnight at room temperature until it quadruples in size and looks bubbly on top.

The next day, add 1/3 cup oil to a 10×14 inch pan and use your hands to coat the pan with oil.  Then, gently transfer the dough to the pan.  Turn the dough carefully to coat it with oil.  Then, spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.

Here comes the fun part!  Use your fingers to make indentations in the dough.  Cover the dough and let it rise again for 1 1/2-2 hours, until it’s doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and prepare the toppings.  In a small bowl, mix the garlic, rosemary, and red pepper flakes together.  Then, cut half of the olives into halves to make the spider bodies and the other half into strips to make the spider legs.

Once the dough has risen, gently push the olives into the dough to create the spiders.  Then, sprinkle the garlic mixture over the dough.

Bake the focaccia for 18-20 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and puffy on top.  Carefully transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool.

Serve the focaccia warm, or allow to cool completely and store in foil, or cut into portions to freeze in freezer bags.

Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread

Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread

Ingredients

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. table salt + 1 tsp. coarse sea salt
  • 2 3/4 cups cold water
  • 2/3 cups olive oil
  • Approximately 1 cup black pitted olives
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions

    To prepare the dough:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, and 1 tbsp. salt together.
  2. Add the cold water and 1/3 cup of olive oil.
  3. Using a dough hook, or your hands, mix everything together until a wet dough forms. The dough will be very wet in texture.
  4. Transfer to a lightly oiled large bowl and cover. Let the dough rise at room temperature until it quadruples in size and looks bubbly on top, 12-18 hours.
  5. To prepare the focaccia:
  6. Add 1/3 cup oil to a 10x14 inch pan. Use your hands to lightly coat the pan with oil.
  7. Then, gently transfer the dough into the center of the pan.
  8. Carefully turn the dough to coat it in entirely in oil. Then, spread the dough out to the edges of the pan.
  9. Use your fingers to make indentations over the surface of the dough. Cover and let the dough rise at room temperature, about 1 1/2-2 hours, until doubled in size.
  10. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and move a rack to the lower third of the oven.
  11. In a small mixing bowl, toss the garlic, rosemary, sea salt, and red pepper together.
  12. Cut half of the olives into halves for spider bodies. Cut the other half of the olives into thin strips for spider legs.
  13. Gently press the olives into the dough to create spider shapes. Then, sprinkle the garlic mixture over the top of the dough, making sure to get it in any oily pockets.
  14. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until focaccia is puffy and golden brown on top.
  15. Carefully transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool.
  16. Serve while warm, or cool completely and store wrapped in foil, or portioned into freezer bags to freeze.
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Baking your own focaccia bread might seem like a lot, but it’s so easy!  If you’re creating a spooky spread for dinner on Halloween night, consider serving this spider-inspired focaccia with my Spooky Spaghetti and Meatballs!

Did you make this Halloween Spider Olive Focaccia Bread recipe? Share it on social media using the hashtag #livinglavidaeats. Don’t forget to tag me @lavidaholoka!

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