May 13, 2014

Split focaccia sandwich with giant beans and Spring herbs

One of my favorite ways to eat beans...

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano and Gray Apron
time: 1/2 h preparation + 2 1/2 hrs inactive + 15 min baking

800 ml (3 1/3 cups) flour; I used 150 g (1 cup) regular flour + 280 g (2 1/3 cups) whole spelt flour
25 g (1 oz) fresh yeast
5 g (1 teaspoon) sugar
350 ml (1.5 cups) tepid water (30C/86F)
15 g (2 teaspoons) salt
60 ml (4 Tablespoons) olive oil + extra for finishing
2 cups dry Giant beans, soaked overnight and cooked, salt (1 tsp) added at the end of cooking

2 cups (not packed) chopped spring herbs: dill, parsley, green onions
6 cherry tomatoes, cut in wedges
10 black olives, no pits
100 g (3.5 oz) feta cheese
4 Tablespoons olive oil
salt, pepper to taste

In a small bowl, crumble yeast and dissolve it with sugar and about 50 ml (4-5 Tablespoons) water (taken from the whole amount). In a jar, mix the rest of the water with salt and 4 Tbs. olive oil.

In a bowl of a standing mixer, sift the flour. With your hands, mix in the yeast mix. Pour in the water mix. Using a needle attachment, knead the dough for 10 minutes. Form a smooth ball. 
 Covered it with a cotton cloth and place it warm place (f.ex. oven turned off) for at least 2 hours, till it doubles or triples in size. Drizzle two baking sheets with olive oil. 

After dough doubles in size in a bowl (2-3 hours), transfer it onto a rolling board covered with some flour. Split it in half. Using a rolling pin and more flour if needed, make a round shape (from the first half), not too thin. Transfer it onto a baking sheet. Drizzle it with oil. With your fingers, stretch the dough some more. Repeat with the other half. Let dough raise on the sheets for 1/2 hour.

Preheat oven to 250C/500F (fan forced function). 

*Flip one sheet of dough on top of the other. Drizzle a bit more with olive oil. Place it in the hot oven for 15 minutes, till golden. Take it out of the oven. While the focaccia is still hot, using a bread knife, cut in into the bread just a bit, all around it. Lift the top layer. Set it aside. Top the bottom part with crumbled feta cheese.

In a large bowl, mix cooked beans with herbs. Drizzle generously with olive oil, adjust seasoning. Spread it on the bottom piece of the focaccia. Arrange tomatoes, olives. Drizzle more with olive oil. Close the sandwich. Cut and serve!

  • the bread turned out light, chewy enough with a nice crust;
  • I've made split focaccia about a year ago, after I saw a pizza Chef making it on RaiUno;
  • the inside, after you open it, should be somewhat smooth and finished;
  • *the flipping part of the instructions is the most tricky one, the bottom piece of dough should be covered by the top one and then no further adjustments should be done...otherwise the pieces will stick together and there won't be any splitting;
  • so...if the top part falls not the way you'd imagined, just stretch the dough with your fingers to even out the thickness - and you'll have a focaccia that you can just cut open with a knife;
  • either's a great sandwich!


  1. No wonder it's a favourite - it looks so good!

  2. What a magnificent sandwich! You can't beat homemade bread AND all those lovely veggies!

  3. That looks so good.. making me hungry!

  4. Completely delicious! I want lunch now!

  5. I would love this sandwich too. The feta bean filling sounds fantastic, Ela.

  6. A beautiful sandwich with delicious bread and filling. Something I would love to eat!

  7. What a great sandwich Ela, the combination sounds wonderful. I can see why this is a favorite way to enjoy the beans.

  8. Looks fresh and delicious! I love all those herbs!

  9. What a delicious sandwich! Great flavors and textures!

  10. I am a big fan of herbs; they make everything look, taste and smell better.

    1. I use handfuls of them this time of the year! :)

  11. Looks so good.
    Yess...I am going to try to bake some daughter loves foccacia :D

  12. Oh, Elzbieta this is so good!!! and fresh and healthy. Blessings, Catherine

  13. Wow, what a delicious looking sandwich! Love the homemade bread and the sound of all these veggies and herbs - yum!