Baking at the Bread Festival in the Mill City Farmers Market: Focaccia!

Bread Festival

This weekend we joined Michelle Gayer (above with Jeff) from The Salty Tart Bakery, to make pizzas in a wood-fired oven at the 2nd Annual Bread Festival, hosted by the Mill City Farmers Market. It was a perfect fall day to bake outside and enjoy freshly baked breads and pizzas. 

Nothing makes bakers happier than a beautiful day, some dough and a wood-fired oven.

Gold Medal BreadFest

Celebrity judges (Solveig Tofte of Sun Street Breads, Steve Horton of Rustica Bakery and Kim Ode of The Star Tribune) were on hand to taste all the home-baked breads for the baking contest. Be sure to enter your breads next year! For contest information and pictures of the gorgeous breads you can visit the Mill City Farmers Market Website.

Gold Medal Flour

Lorenzo is the man with the magic oven. His portable oven cranks up to about 900°F and bakes a pizza in 90 seconds.

Lorenzo's Ovens

He’s happy to build you one of your own or he’ll show up with his portable oven for a special occasion and make absolutely delicious pizzas.

Seriously cute pizza eaters in this crowd!

Bread Festival

Thanks to Jillian and the entire kitchen staff at the Market who just happened to flip pizzas like a pro.

The Salty Tart

What a wonderful crowd turned out to watch all the baking and taste the incredible pizzas and foccacia.

A Salty Tart Foccacia with Fresh Arugula. We’ll ask Michelle for the recipe and adapt it to our Five Minutes a Day dough!

The Salty Tart, Sun Street Breads, Spoonriver

After all the baking we headed over to Spoonriver to celebrate with Brenda Langton (in the white hat), our lovely market hostess.

Thanks to Gold Medal Flour for bringing all these amazing bakers together for a fabulous day at the Market!

Olive, Garlic Focaccia:

1/2 pound (orange size) piece of dough. I used the master recipe, but the olive oil dough (page 134), European Peasant (page 46), Italian Semolina (page 80) or whole wheat doughs work well too!

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to drizzle over dough

1/4 cup olives, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

Fresh rosemary and oregano to taste (these came from my garden!)

Coarse salt to taste


About 20 minutes before baking preheat your gas grill to 450 degrees, that is high-medium on mine. (We have not tried these recipes on charcoal grills. If you do, be careful that the temperature is even and that you check the bottom of the dough regularly for burning.)

Grease a metal pie pan with the olive oil and set aside.

Dust the surface of the refrigerated piece of dough with flour and quickly shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter turn as you go.

Flatten the ball into a 1/2 inch round, using your hands and/or a rolling pin. Place the round into the prepared pie plate. Cover the dough with the toppings and let sit for 20 minutes, while your grill heats up.


Right before baking on the grill, drizzle with more olive oil and dimple the dough with your fingers. This will prevent the dough from rounding too much and pushing all of the topping off.


Place the pie plate directly on the grates. Shut the grill and allow to bake for about 15-20 minutes. It took about the same time as the chicken breasts to cook.


If the top of the focaccia is not browning,


Use a pair of Tongs to flip it over in the pie plate.


Allow to cool slightly and slice into wedges. Enjoy it warm!

21 thoughts to “Baking at the Bread Festival in the Mill City Farmers Market: Focaccia!”

  1. Wow! Really inspirational! But I wish I had known, I could have hopped on the light rail and come down to see all that beautiful bread. Hope you’ll give us a heads up next year 🙂

  2. I made the Anadama Corn Bread recipe with home-milled cornmeal, leaving it to rise for two hours, then placed it into the refrigerator as directed. The very next day, I pulled out the dough to bake and noticed that it had a very strong aroma similar to what I remember the corn mash smelling at the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in TN! I baked the loaves anyway, allowed them to cool, then wrapped & refrigerated them. That was on Sunday and tonight when I went to cut-off a slice, the aroma of alcohol is even stronger and the taste is bitter. What could be the problem? My husband is calling it tipsy-bread! HELP!

  3. Zoe and Jeff,
    I met you both at a pizza class in Phoenix earlier this year. Just wanted to say thanks for your wonderful yeast dough techniques! I have 240 middle school students making your lean dough, buttermilk dough, and challah successfully everyday in class. We have made cinnamon rolls, pizza on a stick, na’an, monkey bread, focaccia, braided loaves, and today, English muffins. All great, all do-able, all in a toaster oven or on an electric griddle. Every student can mix the dough, let it rise, explain how that process works, cloak the dough balls and prepare accordingly. Thanks for changing our cooking lives.
    Rony in Las Vegas

    1. Thank you Rony!

      We are thrilled to hear that there is a new generation of bakers out there! I hope they will teach their parents and spread the word! 😉

      Cheers, Zoë

  4. I continue to enjoy your recipes. Last night I made the Blush Apple Tart with a modification. Don’t laugh but I was feeling a little lazy and doubtful about my ‘cream’ making skills. So I substituted marscapone for the cream. I used gala apples as they are a favorite in our home. I think the mandolin was key for the apples to be cooked at the same rate as the dough. It was so yummy.

    Can’t wait to see more about the new book.


    1. Pam: Absolutely, shorter baking times for pizza (as little as 90 sec). As for loaves– must let the fire die down or it burns the outside of the loaf before the inside is finished. Figure no 475 for the loaf breads, and dont’ make such big ones.

  5. I have just moved houses and this one comes with a convection oven. Can i make a good, thin-crust pizza in a convection oven? Plus, the highest temperature it goes to is 400 degrees.
    Please advise!!

    1. Nina: I find convection over-browns the cheese for pizza, so I don’t use it. Yours might be a better one. Too bad about the max temp of 400– you’ll need a longer baking time than what we call for.

  6. I was considering making the master recipe from the Artisan Pizza cookbook using the Caputo 00 flour. Will using it require me to add more water or adjust any other ingredient? Or do I just follow the master recipe?
    Thank you!

    1. that book has a recipe based on Caputo or other “00” flour, see page 73 of the book you mentioned for the recipe.

      1. Thank you! I don’t know why I didn’t see that recipe. 🙂 I’m looking forward to seeing how it compares to the recipe using Gold Medal (or the like) flour.

  7. We’ve enjoyed using the “00” flour! Nice change of pace!
    I have another flour question:
    I have a sensitivity/intolerance to barley/malt barley and the such. In the Master Recipe, what flour or combination of flours could I use to replace the all-purpose flour, since all-purpose flours tend to contain barley flour in some form or fashion? Could I use a whole wheat pastry flour or a white whole wheat flour? Or a combination?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Beth,

      Which book are you baking from? White whole wheat flour behaves the same as regular whole wheat and can not be used in place of AP in our recipes, or the dough will be too dry. You can use it, but will need to add more water. I would recommend following the recipe for 100% whole wheat bread. Whole wheat pastry flour doesn’t contain enough gluten forming protein, so you will end up with a dough that is too wet and doesn’t have enough structure.

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Zoe,
        I was asking about the use of the flours for pizza crust making (I have all three books :)). I found the recipe for the whole wheat crust in the Artisan Pizza book. Is this the recipe to which you’re referring?

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