One way to turn your kid on to vegetables? Let them use tomatoes, peppers, and more to transform crusty-chewy (no-knead!) bread into an edible masterpiece.

Cooked vegetable focaccia on cutting board
Credit: Gregg DuPree

Get Kids Helping

  1. Have them mix ingredients in a bowl using a spoon or even their hands.
  2. Press the dough into the pan and spread it out to the edges. Then have them poke it with their fingertips.
  3. Let kids get creative arranging the veggies on the top.

Top-It-Yourself Focaccia

Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 10 hours 15 minutes (or let dough rest overnight)
Makes 12 servings


  • 2 1/4 cups lukewarm water (about 110°F)
  • 1 1/4-oz. envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 9 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • Sliced bell peppers, halved cherry tomatoes, parsley leaves, sliced red onion, sliced black olives, and Broccolini florets, for decorating

Make It

  1. Stir together warm water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl. Let sit until mixture begins to bubble, 5 to 10 minutes. Add flour and salt, stirring until combined.
  2. Pour 4 Tbs. oil into a separate large bowl. Add flour mixture to oil, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
  3. Drizzle 4 Tbs. oil into a 13x18-in. baking pan. Using your hands, spread oil evenly around the bottom and sides of the pan. Gently punch down dough and place in prepared pan. Using your fingertips, push dough to evenly cover the bottom of pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 11/2 hours.
  4. Preheat oven to 450°F. Remove plastic wrap. Dimple focaccia all over with your fingers, creating deep depressions in the dough (your fingertips should touch the bottom of the pan). Arrange vegetables and herbs over the dough. Drizzle with remaining 1 Tbs. oil.
  5. Bake focaccia until puffed and golden brown all over, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool 20 minutes before cutting into 12 squares.

Nutrition Per Serving
(1 piece) 265 calories; 5g protein; 11g fat (1g sat. fat); 37g carbs; 1g fiber; 1g sugar; 2mg iron; 7mg calcium; 481mg sodium

Raw vegetables in bowls and raw dough for focaccia in tray
Credit: Gregg DuPree

Make Bread Art!

  • Rainbow Colors. Go full ROYGBIV by adding cherry tomatoes and bell peppers for red, orange, and yellow, herbs and Broccolini florets for green, black olives for blue, and red onion for indigo and violet.
  • Kaleidoscopic Spiral. Start in the center with a round vegetable (a slice of red onion offers the perfect vortex effect). Then assemble concentric circles around it made up of veggies indifferent colors.
  • Pretty Flower Garden. Use parsley, chives, rosemary, or thyme to form “stems” and “leaves.” Create “petals” from bell-pepper rings and cherry tomato and red-onion slices. Add olives, sunflower seeds, or capers for flower centers.

    This article originally appeared in Parents magazine's November 2020 issue as “Focaccia Made Fun” Want more from the magazine? Sign up for a monthly print subscription here