I make some type of focaccia at least once a week. My basic rosemary topped focaccia is my favorite all-round focaccia to use for sandwiches, cut into small squares to serve in place of bread, or to simply snack on, but from time to time I like to play around with my focaccia dough. Last week, I decided to make a stuffed focaccia to serve for lunch. I stuffed the focaccia with a homemade sun-dried tomato pesto, slices of prosciutto cotton (cooked ham), and slices of sharp provolone cheese. Once the focaccia had baked to a golden brown, I let it cool for about ten minutes, and then cut it into squares.
The focaccia is a great option to take on a picnic now that the weather has changed, or to use in packed lunches as it packs really well. I froze half of my focaccia squares and then allowed them to thaw. I then wrapped them in foil and warmed them in a preheated oven for ten minutes and they tasted freshly made.
Deborah Mele 2016
Focaccia Stuffed With Prosciutto Cotto, Provolone Cheese & Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- 5 Cups All-purpose Unbleached Flour
- 2 Teaspoons Instant Active Dry Yeast
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Plus 2 Additional Tablespoons To Oil Bowl)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2+ Cups Warm Water
- 12 Thin Slices Cooked Ham
- 12 Slices Provolone Cheese
- Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto:
- 1 Cup Sun-dried Tomatoes In Olive Oil
- 1 Garlic Cloves,
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley Leaves
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Measure and assemble your flour, oil, salt, yeast, and water.
- Add everything but the water into a large bowl and stir.
- Add half the water and stir.
- Continue to add water until the dough begins to come together into a shaggy ball.
- Dump the dough mixture onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead with the heels of your hand.
- Knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and pliant.
- Add a little oil (2 tablespoons) to the bottom of a large bowl and place your ball of dough inside.
- Roll the ball of dough around in the oil ensuring the sides of the bowl and ball of dough are both lightly oiled.
- Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise. (I cover mine with a kitchen towel on top of the plastic wrap and sit it on a large sunny windowsill.)
- Let the dough rise until it is doubled in size, about an hour or an hour and a half depending on ambient temperature.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- While the dough is rising, place all of the pesto ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
- Divide the dough into two equal halves.
- Oil a 13 x 9 Inch baking sheet.
- Place one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it with a rolling pin until it fits the bottom of the prepared pan.
- Place the dough in the pan, stretching it with your fingers to fit.
- Spread the tomato pesto over the dough.
- Lay the ham slices, slightly overlapping on top of the pesto.
- Lay the provolone cheese slices on top of the ham, overlapping to fit.
- Roll out the remaining dough to fit the pan, then stretch it out with your fingers as you lay it on top of the stuffing mixture.
- Use your fingers to pinch the two dough halves together to seal.
- Use your fingers to press dimples into the top of the dough.
- Drizzle a little of the oil over the top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the top with some salt and oregano, and then bake until puffed and golden brown, about 25 minutes.
- Cool 10 minutes, then cut into 4-inch squares and serve.