I have done so much baking during the past few months, I even surprised myself. Although I’ve always enjoyed baking bread, I haven’t enjoyed baking sweets. Baking, in general, requires precision measuring or weighing, and one mistake can turn a cake from amazing into a flop. Being locked down during this Pandemic, however, I’ve been baking a lot, both sweet and savory. I have enjoyed spending these hours in the kitchen and found my kitchen time to be a huge stress reliever.
During the past few months, I have mastered my sourdough. After trying to create a decent sourdough bread for years, I FINALLY have it figured out. As well as baking some great loaves of bread, I have been baking many types of focaccia. Focaccia is an easy Italian flatbread that can be flavored with a myriad of different ingredients. You can cut focaccia into slices to serve in place of bread for dinner, cut into squares to make sandwiches, or simply cut into strips to snack on any time of the day. This lemon focaccia has become a family favorite recently, and I’ve made it three times in the past month. Thinly sliced lemons give the focaccia a brightness, while fresh thyme adds a hint of herby freshness. The trick to making this focaccia is to slice the lemons as thin as possible, so they caramelize as the focaccia bakes. I use a mandolin to ensure my lemons are thin enough. To ensure there is enough lemon flavor, I also add the zest and juice of a whole lemon into the dough. This focaccia would be a perfect summer appetizer served to guests with a glass of white wine!
Deborah Mele 2020
For The Focaccia:
- 5 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Rapid Rise Yeast
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- Zest & Juice of 1 Medium Sized Lemon
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Luke Warm Water
- 3 Medium Lemons Very Thinly Sliced
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Thyme
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, lemon zest and juice, oil, and salt, then add just enough warm water to create a workable, shaggy dough.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth and shiny.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Lightly oil a 15 x 10-inch baking sheet and press the dough in to fit.
- Press your fingertips over the top of the dough to create dimples.
- Arrange the lemon slices and thyme evenly over the top of the focaccia, then sprinkle liberally with sea salt.
- Drizzle with olive oil, let rest for 20 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature before slicing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g