For novice bakers, focaccia is one of the easiest types of bread to start with, as it is almost foolproof. There is really no way to make a mistake as long as you follow the basic recipe. Focaccia is one bread that I make at least once a week as it is excellent for snacking and pairs well with any meal. I usually make a large pan of focaccia, cut it into squares once baked and cooled, and freeze most of it wrapped well in aluminum foil and freezer bags. This way, I can take out four to six squares a day to thaw and snack on, and we have fresh bread whenever we want it.
You can top focaccia with various options, and your choices are only limited by your imagination. My usually basic focaccia is topped with fresh chopped rosemary, coarse sea salt, and a drizzle of our own extra virgin olive oil. Focaccia can also be stuffed, and I have stuffed focaccia with a combination of meat and cheese, grilled veggies, or a combination of cheese as I have in this recipe. I chose to pair creamy Gorgonzola Dolce, mild blue cheese with mozzarella, and grated Parmesan cheese. I added some finely chopped basil to the cheese mixture and stuffed my focaccia just before baking. The only trick to making this stuffed focaccia is to press the edges together after the stuffing is in place to ensure that the cheese doesn’t escape while baking.
- 4 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Tablespoon Instant Yeast
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2+ Cups Warm Water
- 1 1/2 Cups Diced Gorgonzola Dolce Cheese
- 1 1/2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/4 Cup Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1 Teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt
- 2 Teaspoons Fresh Chopped Rosemary
- 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- In a large bowl, add 1 1/2 cups warm water to the yeast and stir until dissolved.
- Add the salt, olive oil and flour and stir until mixed, adding a teaspoon or two of more water if needed to create a soft dough.
- Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead by hand until the dough is smooth, about 7 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two equal sized balls of dough and cover to rest 30 minutes.
- Line a large flat baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Roll one ball of dough into a circle about 14 to 15 inches wide and place on the prepared baking pan.
- In a bowl, mix together the three types of cheese and fresh basil.
- Top the shaped circle with the filling mixture, leaving a 1 inch border all around.
- Roll out the second ball of dough the same size and place over the filling.
- Press the edges of the two circles of dough together firmly to encase the filling.
- Cover the focaccia with kitchen towels and rest 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Use your finger tips to create dimples over the top on the dough, then drizzle the top with the oil, and sprinkle with the sea salt and rosemary.
- Bake focaccia around 30 minutes until golden brown.
- Allow the focaccia to cool 10 minutes, then slice into wedges or strips and serve warm.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 29mgSodium: 787mgCarbohydrates: 39gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 14g
Deborah Mele 2022