Stuffed Focaccia takes a bread favorite one notch higher. I came late to “The Great British Bakeoff” and have always been sorry for that. Unlike American baking shows that seem to care only about the glitz, this is actually a baking show. Anyway, when I finally arrived I loved it to the point I purchased a book from one of the shows.
This Stuffed Focaccia is from, “The Great British Bake Off Big Book of Baking”. As usual I have altered it somewhat, most notably the filling. Mike absolutely loves it.
It’s a great picnic bread and you can fill it with whatever you want. They used salami, cheese and fresh spinach.
The measurements and some of the directions need translation for American kitchens as they are all metric. Other than that this is very straight forward and a great bread to start with. I let mine rise, punch it down and then refrigerate it for two days, which I believe helps develop the flavor.
Stuffed Focaccia3 1/2 cups bread flour (500 grams or 17 1/2 ounces)
1 3/4 teaspoons instant or bread flour yeast
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped dried rosemary or 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh
1 1/3 to 1 2/3 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
Put the flour, yeast, salt and rosemary in a mixing bowl. Whisk to mix. Mix the oil and 1 1/3 cup water together. Add it to the dry ingredients and beat with a dough hook until it come together. If the mixture is dry, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be very soft.
Beat for 3 minutes to develop the gluten. It has developed enough gluten when a small piece of dough stretched out is transparent. This is the windowpane test used in professional bakeries. If it breaks apart, continue beating it and testing it.
Punch down and place in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
Focaccia Dough, cut in half
1/2 to 2/3 cup roasted red pepper, cut into strips (bought is fine)
1/3 to 1/2 cup calamata olives, cut in half
2/3 to 1 cup quartered artichoke, cut in half
1/2 cup grated parmesan or asiago sheese
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
Spray a 9x9x2 inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Cut the focaccia dough in half without kneading it Pat, press or roll half of it into the prepared pan. Stretch it out with your fingers if it springs back. If only the corners are not covered don’t worry about it. Fill it as desired to within 1/2 inch of the edges. I used the following ingredients:
Layer the ingredients over the dough. Pat, press or roll the second piece of dough out. Wet the edges of the bottom piece with water. Place the top piece on and press down on the edges to stick them together.
Cover and allow to rise for about an hour in a warm place until about doubled.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the top is deep golden brown. Cool. Serve warm.
Yield: 1 9×9″ loaf.