Sundried Tomatoes, Pesto, Corn & Cheese Stuffed Focaccia – Yum Yum!
I love Focaccia, but never knew one day I would be making it at home. I can’t believe I’ve reached here in my endeavors to eat home made food. Not to mention, V is enjoying and putting on inches but loving every moment of my journey – from a below average cook of dal, roti to confusion cook who is willing to try new horizons.
Again Focaccia is from my anniversary menu – I’m traveling & didn’t want to disappear from the scene after one post on Eggless Tiramisu, hence I made my menu into scheduled drafts. I follow DK’s blog for international cuisines a lot as she really makes them simple & appealing at the same time. This one is again a crowd winner and in my case husband winner. As the adage goes – A way to a man’s heart is through his stomach ;)
When I started, it was going to be a simply baked focaccia as I had planned to make stuffed crust pizza for the dinner, however I didn’t get string cheese in all the (supposed) fine foods shop and had to scrap it. But by then I had already bought the mozzarella cheese and didn’t want to waste it. So decided on making Stuffed Cheese Focaccia instead. :) I quickly chopped cheese, chopped onion & boiled corn for the filling and I was ready.
Baking focaccia was the most chaotic of dishes I have ever done. I dissolved the yeast first and forgot to pit & chop olives. In this race against time (may be I am exaggerating) I managed to pit & chop before water got cold. It was only after I had put the dough in the sun for half an hour, that I realized I had forgotten to add sugar. :( I immediately googled and came across reviews that bread won’t brown, will be dense, dough will not rise etc etc. (sob, sob). Someone suggested adding it by dissolving in little water & leave it again for rising. and that’s what I did.
But I guess my Focaccia had decided not to be perfect. Even after rectifying my earlier mistakes, the dough didn’t rise. It was the first time I was using yeast, so I had no idea what to look for, so then again I hit panic button on google & found that in most such cases, yeast is already dead. I quickly did the yeast check (as advised on google) and my worst fear became a reality, the yeast was indeed DEAD! some more sob :(
I didn’t had the time or patience to buy new yeast and start afresh, so I decided to go ahead with it. Though the focaccia didn’t turn out as spongy as it should be. But the crust baked well & tasted fine. Obviously not the best! I guess I can get out of this one by telling myself (and everyone) that this is my first time. V consoled me by saying that this has become more like a thin crust pizza with stuffing. (ha ha) I guess I need to learn to see humor in this debacle.
For the focaccia dough, I skipped rosemary & substituted pesto & sun-dried tomatoes with sun-dried tomato pesto.
Focaccia – loosely adapted from DK & King Arthur Flour
- 3 cups – All Purpose Flour
- 1 tsp + 1 tsp – salt
- pinch of sugar
- 1/4 tsp – Ground Black Pepper
- 2 tsp – Rapid Rise Dried Yeast
- 11/4 cups – Lukewarm Water
- 2/3 cup – Pitted Black Olives, chopped
- 4 tbsp – Sun-dried Tomato Pesto
- 1/4 cup – Boiled Corn
- 1 – Chopped Onion
- 1/2 cup – Chopped Mozzarella Cheese
- Sift the flour, salt & pepper in a bowl.
- Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water as per instructions on the pack.
- Add sugar to the flour. Now make a well in the center & add yeast water with olives & sun-dried tomato pesto.
- Mix it into a soft dough, adding little water if necessary.
- Transfer the dough onto a floured platform and knead well till elastic & smooth.
- Store it in a well oiled bowl & cover in a plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour or till it has risen in double the volume. The dough is ready when you can push a finger or two into it and not have it spring back.
- Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it again gently for a minute. Divide the dough into half.
- Round each half into loose ball and allow them to rest covered in a film for 10-15 mins.
- Pre-heat the oven at 425 F/220 C.
- Roll one ball into a 10-12″ circle and place on the greased baking pan.
- Now spread boiled corn, onion & cheese evenly on the circle, leaving 1 inch around the edges.
- Roll second ball into the same size circle & place atop the filling.
- Press the edges of the dough together firmly to seal the 2 circles.
- Oil the surface of the dough with olive oil using a pastry brush.
- Sprinkle salt on top.
- Bake for 20-25 mins or till done. Transfer to a wire rack.
- Cut into small loaves using pizza cutter & and serve warm.
I served with my Spaghetti in al’arabiata Sauce. Every cheesy bite reminded me of on-the-go snacks/ meals eaten at Cafe Coffee Day during my years in job. Loving it!
After the anniversary dinner, V refused to even budge from his place & went off to sleep by 8 pm, which is like a miracle. I guess a full stomach speaks all. :)