Dressed-Up Focaccia

Ok, I know this looks like it might be some strange topography from southern China — have no fear, it’s just my focaccia getting ready for the oven:)

It is actually based on the bread recipe I shared with you a couple days ago, minus the honey plus a bunch of tasty toppings:

Savory Brioche Dough Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups lukewarm water

1 1/2 tsp granulated yeast ( 1 1/2 packets)

1 1/2 tbsp salt

8 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 Cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

7 1/2 Cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Extra butter to grease pan

Brioche Dough Directions:

Mix yeast, salt, eggs and melted butter with water in a 5-quart bowl or lidded food container.

Mix in flour without kneading, using spoon, a 14-cup food processor or heavy-duty stand mixer with bread hook. Dough will be loose, but will firm up when chilled. Don’t try to work with it before chilling.  Cover (not airtight) and allow to rest at room temp for approx 2 hours, until dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top).

Dough can be used as soon as it’s chilled after the initial rise. Refrigerate in lidded container and use over next five days. Beyond 5 days, freeze dough in 1-pound portions for up to 4 weeks. When using frozen dough, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours before using, then allow usual rest and rise times.

Toppings for Focaccia:

1 Cup pitted Greek olives (Kalamata)

2 -3 Tbsp Pesto

1 tsp. fresh or dried rosemary

1 tsp fresh or dried lemon thyme

1/2 Cup aged goat cheese, grated (could be 6-month old goat Gouda, Gorgonzola, Appenzeller or Gruyere — main thing is that it should be pretty dry)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix herbs into the pesto sauce and let stand.

Roll out half of the dough onto parchment paper in the shape of a cookie sheet. I line my cookie sheet with foil or butter it generously, as I have heard that parchment paper contains bisphenols and I no longer want to put it in the oven.

Allow the dough to rise for 1/2 hour, then use your index finger to “dimple” the dough. Next, brush the pesto + herbs all over the top of the dough.  Put an olive into each dimple, and finally, sprinkle the grated cheese all over.

Bake the focaccia for approximately 30 min. You want it to be nicely brown, but not too crisp. Don’t let it bake so long that the cheese turns dark brown. If you find that your oven varies in temp, try holding off on the application of the cheese and sprinkle it on halfway through baking instead.

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