I'd noticed that every time I was out of town on a Friday night (for sled hockey tournaments) my spouse would order a focaccia pizza. The leftovers I'd have after my return were pretty tasty, so I was eager to try it out myself. I consulted my personal pizza resource, The Best Pizza Is Made at Home , for inspiration on the crust as well as baking directions. I had some arugula pesto, made using the recipe out of Farmer John's Cookbook: The Real Dirt on Vegetables, so I decided to try that. If you don't have asiago cheese, try Bryn's easy arugula pesto recipe instead, or the arugula pesto of your choice.
I was comfortable jumping into a flavored dough but needed to try the method on a barely-topped bread first, just to make sure I set myself up for success. The last spectacular pizza failure, seen on my Facebook page, of my deep dish spinach pie on eggnog crust is still too fresh in my mind. Such a great idea in theory, so bad in execution . . . ah well. That's why I call it recipe development. If at first you don't succeed . . .
Making focaccia this way calls for a 12 inch round deep dish pizza pan. I don't have one. Since I never know what size kitchen we'll be living in at our next house, I try not to collect single-purpose items (hello, asparagus steamer, I'm talking 'bout you!). I do have a 12 inch cast iron skillet though. That's what I used for this focaccia, and I recommend using one if you also have one. The resulting bread was thicker than my usual pizza crust, crisp on the bottom like my cornbread, delightfully chewy on the inside, and topped with a flavorful combination suggested by my spouse from items we had on hand in the fridge/freezer. The toppings added to the flavor of the base, but didn't overpower it. I've said in my Pizza Primer that less is more, and it sure is true here. You really don't want to glop on heavy toppings or sauces here. At least, not the first time you make it.
Who knows what I'll do next time, though clever blog readers may think I've already done it with this Salmon, Goat Cheese, and Arugula Pesto pizza--though that is baked and topped differently, and even a bit different ratio of flours for the dough. All good, though, and yes you are quite bright!
Arugula Pesto Focaccia with Artichokes, Feta, Goat Cheese, Green Olives and Roasted Garlic2/3 cup warm water
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/3 cup prepared arugula pesto (or the pesto of your choice)
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) bread flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
olive oil for the storage container and pan
1 clove roasted garlic, smushed (here's how I put up my garlic crop)
4 green olives, quartered
2 marinated artichoke hearts, chopped (that's 8 pieces of quartered hearts)
1/8 cup crumbled feta cheese
3/4 ounce goat cheese
a couple of pinches of Kosher salt
To make the dough, dissolve yeast in water in a large bowl. I use my stand mixer with the paddle attachment I scored in a before-Christmas coupon sale. Dump pesto, flour, and salt on top. Mix on low speed until dough starts to come together, scraping down as necessary. Give it a faster whirl for 20-30 seconds if you like. Since you're working with vegetables of varying water content, you may need to add a tablespoon or flour if the dough seems too wet, or a teaspoon of water or olive oil if the dough seems too dry.
Place dough in an oiled container and chill for up to 3 days (or freeze it, you choice, though move it to the fridge the day before baking if frozen). A couple of hours before you're ready to bake* move the dough to the counter.
After about 30 minutes it should be the right temperature to work with you, so oil your 12 inch cast iron skillet and press the dough to the edge and up a centimeter or so, then cover with a dish towel. My fancy oven has a Bread Proof setting, so I stuck the covered skillet in the oven at 100 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes. If your oven is like ovens I had for the first 4 some decades of my life, let the covered skillet rise in another warm place. After 30 minutes, remove the skillet from the fancy oven and crank it up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
|Dough on the left has risen for 30 minutes, dough on the right is after dimpling and garlic brushing.|
This post is hanging with the brand new From The Farm Blog Hop and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, the Wednesday Fresh Foods Link Up, What's Cookin' Wednesday, and What's In The Box.