I was craving a focaccia bread. The grocery store ones just aren't cutting it, ya know. Something easy and tender that I could rip apart with my fingers was necessary. So I checked out Joy the Baker's site in hopes of finding just the thing. I found this recipe. It uses strawberries, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Not the flavor combo I was seeking. So I just borrowed the base dough recipe. Focaccia’s flexible right?
Jalapeno cheddar is such a classic flavor combo, I love it. And when you bake those peppers they tend to lose just a little bit of their heat. But I was taking this loaf to my mother-in-law’s house so I didn’t want to make the whole thing jalapeno. Not everyone there is a fan of the spice like I am. So I did halfsies with an herb topping on the other half.
Focaccia Bread Recipe
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (+/- 115°)
3 cups of flour
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
12 slices of jalapeno (I used the jarred kind), cut in half
2 tsp herb mix (parsley, basil, garlic pwd, etc – whatever blend you love)
Pour the warm water into a large bowl & add the yeast. Stir it up until it dissolves fully. Add 1 cup of the flour and blend it together until it becomes a smooth dough. Cover and let it rest for 1 hour to rise.
After the hour has passed and the dough has risen, stir in 3 Tbsp olive oil and sugar.
Add 1 cup flour and stir.
Add the last cup of flour + salt. Stir it up and form a dough.
Take the dough to a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be a little sticky, but if its unmanageable its ok to add a little more flour until you can work with it.
Using a clean bowl, coat the sides with 1 tsp of olive oil. Put the dough ball in the bowl and flip it around until its coated all around.
Cover the bowl with a clean hand towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour (until its doubled in size).
After the hour, punch the dough down and knead it for a minute.
Then shape into a long, wide rectangle. Approx 16 x 9 inches.
Place the rectangular dough onto a greased baking sheet and let it rise for a half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Before placing the dough in the oven use your fingers to press indentations all over the surface. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with cheddar cheese & jalapeno slices (or herb mixture).
Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. The bread should be golden and crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.
Meanwhile… this was happening in the front yard.
The turtle gets away –
I love having boys.