Posts Tagged ‘filled focaccia’

It seems we’re the only ones who weren’t able to grow zucchinis this year!

Diana grew giant yellow ones, my friend Becca was over-run with them, and last week Pete’s baby sister Penny sent down the doozy of them all!  For a couple of days, the “monster” just sat on the kitchen bench (it was too large to fit in the fridge), but by Saturday morning I’d built up my chi enough to tackle it.

Not a single bit of the zucchini went to waste!  The top and tail, plus all the seeds, were eaten with relish by the chooks.   The bottom half was sliced into large chunks and roasted with potatoes, turnips and capsicums as an accompaniment to our Saturday night roast.

And on Sunday, the top half was turned into two large zucchini slices, enough to feed the neighbourhood!

. . . . .

One of the foodie treats that I always buy from Harkola is this Lebanese fig marmalade – a delicious chunky paste of figs, sesame seeds, anise and sugar.  It’s ridiculously cheap ($4.95 for 800g) and packed to the brim with large pieces of fruit.  The sesame seeds give the marmalade an unusual flavour, and make it perfect for incorporating into savoury dishes.

Last weekend I had a jar of this to use up, plus a bag of turkey breast offcuts from Paesanella, so I made a filled focaccia.  The basic recipe is here, and my add-ins for this batch were:

  • 200g turkey offcuts, chopped
  • 200g fig marmalade
  • 65g Picasso sheeps’ cheese

It could have used a little more cheese, but this recipe is always made with whatever I have leftover in the fridge, and that was all I had.

The resultant loaf was a seductive blend of sweet and salty flavours – Pete and Uncle Steve loved it!

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Bobby the Builder and Uncle Steve (Pete’s brother) have been doing some maintenance work for us.  Hammering and sawing can be very tiring, and I wanted to bake them something nice for lunch.

This flat loaf was dead easy to make, and I filled it with chunks of deli meats (I bought a bag of offcuts from Paesanella for $3), a little sheeps’ cheese and some marinated artichokes.  In the past I’ve also made this with olives and semi-dried tomatoes – anything that might sit comfortably on an antipasto platter would probably work well here.

  • 500g (31/3 cups) bakers flour
  • 10g (or 1 sachet) dried yeast
  • 7g (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
  • 320g (11/3 cups) water
  • 50ml (10 teaspoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • assorted fillings, such as deli meats, pitted olives, semi-dried tomatoes, marinated artichokes and hard cheeses

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and yeast.  Add the water and oil, then add the filling, cut up into pieces.  With a clean hand, squelch everything together to form a sticky dough.  Scrape off your hand, and cover the bowl with clingfilm.  Allow to rest for about half an hour.

2. Leaving the dough in the bowl, give it a brief knead (doing this in the bowl saves on cleaning up the bench later, and also contains all the inclusions, which tend to fly around otherwise when kneaded).  It should only take about 30 seconds for the dough to turn quite smooth.  Cover again and leave to rise until doubled – about an hour.

3. Line a roasting pan with parchment paper and scrape the risen dough into it.  Gently pat the dough out to fit evenly into the pan.  Cover and let it rest until it puffs up a little – about 20 minutes.  Preheat the oven to maximum.

4. Uncover the dough and drizzle with oil, then scatter a little salt over the top (not too much, as the fillings are already quite salty).  Push clean fingers through to the bottom of the dough – there are more detailed photos and a video of the process here.

5. Put the pan into the hot oven, lowering the temperature to 220C (430F) with fan and bake for 20 minutes, rotating the bread once during the baking time.

Easy!  Don’t get too caught up on the kneading – since the focaccia is a flatbread, it doesn’t really need to rise in the same way as a formed loaf might.  In this case, as with pizza, it doesn’t really matter if you don’t knead the dough much at all!

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