Focaccia....kind of like pizza's lonely step-child....sometimes forgotten in the world of yeasty doughs. My kind of lonely pal.... easy to please, does not complain and leaves a smile on your face.
Add some roasted garlic and you have yourself the beginning of a very good friendship.
A very good friendship indeed!
I mixed together a simple topping of artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, kalmata olives and a good heaping helping of grated goat's milk Gouda. You could mix together really anything that floats your boat! Or keep it simple with some coarse sea salt and black pepper. Really focaccia is anything but lonely or boring.... just don't tell that to Mr. Pizza (he could get his feelings hurt!)
Roasted Garlic, Artichoke and Olive Focaccia
Makes one large 11 x 17 focaccia
4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 package active dry yeast
1 & 2/3 cup warm water
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Olive oil for the pan ( 11 x 17 jelly roll pan )
1 can artichoke hearts quartered
1 head roasted garlic
1 cup chopped olives
1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice. (I tend to lean for less cheese so go on and add more if you like)
Combine flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir well to combine
In a separate bowl whisk the yeast into the warm water and then add the olive oil
Using a rubber scraper make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour the liquid in gradually stirring the flour into the center of the bowl. Continue to incorporate more flour as you stir. When all the flour is combined the dough will be fairly sticky and pull away from the sides of the bowl. Continue folding the dough until no dry bits of flour remain
Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise about 1 - 2 hours.
Scrape the dough into a oiled pan. With your hands gently press the dough down into the pan. You may need to lightly oil your hands to prevent sticking. I had to let my dough rest a bit in the pan before I was able to press it into the corners.
Cover with an oiled plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise again in the pan. About 1 hour.
While the dough is rising you can make the topping. Cut about 1/4 of the top off of a head of garlic. Wrap in foil and drizzle some olive oil over the top. Place in the oven at 375 for about 40 min. Once cooled squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves. Chop the artichoke hearts into quarters and mix with the garlic and the chopped olives. Add any type of grated cheese. You could also add a softer goat cheese if you wish.
Uncover the crust and use a fingertip to gently dimple the dough. Spread the topping on all over the dimpled dough. Season with salt and black pepper.
Bake at 475 for about 30 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Cool. Slice and serve. You can serve this warm or at room temp. An added bonus is that your house will smell fantastic.
Time to get dirty!!!