Roasted Fennel Focaccia with Pecorino

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes About

    32 pieces

Appears in

A delicious snack to enjoy as is, these fingers of focaccia can be served with small dishes of tomato sauce (your favorite prepared sauce) alongside, warmed and served in small bowls for dipping. Garlic lovers may want to work in the tender roasted cloves of a small head of garlic, coarsely chopped.

Depending on the size and moisture content of your fennel bulb, you may need to add as much as ½ cup or more extra flour.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium fennel bulb
  • 3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • cups all-purpose flour, more if needed
  • teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¾ cup warm (about 105°F) water
  • 2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Trim the stalks from the fennel bulb, reserving the tender green fronds. Cut the tough base from the bulb, then halve the bulb vertically. Set the fennel halves on a piece of aluminum foil, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and wrap up loosely in the foil. Bake until tender, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool.

When the fennel is cool, cut away the core and finely chop the flesh. Chop enough of the reserved fennel fronds to make ¼ cup.

Put the flour, salt, and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and stir to mix. Make a well in the center. Pour the warm water into the well and sprinkle the yeast over. Let sit until the yeast is frothy, about 5 minutes.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients at low speed for a few seconds, then drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over and sprinkle in the fennel fronds. Continue to mix until the dough begins to come together. Add the roasted fennel and continue mixing until the dough is cohesive, adding more flour if the dough is quite sticky. With the mixer’s dough hook or working the dough by hand, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and satiny, and it pulls cleanly away from the sides of the bowl or the work surface, about 10 minutes, adding more flour if needed. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bow, (it could be the same bowl in which you mixed the dough) and turn it to evenly but lightly coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until the dough has doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and punch it down. Using your palms, press the dough out into a rectangle the size of your baking sheet. Carefully transfer the dough to the baking sheet. Cover the pan with the towel and set aside to rise by about half, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Sprinkle the Pecorino cheese over the dough and bake the focaccia until nicely browned on top, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board and cut it in half lengthwise and across into strips about inches wide. Arrange the pieces on a platter or tray and serve.

Loading
Loading
Loading