Filled Ham & Cheese Focaccia

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    one

    12 × 18 inch 30 × 45 cm ) focaccia, 6 to 8 generous servings, more as an hors d’oeuvre

Appears in

This is a fun and easy way to make a focaccia you can serve as part of an assortment of first courses or as an hors d’oeuvre. The filling here is prosciutto and mozzarella with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano. You could just as easily use boiled ham and Gruyère with excellent results. Or, make up a filling of your own—the techniques of filling, shaping, and baking can be applied to lot of different combinations. Just bear in mind that whatever you use to fill the focaccia must have an assertive flavor, and be both fairly flat and low in moisture—so sliced meats and/or cheeses are perfect.

Focaccia Dough, prepared up to the end of step 4

Ingredients

Filling

  • 12 ounces (350 grams) prosciutto, thinly sliced and cut into ½-inch (1-cm) squares
  • 12 ounces (350 grams) fresh mozzarella, coarsely shredded or cut into thin slices, then into ½-inch (1-cm) squares
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or other coarse salt
  • One 12 × 18-inch (30 × 45-cm) or 11 × 17-inch (28 × 43-cm) jelly-roll pan, generously oiled

Method

  1. Scrape the dough to a lightly floured work surface without folding it over on itself. Lightly flour the top of the dough and press it into a rough rectangle, at least 10 × 15 inches (25 × 38 cm..
  2. Distribute the prosciutto and mozzarella evenly on one side of the dough in a 10 × 7½-inch (25 × 19-cm) rectangle. Scatter the Parmigiano and pepper on the filling. Lightly brush the uncovered dough with water so that it adheres easily to the filling and the dough.
  3. Fold the uncovered dough over the filling without stretching it. Flour the top of the dough and use the palms of your hands to press and seal the package of dough and filling. Slide both hands, palms up, under the dough and lift it into the prepared pan, lining up the 10-inch side of the dough with the shorter side of the pan.
  4. Lightly oil the palms of your hands and press the dough to fill the pan. If it resists, cover the pan with a towel or plastic wrap and leave it for 15 minutes. You should then easily be able to finish pressing the dough into the pan.
  5. Cover the pan again and let the dough rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. About 20 minutes before the dough is completely risen, set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 40o°F (200°C).
  7. Use a fingertip to dimple the dough all over at -inch (4-cm) intervals. Drizzle the top with the oil and sprinkle with the salt.
  8. Bake the focaccia until it is well risen and beginning to color, about 30 minutes. Turn the pan back to front about halfway through the baking.
  9. Let the focaccia cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, then use a wide metal spatula to slide it onto a rack to finish cooling.

Serving

Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the focaccia into squares. Cut the focaccia into 2-inch (5-cm) squares as an hors d’oeuvre, or as part of an assortment of antipasti for a first course.

Storage

Keep the focaccia loosely covered with plastic wrap on the day it is baked—if you’re preparing it early in the day for the evening, leave it right on the cooling rack. Wrap and freeze for longer storage. Defrost, reheat at 375°F (190°C) for about 10 minutes, and cool before serving.

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