Sunday, April 20, 2014

Rosemary Focaccia Stuffed With Bacon And Cheese - Recipe

I have got my baking groove back on, and how! Its is so therapeutic, especially once the whole kitchen and house starts to smell heavenly with those baking goodness, and the icing on top of this cake is eating it, the buns, I mean!

After making several sweet buns in the past, I decided I should try something savoury instead. I have always been intrigued with the idea of flat oven baked type of bun with the herbs as topping. After gathering some guts, and perfecting the recipe from various research, I have finally successfully baked what seems like a perfect focaccia to us! Perfect because it also contains our favourite comfort ingredients, bacon and cheese!

I had looked up for recipes over Dailydelicious and Happy Home Baking and finally got the right amount or rather size of focaccia I want to make for the 4 of us (including two little ones).

Below is my perfected recipe for the rosemary focaccia stuffed with comfor goodness (aka bacon and cheese). 

You Need

300g bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant or fast acting dried yeast
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp of dried rosemary
1 tsp olive oil
200ml warm water
5 strips of bacon, cut small
2 slices of cheddar cheese
some Japanese Mayonnaise

for topping:
1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tsp of dried rosemary


1) Mix the yeast into the warm water, stir in the sugar, and leave it for 10 minutes till you see the yeast foaming.

2) Put the bread flour, salt, chopped garlic and dried rosemary into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the olive oil and water, and stir with a wooden spoon till it all comes together.

3) Get your hand into the mixing bowl and knead the dough till smooth. You can also knead it on a floured surface, but I prefer to do it in the bowl itself. I added more olive oil to improve the texture. Coat it with some olive oil and cover the bowl with a towel. Let it rest for 1 hour.

4) Lightly fry the bacon in a pan, and transfer on a dish to let it cool.

5) Once it doubles in size, punch it down, and divide the dough into two.

6) Grease a 30cmx30cm baking tray with olive oil. Take one half of the dough and spread it over the baking tray. Firmly push the dough to the sides and corners to ensure it spreads evenly.

7) Spread the fried bacon on. Cut the cheese in longish shape, and arrange evenly on the dough. Spread some Japanese mayo.

8) Take the second half of the dough and roll it on a floured surface. Gently pick it and place it on top of the first flattened dough. Seal the sides. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes.

9) Prick the dough evenly with a fork, and brush with olive oil, and also sprinkle some more dried rosemary.

10) Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, till it is golden.

Clearly I did not seal the sides good enough, but I am glad to report that no cheese or bacon escaped. It made an excellent lunch for a lazy Sunday that we had already ate a heavy breakfast. Pardon the shoddy job at cutting my focaccia, I really ought to get that bread knife! Disclaimer: Taste is not affected whatever knife we use.

This time I put my instant yeast that were placed in the freezer to test. I gave it 10 minutes to thaw before doing the activation test, and voila, it worked! After yeast mishaps, I find this method of activation in warm liquid very helpful to ensure the yeast is working, rather than finding out when the dough never rises after hours. Therefore you may find my order of mixing the dough is rather different from the other recipes online.

It is ideal to use fresh herbs, but I only had the dried ones, which worked just as perfect. You can also omit the chopped garlic, but I liked having it for the flavour it gives to the savoury taste. The recipe is also the same as a plain focaccia with just one or more herbs, but it felt to me that if I am going all the way hand kneading and proofing time waiting, I might as well produce more reasons to be excited and savour it for. After all, hubby bugs me every ten minutes after I put the dough for first proofing.

For a change, the baking aroma this time was of heavenly rosemary and olive oil. Its just such mood up-lifting fragrance!

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