Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Manchego Foccacia

It's not a secret that I love cheese. So it's not uncommon to find me perusing the cheese cooler at our local market. I swear I come home with at least one block of cheese each time I go there, regardless of what my original reason for going there was. So, this beautiful block of Manchego has been sitting in my fridge for a week or so. I was looking for an EASY bread to make with my cheese and came across this recipe from Tyler Florence for his "Fabulous Focaccia." Any recipe that has the word 'fabulous' in its title is worth a shot.

I must say, in one word, this foccacia was FABOOSH (a la Perez Hilton). So easy, so yummy. The manchego crisped up on top and provided a sharpness that paired so well with some Chicken Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup. I'd love to make this again with something like aged white cheddar. I'd also like to try Tyler's recipe as is, which included a topping of caramelized onions, rosemary and parmesan.

2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting
1 C Manchego cheese
2 Tbsp dried oregano

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, proof the yeast by combining it with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add the flour to the bowl. Dissolve salt in 2 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/4 cup olive oil.

When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Stop the machine periodically to scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface and fold over itself a few times. Form the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil so it doesn't form a skin. Cover with plastic wrap or damp towel and let rise over a gas pilot light on the stovetop or other warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Coat a sheet pan with a little olive oil and corn meal. Once the dough is doubled and domed, turn it out onto the counter. Roll and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick. Lay the flattened dough on the pan and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then add the manchego cheese. Sprinkle with the oregano and bake on the bottom rack for 15 to 20 minutes.


  1. Yummy

    It sounds like you had a fun day on Christmas. I remember when it was just the two of us and we wanted to sleep in but your body is so used to getting up early that you can't sleep in.

    Our schedule is weird these days--the days my hubby works, he puts in a 12 hour day so I am up early to get his lunch and make coffee but the days he does school and studies-he heads to the library to do his online stuff and so he doesn't get up as early.

    I think you are the first person I have evr known to have Ham on Thanksgiving. Prime Rib is a common Christmas one--I should have thought of that.


  2. Can I ask where you went to get your lettering for your Header titles--I am looking for a unique one and was wondering where you went.