I got a pizza stone last Christmas but didn’t really use it until I tried out this recipe. Instead of baking the bread in a pan, I baked it on the stone. The purpose of pizza stone (some called baking stone) is to create an oven temperature that is similar to a brick oven, which distributes heat evenly and thus producing better crusty breads. I just love the rustic look of the focaccia.
This is a good bread to serve with pasta, dip with extra virgin olive oil, or as panini sandwiches. The orange color is from sun-dried tomatoes. The asiago cheese smells wonderful but I think it’s a little too much (although I love asiago cheese:)) and covering other flavors. Also on the next attempt, I should add a little crushed red pepper to spice it up and some herbs (thymes, rosemary etc), or pizza seasoning, to compliment the flavor.
Sun-dried Tomato & Cheese Focaccia Recipe
3 1/2 cup bread flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup grated asiago cheese + extra for sprinkles–> for next attempt: 1/2 cup for the dough, 1/2 cup for sprinkles
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes– chopped
5 cloves garlic– finely chopped
2 tsp yeast
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + 1 tbsp for brushing
1 3/4 cup water
for next attempt try adding:
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tbsp chopped herbs/pizza seasoning
- Mix all dry ingredients (including cheese, tomatoes and garlic) in a stand mixing bowl. With the dough hook attached, turn mixer on low and slowly add water to form a dough.
- Slowly drizzle in 3 tbsp olive oil and continue kneading until the dough is elastic and pass the “membrane” stage.
- Transfer dough to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it prove until double in size. I prove the dough in the fridge overnight.
- Punch down the dough and let rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sprinkle cornmeal on a baking sheet or flexible cutting board. Place baking stone on the middle rack in the oven and preheat to 450°F.
- Transfer dough to a well-floured work surface. Gently pull and stretch the dough evenly into 10×14-inch rectangle. Brush the top with 1 tbsp olive oil and top with some extra asiago cheese.
- Carefully transfer to the prepared baking sheet/flexible cutting board which has cornmeal at the bottom. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Spray the oven walls with water. Work quickly so the oven doesn’t lose heat.
- Use finger tip to create dimples on the top of the dough.
- Carefully slide the dough onto the hot stone. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown. Cool focaccia on a rack. This bread can be frozen– just wrap with foil/plastic wrap then store in air tight Ziploc bag.