Filled Ham & Cheese Focaccia {ModBak}

The final recipe in the Yeast-Risen Specialties section of the Modern Baker Challenge is another focaccia. What differentiates this recipe from the other focaccia recipes in this section (besides a distinct lack of anchovies) is that this focaccia is filled, rather than topped.

As with the other focaccia and pizza recipes, this one starts with Dough for Thick-Crusted Pizza and Focaccia. However, rather than pressing the dough into the pan after it ferments, you dump the dough out onto a floured board and press it into a rectangle. Ham and cheese are then layered on half the dough. The recipe calls for prosciutto, but I had deli sliced ham on hand, so that’s what I used, along with Gruyère and Parmigiano-Reggiano. I sprinkled on a little black pepper, then folded the dough over the topping and pressed to seal it.

I gently lifted the dough onto the pan, then pressed it out to fill the pan. I covered the pan and allowed the dough to rise for an hour. Then I uncovered the dough and dimpled it with the tips of my fingers. I drizzled a little olive oil on the top of the dough, then sprinkled on a little fleur de sel to finish it off.

I baked the focaccia in a 400°F oven for about 30 minutes, until the dough was dry and beginning to brown. I cooled the focaccia on the pan for about 10 minutes, then removed it to a cutting board. I cut and served it directly from the board, which gave it a nice, rustic appearance.

You may have noticed a lack of pictures on this post, as well as the absence of a description of the flavor of the finished product. I made this focaccia on the day of my daughter’s birthday party, while I was preparing half-a-dozen other dishes, so the thought of snapping photos never even crossed my mind.

As for not describing the taste, that’s because I didn’t try it. Not that it didn’t look and smell delicious. It’s just that I don’t eat pork. But everyone else enjoyed it and compared it to a really good hot ham and cheese sandwich. When it came time to pack up the leftovers (and there were plenty), there was no focaccia to be found. But I was asked to bring it to our next family gathering.

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7 Comments

  1. Renee said,

    December 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm

    Huge applause for finishing all the recipes!

    • gaaarp said,

      December 18, 2010 at 11:51 pm

      Thanks, Renee. I’m looking forward to the next section.

  2. Summer said,

    December 18, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    U have written this post beautifully without having a bite of the deliciousness!
    Way way good , now i wish o was there for ur daughters Birthday too:-))

  3. teaandscones said,

    December 18, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    If I close my eyes I can see the focaccia. And in my mind’s eye, it looks delicious.

    The Family now asks if I have photographed ANY food before they cut/eat/take it.

  4. Frieda said,

    December 18, 2010 at 10:16 am

    This just means you’ll have to make it again and share the photos and results! Great write-up!

    • gaaarp said,

      December 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

      The next time I make it, I’ll definitely take some pitcures and add them here.

  5. Kayte said,

    December 18, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Great job of figuring out how to write this post without photos or tasting! The book looks nice up there as well, it’s good that every once in awhile readers see that so they can remember to pick it up when they see it! We enjoyed this bread very much…because, well, sorry to say, but guys here are all about the pork, especially ham and bacon.


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