Focaccia col Formaggio

I saw THIS recipe a little while ago and resolved to try it, but then forgot all about it till this morning, when I suddenly thought, “Ooh, yes, I think I’ll give that a try today!”  However, when I checked it out again,  I decided that a) I didn’t want to make one quite so big, and b)  I was going to change things around slightly to suit my tastes and what I have in the kitchen, so here’s what I ended up with:

Focaccia col Forno (Serves 2)
Ingredients:
200g plain strong flour
pinch of salt (and a little extra for sprinkling)
pinch of mixed herbs
1.5 tbsp olive oil (and a little extra for sprinkling)
100mls warm water
150g grated cheese

Directions:

  1. Sieve flour into large bowl, add salt and oil, stir in water to form a stick dough.
  2. Cover with cloth and leave somewhere warm for half an hour.
  3. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for a few minutes till smooth and elastic.
  4. Divide into two equal parts and put into a bowl. Cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 230C
  6. Roll out half the dough very thinly, place on a floured baking tray and sprinkle the cheese over it.
  7. Roll out the other half of the dough and place on top of the cheese, pressing the edges firmly together.
  8. Drizzle on a little extra oil and sprinkle a little salt on top, then pop it in the oven for around 25 minutes till its golden.
  9. Cut into wedges and eat while still warm.

The changes I made:
The only olive oil I had was lemon and dill infused, but I thought “what the hell?” and used it, figuring it would give a nice flavour to it. I also added a generous pinch of mixed herbs to the dough for some extra kick, just because I like them.

On top of that, even though I was essentially halving the original recipe, I thought 250g was an awful lot of cheese, so I ended up only using 150g and it was, in my opinion, more than enough. I used Cheddar because that’s what we had in the fridge, but I think this would also work really nicely with crumbled feta. I also sprinkled a little more mixed herbs on the cheese before putting on the top layer of dough.

The results:
Overall, this was a really easy recipe to make, but the original recipe lies about preparation time – it states a prep time of only 5 minutes, leading you to believe you could have this on the table in half an hour, but it neglects to mention the 45 minutes of waiting time, so with that and the actual prep, it takes the best part of an hour before you can stick it in the oven.

But is it worth the wait?

Well, in an attempt to actually get mine golden, I popped mine back into the oven a while, which meant it went just a bit too crispy, but it was pretty tasty anyway. The thermostat for our oven is a bit dodgy, so I’ll fiddle with the timing a bit when I try it again.

We had ours as an accompaniment to the rest of our Fridge Soup from yesterday. There was enough for all three of us with some left over!

I think this is a really versatile recipe and you could play around with it a lot to suit your own tastes. I think that next time I’ll try making it like an inverted pizza, spreading a little tomato sauce, then adding the cheese, and perhaps some other pizza toppings too (pepperoni sounds great to me!).

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