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How to Make Cheese Focaccia Bread
Focaccia is a traditional Italian flatbread. The name comes from the Latin focus or foculus, which can translate as hearth, fire-pan or brazier. The bread has a spongy interior and a golden, lightly-crusted exterior. Loaves are usually circular, 10 - 12 inches in diameter and about two inches high. Focaccia is an adaptable bread as it can be topped with almost anything. Cheese, herbs and tomatoes and olives, however, are some of the more common types found outside of Italy. Some claim that focaccia is the predecessor of pizza. As ethnic cuisines have become more popular in recent decades, so have a variety of breads. As a result, focaccia bread can now be found fetching quite a price in popular café s and bakeries.
How to Make It
While it is true that some breads rely on precise measurements and require you to follow rather detailed instructions, focaccia is pretty forgiving. As long as you get the amounts of the main ingredients close to right and give the dough some sort of time to rise, you'll be ok.
This recipe is for a herbed cheese focaccia. You could easily leave off the cheese for herb focaccia, or leave out the herbs for cheese focaccia. You are also welcome to play with the herb combinations and amounts. Suggested cheeses are grated white or yellow cheddar, crumbled gorgonzola, provolone, and asiago1.
What Can I Do With All This Bread?
You can dip focaccia in herb-infused olive oil, plain olive oil or olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper. You can dip it in marinara sauce or ranch dressing. Impress your friends by serving it to them at an otherwise average dinner party. If you're low on cash, give it as a gift. It makes great picnic food with a bottle of wine. You can cut it in half (horizontally) and use it to make fancy-style sandwiches that would cost you an arm and a leg in some trendy lunch spot. When you get really excited about Italian cooking, you can make yourself a full-fledged Italian dinner and enjoy your focaccia with Caesar salad, a bowl of minestrone and Spaghetti alla Carbonara. If you just get tired of it, cut it into cubes and dry it in the oven to make croutons!
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