Updated: Nov 29, 2020
I knew that I wanted to serve focaccia at Fox & the Knife, I just wasn’t sure exactly how. Did we bake it on sheet trays and cut like Sicilian pizza? Did we shape it in individual loaves for each table? When I finally moved into the restaurant space, I found we had inherited a LOT of pie pans and I needed to make use of every little thing we had. We opened with a small budget and needed to keep it that way. I knew immediately we would bake the focaccia in those pie pans. I originally wanted to top it with stracciatella but as we tested it over and over, I knew that it wasn’t quite right. Finally the idea came to fill it with a strong yummy cheese, and taleggio was a perfect foil for the focaccia, but it didn’t have that cheesy pull-ability I wanted. So I added mozzarella and our focaccia was born!
Yields two focaccia rounds
Preheat oven to 425 degrees
Pro tip: Have a plastic bench scraper handy
14 oz warm water
7g active dry yeast (also equal to one packet of red star yeast or similar brand)
480g AP flour
120g bread flour
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 T chopped rosemary
6 oz taleggio cheese
4 oz shredded mozzarella
Extra olive oil for drizzling
1 tsp Maldon or sea salt
To start, combine yeast, warm water, and sugar in a pitcher and whisk a bit to help dissolve sugar/yeast.
Add flours and salt into a stand mixer bowl and mix the flours and salt with your hand until evenly distributed. Fit the stand mixer with the dough hook and add the water mixture and oil to the bowl. Start the mixer on low. As it mixes, scrape down the bowl halfway through mixing. Make sure to get down all of the sides and towards the mound at the bottom of the bowl. This is where flour likes to live and it needs to get absorbed into the dough.
Continue mixing on low until dough is thoroughly combined. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is smooth and soft. If it is a little too wet add a touch of flour, but be careful not to overdo it. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and fold the dough once to the left and once to the right. Then, flip over so seam is on the table.
Divide dough in half with a bench scraper, and loosely shape to a boule. Place each piece of dough in a pie plate oiled with olive oil. Add one tablespoon of chopped rosemary to each dough.
Next, dimple the dough with the tips of your fingers thoroughly through the whole pan making sure to pop any large bubbles. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the top of the dough and lightly dimple again to incorporate the rosemary. Slide the pie pans into the pre-heated oven and bake for 25-35 min rotate halfway through, checking often during the last 10 min of baking.
The focaccia should be completely golden brown—make sure to check the bottoms of the bread for doneness. Cool completely in pan, and then turn out onto a cookie sheet. When the focaccia is completely cool, slice evenly through the equator and add 3 ounces of taleggio and 2 ounces of shredded mozzarella to one side.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake in the 425 degree oven for 8 minutes. When you pull the focaccia out sandwich the halves together and cut into 6 or 8 slices. Drizzle with good olive oil and top with Maldon salt.