Saturday, September 8, 2012

Cheese-Filled Garlic Focaccia for Twelve Loaves

Are you on Twitter?

I recently joined, and am still figuring it out. 

At this point, I am following a bunch of fellow food-bloggers, but I'm starting really slowly.

But I'm glad I joined, because that is how I learned the theme for this months Twelve Loaves (#TwelveLoaves) bread baking group - cheese!

At first, all of my thoughts were of the sweet variety - danishes and other breakfast or dessert treats using sweet cheese fillings.

And then I changed my mind. While it might not be the most original thought, I suddenly had the desire to make a focaccia. And to try to stuff it with cheese.

I started by making the most basic dough that I make - the one that I used when making my French Fougasse. I know, "French" focaccia... but I was looking for a basic lean dough, and that one does it.

Once the dough was done rising, I gathered the rest of my ingredients - oil, garlic salt, sliced provolone and grated Parmesan.

And then it was time to work on the dough.

I started by covering a cookie sheet with parchment, then rolling out my dough as large as I could.

I transferred the dough to the baking sheet, where it hung off of both sides, and then placed slices of provolone over the middle.

I then folded the dough back over itself and did my best to seal all the seams.

And then I did my best to turn it into a focaccia by using my fingers to dimple the surface. I then brushed lots of olive oil over the top and gave it a healthy coating of garlic salt and grated Parmesan.

I let the prepared bread to rest for half an hour, and then baked it in a 425 degree oven for about 25 minutes. And when it came out, it smelled amazing and looked beautiful.

And it was BIG! It was the size of my biggest cutting board.

But most importantly, it was DELICIOUS.

I shared some with my neighbor, and between me, daddy, little miss and that neighbor, we ate the whole thing by the end of the day.

I want to give a big thanks to this months hosts, Cake Duchess, Creative Culinary and Life's A Feast for this fun challenge. I still may make a sweet cheese bread, but this is something I wouldn't have thought of if not for the cheese theme.

And don't forget to check out gallery at the bottom of Lora's post to see the other cheese breads baked up for Twelve Loaves this month!

Cheese-Filled Garlic Focaccia
(my own adaptation, based on my previous bread)

500 grams bread flour
5 grams active dry yeast
10 grams salt
375 ml water
5-8 slices of provolone cheese
extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt (to taste)
grated Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Stir yeast into the flour until evenly distributed. Stir in salt, then water, and mix until the dough begins to form.
Transfer the dough to a clean work surface. Continue mixing/kneading the dough by stretching it out and folding it over onto itself repeatedly and from each direction. Continue working the dough until it comes away cleanly from the work surface and is not (or, for me, is less...) sticky.
Move the dough to a floured area of your work surface, and shape the dough into a ball (as best as you can - it is still a wet dough). Transfer the dough into a lightly oiled (large!) bowl, cover it with a tea towel (or plastic wrap) and allow it to rest for at least one hour.
After the dough has rested, turn it out (carefully) onto a floured work surface. Generously flour the top of the dough, then cover with a tea towel and allow it to rest for another five minutes or so.
Cover an 11" x 17" cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray.
Roll out the dough until it is a rectangle about double the size you want it and transfer it to the prepared cookie sheet.
Place the slices of provolone on the dough and then fold the ends over itself to cover all the cheese, fully enclosing the bread. Pinch all of the seams and then use your fingers to spread the dough evenly over the surface and dimple the top.
Brush the top liberally with olive oil and sprinkle (to taste) with garlic salt and grated Parmesan cheese.
Allow prepared bread to rest for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Bake bread for about 25 minutes until the top is golden brown.



  1. Welcome to the twitterverse!
    Your foccacia looks very tasty - I wouldn't mind having a hunk of that for breakfast!

  2. Oh yum!
    I love foccacia and with cheese, even better!
    I have not figured out twitter yet, I am rather slow when it comes to stuffs like this!
    Have a great week!

  3. I've also been considering sweet for this month's cheese challenge but keep swaying back to savory. I made a cheese quick bread this week. Oh my goodness-love your cheesy and delicious focaccia!!! Thanks for baking with us this month, Shelley:)

  4. I love focaccia bread. My daughter and I could eat the whole loaf in one sitting and fight over the last piece. Thanks for joining us Shelley; hope it's a fun way for you to meet some other bloggers too.

  5. This is delicious!! I love how you added cheese in the middle of the foccacia. YUM! I also love how you are so much better at twitter than I am. Can I pay you to do mine, too? LOL

  6. Garlic pus cheese in ANYTHING (outside of dessert..although I have had a candied garlic cheesecake before. It took a bit to get used to) is amazing. I love this focaccia, Shelley!


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