Wednesday, January 6, 2010

FOCACCIA FARCITA – STUFFED FOCACCIA

Whew! We’ve made it through all the holiday baking, all the breads and puddings, the cookies galore, the coffee cakes and scones, the fruitcakes, stollen, pannetone and gingerbread. The gifts have been opened and enjoyed, the wrapping paper and rolls of ribbon put away until next year, the champagne drunk and the oysters eaten. Now, as we plop down into our favorite armchair near the fire, rub our post-holiday tummy contentedly and stare at our long list of New Year’s Resolutions we stoutly declare to anyone who will listen “The diet starts today!” Well, no, not quite yet, my friends. I recently received an e-mail from my charming friend Zorra of Kochtopf, the founder and creator of my favorite monthly baking event, Bread Baking Day, asking me if I would like to host January’s BBD event! “Why, Zorra, I would love to!” I exclaimed! “After all, January is a special month for me!” And here I am, your hostess! Now, I only need to choose a theme for BBD #26…

To get an excellent idea of what Bread Baking Day is all about, how good it can be, hop over to Cinzia’s blog Cindystar and take a long look at all the bread, both savory and sweet yet all so seasonally festive, that was baked for BBD #25, hosted by Cinzia with the wonderful theme “Baking Under the Tree". Now how to follow something so perfect as this holiday BBD theme?

YOU’RE INVITED TO A BIRTHDAY PARTY – AND BREAD BAKING DAY #26!


I’m a little girl at heart when it comes to birthdays. Visions of confetti and balloons, streamers and brightly colored plastic forks, slices of cake on paper plates too heavy for their flimsy hosts, threatening to tumble to the floor if not giddily gobbled down right away. Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Musical Chairs and Blind Man’s Bluff, piles of gaily-wrapped gifts just begging to be opened, it all calls my name and, like the little girl that I am still, it ever thrills me with arm-waving, hand-clapping, bunny-hopping thrills.

The excitement of the end of the year holidays, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve, all their glitter and dazzling brightness, the lights and the sounds and the scents of cinnamon and nutmeg, gingerbread and fir trees, tumble quickly head over heels into the month of January, pushing me from behind right smack into my birthday. It’s as if all the festivities of the month of December were merely a prelude to my grand day. And everyone has one month to prepare for the celebration.


This excitement, the expectations may seem strange considering that my birthday, as far back as I can remember, has never been feted in pomp and style: not one party has been thrown for me, nary a confection has been specially baked and decorated for me, nor a single sheet cake ordered from the bakery with the request for it to be studded with pink frosting roses and tiny sugar figurines, Happy Birthday Jamie spelled out elaborately in icing swirls and swags. No excited, expectant children hiding behind sofas and in closets, ready to jump out and yell surprise, no elegantly dressed adults, champagne glasses in hand waiting to be lifted and clinked together in my honor, gathered in anticipation. No pool parties or barbecues, no disco-themed dances or sophisticated soirées ever awaited my entrance, no balloons blown up, Twister mats spread out or piñatas strung up in the yard, no parties for me.

So I throw my own. Party hat affixed firmly on top of my head, elastic band snapped in place under my chin, I start thinking of my birthday as the first of January hits and planning the attack. Hints are dropped, heavy as bocce balls thudding onto the ground, eyes open wide, giving the most meaningful of stares at my men each time the magic word is mentioned. As the date approaches the hints turn to outright proclamations and I get a shot in every chance I get, just to make sure no one has forgotten the magic date or doubts that the fact that a biggie is approaching I have any thought of sitting one out. Never one to make high and hard demands, never an arm twister, I will never tell them to do this or that, plan one thing or another. No, although I take it upon myself to make sure that not one of them has forgotten the date, I still want someone else to do the heavy thinking, make the decisions, and plan the special event.


I love surprises, big or small and I never want to take away the opportunity from someone to surprise me. I’ll remind them of the day (a little too often) but they must do the rest and never utter one word that will spoil the surprise. And don’t think that they don’t! I am always treated like royalty, always taken out somewhere luxurious or somewhere fun, showered with gifts and allowed to snuggle down under the covers as late as I want in the morning, forgiven if I choose not to lift a finger in the house or in the kitchen, I’m pampered and coddled, amused and entertained. Yet the one thing I do every year is bake for my birthday. I bake whatever I like, a birthday cake top and foremost yet I also love to bake special things, fun food I’d like to eat that, in this household, I am the only one to know how to bake. And this year is no different.


So I have decided that for this month’s Bread Baking Day I am throwing a pot luck dinner birthday party and I am asking each and every one of you to bake bread, bake something special, something fun, something that we can put out on a birthday buffet table. Savory or sweet, first course, main or dessert, or even something to bring out on silver platters and pass around to the guests with that first glass of champagne, but just make sure that it’s bread. Let’s do this party and Bread Baking Day #26 right! Bake something special for my special BBD theme of “Baking Bread for a Birthday Party!”


And just think: I’m hosting Bread Baking Day #26 and that is just my age this year! Again. Who’da thunk?

To be a part of Bread Baking Day #26, Bread For a Birthday Party, you just need to do the following:

1. Bake a bread, savory or sweet, to take to a Birthday Party.
2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post.
3. I will accept not more than 2 recipes from each blog.
4. Your recipe should be written in English, French or Italian.
5. Email me at jamieannschler(at)gmail(dot)com and include:
• Your name
• Your blog’s name and URL
• The name of your bread and the URL (permalink)
• Your location
• A 350-pixel-wide photo
*Please write BBD #26 in the object of your e-mail!
• Whether you’d like me to notify you by email when the roundup is posted.
6. Deadline for submission February 1st, 2010.

Final round up will be posted on my blog on February 5, 2010.

Please feel free to promote the Bread Baking Day event by adding the logo to your blog post.


I’ve already started baking for my own party and I’m bringing:


FOCACCIA FARCITA or STUFFED FOCACCIA
The focaccia dough is straight out of my fabulous new cookbook Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day by Zoë François & Jeff Hertzberg, M.D. The rest is mine.

Makes enough dough for four 1-pound loaves. Perfect for pizza, focaccia or olive bread. I used the entire dough to make one 15 x 10-inch (38 x 25-cm) jelly roll pan thick double focaccia.

2 ¾ cup (650 ml) lukewarm water
¼ cup (50 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ Tbs (15 g) active dry yeast
1 ½ Tbs salt
1 Tbs sugar
6 ½ cups (975 g) flour (I used read flour type 55, you can use all-purpose)


Combine the yeast, salt and sugar in a very large mixing bowl or a lidded (not air-tight) food container. Add the olive oil and the lukewarm water.

Stir in the flour with a wooden spoon (although you can use a food processor with a dough attachment or a heavy-duty standing mixer with a dough hook) until completely blended. If you have trouble getting the last bit of flour to blend in you can use your wet hands.

The dough will be very wet and sticky.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap (not air tight) and allow to stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until the dough has risen and then collapses or flattens on top.


The dough can now be used immediately or stored in the bowl covered with plastic wrap or a lidded (not air tight) container for up to 2 weeks. It is easier to work with when chilled.

This is what the dough was like when I took it out of the fridge and punched it down to use.

For the FOCACCIA FARCITA

Olive oil dough
Mozzarella (I happened to have a block of mozzarella for pizza on hand)
2 lbs (about 1 kg) cherry tomatoes or half cherry, half ripe salad or cooking tomatoes
2 Tbs olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Rocket
Thin-sliced pepperoni or chorizo
Olive Oil and either coarse kosher salt or grated Parmesan cheese to top *


* You can fill this focaccia with any combination of ingredients you like! Try cheese only: add gorgonzola to the mozzarella and add fresh basil leaves. Or add artichoke hearts or grilled zucchini and roasted red pepper, grilled or sautéed mushrooms. Or try adding cooked seafood, shrimp and scallops and even smoked salmon. Or any of your favorite cured, spiced or smoked meats and hams. You can replace the grilled tomatoes with your favorite tomato sauce – just be warned not to add anything too runny or containing too much liquid – this is what happened to me.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).

Wash the tomatoes and pat dry. If using any large tomatoes, cut them all into cherry-tomato-sized chunks. Spread the tomatoes out on a baking sheet, drizzle the 2 tablespoons of olive oil all over the tomatoes and toss lightly, salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes.


Slice or cube the mozzarella. Wash and pat dry your rocket if necessary.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Grease the bottom of your jelly roll pan with olive oil and sprinkle with flour. Divide the dough into two pieces and roll out one piece to fit the size of the baking pan. Line the pan, pressing the dough well into the corners, making sure – and stretching if necessary, that it fills the pan.


Spread the cooked tomatoes evenly over the dough in the pan leaving about an inch (2 cm) all around (you’ll be sealing the dough closed once you cover the filling with the top layer of dough), trying to drain the tomatoes as much as possible by scooping them up with a slotted spoon and allowing the juice to drip off.

I added some of the pan juices - which was a mistake.

Layer the mozzarella evenly over the tomatoes. Then spread out the rocket – I spread rocket on half of the focaccia and thinly sliced chorizo on the other half for the boys.


Now roll out the second half of the dough to the size of the baking pan. Lift and place on top of the stuffing then stretch the dough until you can press it onto the bottom dough, pressing to seal all around. Brush the entire top surface of the focaccia with olive oil then sprinkle with either Parmesan or coarse salt.


Bake for 30 – 45 until puffed up and the top is golden brown and done.


Slice into sections and dig in! And make sure everyone at the table is wearing a party!


74 comments:

The Cooking Ninja said...

ooh...this looks so good. I'm going to bookmark this and make this.

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

This looks fantastic, I can't believe how many different things are inside. I definitely want to make some focaccia this year.

MeetaK said...

oh my i am liking this - i can see all kinds of fillings in this one! brilliant!

Madhuli said...

Hey Jamie looks like a good way to get over my Bread-o-Phobia! will surely try and join the party!The stuffed Focaccia looks yummy!

görel said...

Yummm, what an excellent idea! Must try very soon.

Happy cook said...

I have never see a much more delicous filled foccaccia.
Will sure join in tfor the party.
Happy Newyear to you and your family.

Donna-FFW said...

I love the stuffing in this focaccia!! Looks fantastic.

I am bookmarking this post because I want to join in your event!

Jamie said...

@Donna-FFW - YAY Donna!

natalia said...

Ciao Jamie ! Che buona questa focaccia ! I'll start thinking about your birthday party !!

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Beautiful focaccia and a gorgeous presentation too. Very festive. Birthdays bring out the little girl in me too.
Sam

Ciao Chow Linda said...

OMG - This looks sinfully wonderful - great for a Superbowl party.

Susan/Wild Yeast said...

This is great! If anyone deserves a month-long birthday party, it's you.

Jamie said...

@Susan/Wild Yeast - Thanks, Susan! I was having a grouchy dark day and you just cheered me up and made me laugh! You are now officially invited to all my parties!

Heavenly Housewife said...

Jamie, how can that be true that nobody makes a fuss for you on your birthday? Can't be! Stop by Chez Heavenly and we will treat you to some Laduree daaahling.
Your foccacia looks amazing. I love baking bread. I hope to contribute to the bread baking day. This is a super busy month for me, but I'm going to try and fit it in.
*kisses* HH

Deeba PAB said...

Your party, I'm in dahling!! Just getting my bits together but wanna bake bread!! Love the stuffed foccacia!!

Cathy said...

I love this kind of food...with all the wonderful fillings. And this is great for me because I can make a small version.

Junglefrog said...

Ooo, that must all be a coincidence as it will be my 26th birthday in february (again) too! lol... This focaccia of yours just looks absolutely delicious and mouthwateringly good.. Not sure if I have time but I might participate in the event too! Would love too!

Mowie @ Mowielicious said...

Lovely post honey, the focaccia looks divine! I could really relate to how you make sure everyone knows your birthday's coming up but you don't want to know if there's a surprise!

Elra said...

I bake a lot of bread and it is so strange that I never thought about making focaccia. Thank you Jaime, I shall try to make this delicious bread soon.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

OMG, it looks fantastic and so droolworthy!

Cheers,

Rosa

Deborah Mele said...

Looks great Jamie! We will make an Italian cook out of you yet!!!

LOVE your choice of fillings which are some of my favorite ingredients.

Nora said...

That looks AMAZING! And I'm so with you on wanting to make a massive fuss of birthdays. I don't understand people who don't really bother - it's the one day of the year when you can decide what's going to happen! :D

Kitchen Butterfly said...

Looking forward to joining this....hope I can make something :-)

doggybloggy said...

when do I need to submit my bread - I will be doing mine in the next few days so I wont forget...

Unplanned Cooking said...

I love the idea of making bread! I've only done simple dinner breads, nothing exotic. And too bad I didn't get to your post sooner -- just celebrated 3 birthdays, and have no pending invites... :)

Tinky said...

What a fabulous opening salvo for BBD. I'll try to think of something to bring to the party (although it may be a little less fabulous!). Thanks so much.......

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

This looks crazy delicious! I'd love to bake bread for your birthday party! What a potluck this will be - carbilicious heaven!

Barbara Bakes said...

This is my kind of birthday meal! I'll have to think hard about what to make for your birthday!

Mary said...

What an incredibly gorgeous bread. It looks delicious.

faithy, the baker said...

WOW!! WOW!! ...i love the melting cheese and all the stuffing inside!..now i'm hungry!! Now I want to make some focaccia too...

Jamie said...

@doggybloggy - Christo, fantastic you'll bake for BBD! Deadline for submission (meaning it must be posted on your blog and the info (listed above) e-mailed to me) is February 1.

Jamie said...

@Cinnamon-Girl Reeni - ROTFL! Carbolicious heaven for us Carbofunky girls!

Petra aka Cascabel said...

What a nice introduction to this special theme! I like the 50's pictures :-)

Lien said...

I'm a fan of this event too Jamie, and especially now you're the hostess I wouldn't miss it for the world. And that theme is just mouthwatering!!!! count me in.

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

So over the top delicious! I want to eat it right now.
Congrats on hosting BBD!
I will look for something to make..

Baking Soda said...

My kind of party, leave some of the bread for me! Hope and pray I won't forget the due date -again-

5 Star Foodie said...

Sounds like a fun event! And the stuffed focaccia sounds amazing!

Stefanie said...

A great theme. I will have a look into my books for a nice birthday bread for you!

Barbara said...

Love your combination of ingredients stuffed in the focaccia! Yummy and such a great photo. Makes me want to make it right this minute!

Gabi said...

Looks delightful! I can't wait to see all of the goodies. :)

Rambling Tart said...

Oh Jamie, this is GORGEOUS! My goal is to make more bread this year and wow, this is just lovely. :-)

mlaiuppa said...

And I'm eating stuffed foccacia right now.

Unfortunately it's store bought. Cedarlane. It is "organic" but still isn't as good as yours. This is spinach, jack cheese and wheat flour.

I'll bet yours is delicious.

I'll bet this is something I could make in smaller portions and then reheat at school for lunch. A lot better than the hot cardboard I'm eating now.

Katy ~ said...

Oh. My. Gosh.

This looks amazing!!

Daily Spud said...

Oooh birthday bread... I will have to get my thinking cap on and see what I can bring to the party!

Julie said...

That looks over the top delicious!

Cindystar said...

Wonderful theme, Jamie.
Let's all party together!

lisaiscooking said...

Your stuffed focaccia looks just incredible! Sounds great for a big birthday buffet too. Happy Birthday!

Jeanne said...

Oh WOW!!!! That looks phenomenal - and I'm a sucker for filled bread. Despite being a yeast-o-phobe, you asked so nicely (with that wide-eyed look!!) that I'm going to have to come up with an entry! Watch this space...

Jamie said...

@Jeanne - Yay for you and the party will be that much more fun. And a secret (I think you can bring non-yeast quick breads, muffins, etc).

LoveFeast Table said...

Looks delish!! Happy New Year!....Chris Ann

Elra said...

Yes Jaime,
I will participate for this exciting event!

Madame Sucre said...

bookmarked for sure!! this is wonderful.. I wish I lived near you to attend ur parties and eat ur food :)

diva said...

mmmm jamie! i love foccacia. Must make this with loads of rosemary in it methinks and fill it like you did. Delicious! x

Sari said...

Wow, your focaccia looks divine! I have to try to make a focaccia myself.

The Cooking Photographer said...

Jamie my friend, it looks like your blog has been well loved lately!! I have missed hiding away reading your stories. Life is so hectic right now. But that's good too, because when I have time I get to hide away and read!

I hope you are doing well. This stuffed focaccia is right up my alley!

Sippity Sup said...

Here's to the New Year...glitter and all. not that I'm a baker...GREG

IDania said...

Jamie, (or should I say: "Julia)... jejje!!!
Count me in... I'm participating..
Wow what a focaccia...
Wonderful party!!!
IDania

Sara said...

Wow, that stuffed focaccia looks fantastic! Yum! :-D

Sarah said...

wow, my mouth almost dropped off looking at that bread, it looks so delicious.
Happy new year, may you have lots of happy surprises

il sapore del verde said...

This is a beautifull idea... a bread for yaur birthday... Well! I'll think about it.
Deborah

Preeti Kashyap said...

this is lovely jamie! Brilliant recipe!

shaz said...

Happy Birthday Jamie, hope I'm not too late. What a great idea for a party dish. You definitely deserve lots of treats on your special day :)

s said...

i want to make EVERYTHING from ur blog..

Gourmet Chick said...

I just made focaccia as well and posted on it - such a treat to have it freshly baked in the house and warm it up for a delicious lunch

Sophie said...

What a fantastic stuffed focaccia, Jamie!! Just stunning!!


MMMMM,...

asiangrrl said...

I am not a birthday fan myself (of my own, I mean), but I would suffer through a party if you made this for me. It makes me want to reach through my monitor and grab it while it's hot!

natalia said...

Ciao Jamie and happy birthday !!! Hope you received my focaccia !

Jamie said...

@natalia- Thanks! And yes of course I received your focaccia - I even left you a comment on your blog post! Thanks for baking such a fabulous focaccia! It reminds me of Italy!

Aparna said...

Just sent you some birthday bread. :)

Mamatkamal said...

What a beautiful focaccia!
Cheers,

Lisa said...

Jamie, I LOVE it! That is the perfect bread for any celebration, and I'm hoping to jump into this month's BBD - great theme! Also, as always, such beautiful photos!

ejm said...

Wow!! Stuffed focaccia looks and sounds fabulous! I love the way that the cheese is oozing out.

-Elizabeth

(I'm putting on my thinking cap for what to make for the party. I hope I can get it together in time!)

ejm said...

Oh rats. I just noticed that the deadline is LONG past. Not to mention that the round up is already posted. This is what comes of not paying attention! Still, I'm glad to be able to pop in to clean up the leftovers.

-Elizabeth

sissilia said...

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good luck
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http://sissiyamyam.blogspot.com.
algeria.

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