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Even Chefs Make Mistakes In The Kitchen by Jamie Bordoshuk

 My first attempt at making Focaccia di Recco was a colossal disaster. And it wasn’t because I used sugar instead of salt, or set the oven to broil instead of bake (yes, I’ve done both).  No, this disaster was 100% because of a pan. More specifically, my favorite pizza pan with the little holes on the bottom.

After mixing all of the ingredients together and rolling out the dough, I popped my masterpiece into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes. Halfway through, I opened the door to spin the pan when a waft of thick smoke sailed from the oven and straight to the smoke alarm. After quickly slamming the oven door and crazily fanning the alarm with a dish towel, I decided to take my chances and just wait out the remaining 15 minutes. Unfortunately, my focaccia was not having it. The smoke was now seeping out of my CLOSED oven door.  

Opening the door again, I was blasted with a full-on bellow of smoke so thick that I couldn’t even see across the room. And right on cue, my trusty smoke alarm began blaring it’s familiar song. Turns out I had nicked the bottom of the dough and created a cheese “escape-hatch” through (you guessed it) those little holes in my pan. I was left with an empty shell of a crust and 8 oz. of cheese on the bottom of my oven. I shut off the oven and ordered take-out.

As they say, if you don’t succeed, try try again.

Recipe Card

Focaccia di Recco
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Ingredients
  1. FOR THE DOUGH
  2. 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  3. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil plus extra for greasing pan and brushing on focaccia
  5. 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water.
  6. FOR THE FILLING
  7. 12 ounces Crescenza cheese, in small clumps (comes in 7 1/2 ounce packages)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush a 15 × 12 inch pan with olive oil and set aside.
  2. Mix all the dough ingredients until a ball is formed and knead until smooth then let rest covered for 30 minutes.
  3. Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a thin 16 inch round. Line the pan with one sheet of dough and allow the excess to overhang the edges. Place tablespoon size dabs of cheese evenly on the dough. Cover with second sheet of dough allowing the excess to overhang the edges. Trim the edge of the pan and turn the dough in on itself to seal the edges. Make small holes randomly in the dough to allow steam to escape. Brush the top with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with coarse salt. Bake until golden brown and puffed, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve warm.
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