This recipe is inspired by our friends and market-neighbors Mill Pond Bread, and the focaccia recipe comes from intern Tacy’s dad. At the end of a market day, Mill Pond often goes home with a box of produce – yummy greens, miscellaneous root veggies, and everything in between. They have gotten really good at turning our veggies into something delicious and unique, and so we thought we’d share their secrets with you! The dough is a bit finicky, but the filling is quite forgiving. Throw in any veggies you can think of, and we’ll help explain how to prepare them best so that your focaccia comes out perfect!
For the focaccia:
1 oz. dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1½ c. water
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. salt
½ tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary (or leaves of one rosemary branch)
¼ c. olive oil
½ c. finely chopped onions
For the filling:
3-4 c. finely chopped vegetables (tomatoes, broccoli, turnips, radishes, potatoes, kale, Asian greens, onions, arugula…)
4-6 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
¼ c. olive oil
salt to taste
¼ c. finely chopped basil
1/3 c. shredded cheese (optional)
For the dough:
1) Warm ½ cup of the water to about 110˚. Dissolve the yeast and the sugar into it for 15 minutes.
2) Measure out the flour, salt, pepper, and rosemary into a large bowl. Mix and gradually add the watered yeast and the remaining water (at room temperature) until it is all incorporated. Add ½ tablespoon of the olive oil. Knead for at least 10 minutes.
3) Pour a bit of olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl. Gather up the dough into a large bowl, rolling it around a bit. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
4) Punch the dough down with your fist, add half of the onions, and knead for a few minutes. Re-cover with the plastic wrap and let rise a second time. The first rising will take a few hours, the second rising will take about 45 minutes.
5) When the dough has risen, rub a bit of oil on a cookie sheet and spread the dough into a large oval an inch thick with your hands. Drizzle olive oil onto the top of the dough and set aside for 15 minutes.
For the filling:
1) Roast any root veggies (turnips, potatoes, radishes…) with some of the olive oil, salt, and garlic at 400˚ for 30-40 minutes. If using tomatoes, sprinkle them with plenty of salt in order to help pull the juices out and roast them with the other root veggies.
2) Massage any tender greens (kale, Asian greens, arugula) with some more olive oil, salt, and garlic slices. The best way to do this is to chop the greens into manageable pieces, then use your fingers to break down the greens until they have a vibrant green appearance. This will keep the greens from getting too crispy and flaky once they go into the oven. If you happen to be using collards, they are tougher and therefore require a quick steaming (about 5 to 7 minutes).
3) Chop any veggies that cook relatively quickly (broccoli, additional onions), but don’t cook them quite yet. They will cook plenty inside of the focaccia.
Assembling the focaccia:
1) Arrange your toppings evenly over the surface of the dough. If adding cheese, sprinkle it on top.
2) Place pan on the bottom rack of a preheated 375˚ oven and bake for 30 minutes. Change pan to the top rack for 15 more minutes. Sprinkle the top with salt and basil, and place on a rack to cool. Enjoy!
Adapted from Tacy’s Dad’s focaccia recipe and Mill Pond’s veggie techniques.