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Cheese and Rosemary–Stuffed Focaccia

With this dough, you can create an assortment of savory meals. Here, the dough is used for cheese-stuffed focaccia, but it can also be used to make sandwiches or pizza (see related recipes at left).

Storage tip: The focaccia dough, shaped in square 8-inch or round 9-inch pans, can be frozen for up to 1 month. To thaw, place in the refrigerator overnight or let stand at room temperature, covered with the plastic wrap, until the dough looks puffy, about 3 hours.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
  • 5 tsp. (2 packages) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water (110°F)
  • 4 oz. Teleme jack or Monterey jack cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

Make the dough
Lightly oil two 8-inch square pans and a large bowl.

In a food processor, combine the flour, yeast and salt and pulse to blend. Add the warm water and the 1/4 cup olive oil and pulse until the dough comes together. Transfer the dough to the oil-coated bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/4 hours. Divide the dough in half.

Shape the dough
Pat and stretch 1 dough half into 1 of the prepared pans. Brush the top with olive oil, cover tightly with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and freeze for another use (see note above).

Divide the other dough half into 2 pieces. Pat and stretch 1 portion into the remaining pan. Top with the cheese and rosemary, leaving a 1/2-inch border.

On a lightly floured work surface, pat and stretch the remaining piece of dough into an 8-inch square. Place in the pan, covering the cheese and rosemary, and pinch the dough layers together. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Bake the dough
Preheat an oven to 400°F.

Brush the dough with olive oil, dimple the dough with your fingertips and bake until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool briefly in the pan. Cut the focaccia into wedges or squares and serve warm. Serves 8; makes 2 flatbreads.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Make Ahead, by Rick Rodgers (Oxmoor House, 2008).