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Focaccia with Gorgonzola, Pine Nuts and Green Onions

Focaccia with Gorgonzola, Pine Nuts and Green Onions
Gorgonzola, a blue-veined cow's milk cheese from northern Italy, melts beautifully onto the top of this flat bread.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (115°F)
  • 2 cups all-purpose or bread flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup cold water
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

For the topping:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 lb. Gorgonzola cheese, at room
      temperature, crumbled
  • 2 oz. fontina cheese, shredded
  • 3 green onions, including tender green portions,
      thinly sliced

Directions:

To make the dough, in a bowl, using a wooden spoon, stir together the yeast, warm water and 1/4 cup of the flour. Let stand until foamy, about 20 minutes. Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour, the salt, cold water and olive oil. Stir with the wooden spoon until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured work surface and knead until soft, supple and smooth yet still moist, 7 to 10 minutes. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it once to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, transfer to a warm place (about 75°F) and let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a small, dry fry pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly, until golden, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and let cool. When cool, add the Gorgonzola, fontina and green onions. Toss to mix well.

About 45 minutes before serving, place a pizza stone or baking tiles on the bottom rack of an oven and preheat to 500°F.

On a floured work surface, punch down the dough and divide in half. Shape each half into a smooth ball. Roll out 1 ball into a round 7 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Transfer the dough to a well-floured baker's peel or a rimless baking sheet. Scatter half of the cheese mixture evenly over the surface to within 1/2 inch of the edge.

Slide the dough round onto the heated stone or tiles and bake until golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Carefully slip the peel or baking sheet under the focaccia and transfer to a cutting board. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese mixture.

While the second round is baking, cut the first focaccia into 6 wedges and serve.
Makes two 7-inch rounds; serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Lifestyles Series, Small Plates, by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1998).