Cheater's Focaccia

images/bread

So you want fresh focaccia, but you don't have a bakery nearby that makes it (or the time to make your own and and let the dough rise). Here's a tip for instant gratification: Consult your local pizzeria. Ask if the pizzeria will sell you unbaked dough. Mine did, for only $2.50, and before long, I was on my way to a quick and easy focaccia, or, more precisely, pizza bianca.

In the above version, I took one pound of pizza dough (a size "large") and rolled it out to approximately one-half to three-quarters of an inch thick, stretching it to fit an oiled 7" by 10" baking dish. You don't need to use a baking dish. I wanted to mold the dough into a rectangular shape in order to cut the bread into sandwiches, but you could also make a more rustic shape by stretching the dough out into a rough rectangle and placing it free-form on a baking sheet. I then pressed my fingers into the surface to make indentations, brushed the top with more olive oil and sprinkled sea salt and rosemary leaves over the top. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden brown.


 





Comments

Josh, this looks great. One minor criticism: I would call this a focaccia and not pizza bianca. Pizza bianca, at least in its classic form i.e. as baked in Rome, has no rosmary on top and is thinner, maybe 1/2 an inch thick. OK now you can tell me to bugger off and stop splitting hair ;-).

 

Thanks for the clarification, Alberto. Having never been to Rome, I defer to your expert judgment. Splitting hairs is welcome here.

Interestingly, Sullivan Street Bakery, a great NYC bakery that makes pizza bianca, puts rosemary on top, as you can see in the photo I linked to in the post.

 

Did you let it rise at all after you rolled it out? Was the thickness of the dough basically the thickness of the finished product or did it rise a bit in the oven? Sounds easy, and I have some leftover pizza dough in the freezer.

 

Kim, I did not let it rise again after stretching it out and pressing it with my fingers. It definitely puffed up a little more while it was baking. I would say that baking dish is around 1.5 inches high or so. You could also make it thinner, as Alberto indicated, and have a proper pizza bianca.

 

Oh holy hell, that's brilliant! I have a great pizzeria around the corner, and I bet they'd be willing to sell me some dough.

You rock.

 

What a fantastic idea! I'm sure my pizza place would sell me dough, too! Haha, cheater's focaccia, here I come!

 

BTW, awesome pic, and your dish looks really beautiful!

 

Clotilde, thanks for the compliment on the photo. You have some excellent food photography over at Chocolate & Zucchini.

Did you mean the actual baking dish? It's from Apilco: http://tinyurl.com/ytzh7

 

FYI, I tried this again, and I think the dough is closer to 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick before baking, rather than the one inch I originally indicated, so I updated the post. I'm sure a thicker dough would work and result in a thicker focaccia.

 

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You can also get pizza dough at Trader Joe's http://www.traderjoes.com/ (in the US) at really reasonable prices.

Sullivan St Bakery pizza bianca is indeed excellent. I have had it without the rosemary. I wonder how it would taste to press some halved and pitted black olives into the dough to bake?

 

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