Delia

Filled Focaccia with Ham and Melted Fontina

I suppose I would describe this as a kind of hot, home-made sandwich. Lovely to serve straight from the oven for lunch. We've used ham, cheese and sage here, but any kind of filling at all would be fine, including vegetables such as mushrooms or preserved artichokes, or salami – the permutations are endless.


Serves 4

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three

Filled Focaccia with Ham and Melted Fontina
Ingredients
For the dough:
 9 oz (250 g) strong white bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
 1 level teaspoon easy-blend dried yeast
 1 dessertspoon olive oil, plus a little extra for greasing
 1 level teaspoon salt
For the filling:
 6 oz (175 g) sliced Parma ham
 12 oz (350 g) Fontina (or Gruyère)
 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves
 freshly milled black pepper
For the top:
 15 small sprigs fresh rosemary
 2 tablespoons olive oil
 1 level teaspoon sea salt
Equipment

You will also need a breadmaker, and a baking tray measuring 11 x 16 inches (28 x 40 cm), well greased (or a pizza baking stone).

Method

Pop the ingredients for the dough, including 5 fl oz (150 ml) water into the breadmaker in the order your manual instructs. Set it to the dough only setting (as the focaccia is going to be baked in the oven) and press the start button.

Meanwhile, towards the end of the time, prepare the filling ingredients, separating the slices of ham and cutting the cheese into thin slices. When the dough is ready, remove it from the machine, turn it out on to a flat, lightly floured surface, divide it into two and then roll out one half to form a rough, rounded rectangle about 11 x 8 inches (28 x 20 cm).

Then place it on a baking tray (or pizza stone) and arrange the slices of ham on top, making sure they go right up to the edge. Follow this with the cheese, right up to the edge again, then scatter over the sage. Now give it a good seasoning of freshly milled black pepper. Then roll out the remaining dough, lay it on top of the first, pinching the edges together all the way round to completely enclose the filling. Now cover it with a clean tea cloth and leave it to puff up again for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

When the dough is ready, make 15 little dimples in it with your finger and press in the sprigs of rosemary. Finally, drizzle over the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and golden. Serve the focaccia, cut into squares or wedges, straight from the oven.

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