Photo Credit: Elizabeth Newman
This recipe isn’t exactly what comes to mind when you think of “focaccia” – but it’s something really delicious and special in its own right. Focaccia di Recco is a much thinner, cracker-like version of the bread – and the best part is that it’s filled with melty, gooey cheese. It’s really like a piece of magic in your mouth! You can top it with flakey salt and honey, or even some lightly dressed arugula.
While you make this recipe, don’t fret if the dough tears at all while you stretch it across the pan – you can easily pinch it together and patch it back up. It’s a very forgiving dough!
Lastly, if Taleggio is difficult to find, you can replace it with any other very soft, ripened cheese, like camembert or brie. Taleggio is most traditionally used, but you can really use any of your favorite soft cheeses for your own personal spin on the recipe.
Focaccia Di Recco
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2/3 - 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for the pan and to drizzle
- 1/2 teaspoon corn meal
- 10 ounces rindless Taleggio Cheese*
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse or flake salt
- honey or arugula to serve
- *Cooks note: Brie or Camembert can also be used with the rind removed.
- Combine the flour and salt in a medium bowl and form a well. Add 2/3 cup water and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the center of well. Using your hands, begin to mix the flour into the water. Continue this until a rough dough is formed adding more water if the dough feel dry. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 6 to 7 minutes or until a soft, supple dough is formed. It will be slightly tacky but not sticky. The dough should spring back when pressed with a finger. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Lightly grease 1 1/2-sized sheet pan with olive oil and sprinkle with corn meal. Set aside.
- Cut the dough in half, and begin working with one of the halves. On a lightly floured surface, press the dough into a rough rectangle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to almost the size of the sheet pan. Pick up the dough and using the backs of your hands, stretch the dough until very thin. Gently drape the dough over the edges of the sheet tray. Continue to pull the dough until the edges drape over all sides of the tray and the dough is stretched tight like a membrane. If the dough tears at any point, you can pinch it back together to patch it back up.
- Break apart the cheese into small pieces, and scatter evenly over the dough. Proceed with the next half of the dough, following the same steps as above to cover the bottom layer and the cheese. Once draped over the edges, press the dough together on the edges of the pan. Use the rolling pin to roll over the edge of the pan to completely seal the dough. Use your fingers to release the dough from the edge of the pan. The seal should still be thin, not a thick crust. Gently tear 3 small holes down the center of the top layer of dough to allow steam to escape. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and bubbled on the top. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 8 pieces. Serve as is, drizzled with honey or topped with an arugula salad. Repeat with the remaining dough and cheese.