This twist on my favorite focaccia recipe, by the Food Network’s Anne Burrell, celebrates fresh spring produce.
Chives and strawberries might seem like an unlikely pair, but they yield a flavorful bread that is at once oniony and tangy and sweet. To tie everything together, I topped the focaccia with cheddar cheese, which pairs beautifully with both fruit and herbs.
1 3/4 cups warm water
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
5 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1 tablespoon fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
⅔ cup chives, coarsely chopped
⅓ cup strawberries, sliced lengthwise
Grated cheddar cheese, for sprinkling
- Pour water into a large mixing bowl. Add yeast and sugar, stirring gently until dissolved. Set aside until mixture is bubbly and foamy, around 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of olive oil, flour, and salt, until a soft dough comes together. Turn onto a floured surface and knead a few times. Return dough to bowl, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, around 45 minutes -1 hour
- Meanwhile, pour remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large, shallow baking pan or jelly roll pan and set aside. When dough has risen, transfer to pan. Turn dough over so both sides are coated with olive oil. Stretch dough so it covers the bottom of the entire pan. Make indentations in the dough with your fingers, making sure to press all the way to the bottom of the pan. This forms focaccia’s classically uneven, bumpy crust. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise a second time, around 30 minutes, until around doubled in size.
- Shortly before dough finishes rising, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Sprinkle focaccia liberally with sea salt. Arrange chives and strawberries over the surface. Sprinkle grated cheddar evenly over the top.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until edges are golden brown and surface begins to take on some color. Let cool in pan before cutting into pieces. Store leftovers at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped in tinfoil.
Liana’s Kitchen is a column by Michigan-based chef and foodie Liana Grey. Check out her food blog Bakerwithoutborders.