Pizza and Focaccia
Pizza needs no introduction. Everybody knows about it and I haven’t known anybody who doesn’t like it.
Focaccia is pizza’s lesser known sibling. It’s fancier than french bread, it’s more “bready” than pizza, and it’s got the best of both! The outside is crispy and crunchy and the inside is soft and spongy, and the best part? You can top it with any pizza toppings you like! That’s not it, it’s so versatile and easy to store. You can make a big batch, store it in a sealed bag or box and have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
At Watson’s Kitchen, we aim to make things in the simplest possible way to achieve the best possible taste! We did some research and it’s not that hard to realize that you can use the same dough to make pizza and focaccia!
You ready? Let’s make this dough!
For the dough:
2 cups warm water at about 40 degree C/100 degree F (mix ½ cup hot boiling water and 1 ½ cup cold tap water)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoons yeast
5 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup olive oil for mixing, and ½ cup for drizzling
For the toppings:
You can create any toppings as you like. A few examples here:
Mozzarella & Marinara sauce
2~3 tablespoons pasta sauce
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Pesto & Parmesan
2~3 tablespoons pesto
2~3 tablespoons shredded parmesan cheese
Rosemary & Sea Salt
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
(Optional) ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Roasted Pork Belly with Green Onion and Garlic
3 stalks green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ LB pork belly, seasoned and blanched, cut into 2 inch pieces
1. Mix sugar, warm water, and yeast, let it sit for 10~15 minutes or until it becomes foamy.
2. Make the dough using hands or a stand mixer:
If you are kneading with your hands, mix the flour, salt and ¼ cup olive oil, slowly add the foamy yeast solution, fold and mix with until everything comes together, and continue to fold and mix for another 3 to 5 minutes until you have a soft and sticky ball of dough.
If you are using a stand mixer, attach the hook, add flour, salt and ¼ cup olive oil, slowly add the foamy yeast solution, turn on low speed and mix until everything comes together. Switch to medium-low speed and continue to mix for 5 minutes.
3. Into the mixing bowl drizzle ¼ cup olive oil, cover with plastic wrap or a lid, let the dough rise for 4~6 hours at room temperature, or overnight in the fridge.
4. Take out the dough, punch out big bubbles, knead the dough for about 3 minutes, split the dough into 3, proceed to make pizzas and/or focaccias. Here is an example of 2 pizzas and 1 focaccia (see video clip at the end of text)
To make a pizza: knead and stretch the dough into one 12 inch sized pizza; cover a pizza peel with ~ 1 tablespoon cornmeal, set the pizza dough on the peel, and let it rise for another 45 minutes.
To make a focaccia, in a 9’’x13’’ baking pan, drizzle ¼ cup olive oil, transfer a dough to the pan, stretch to fill ~2/3 of the pan, use your fingers to put lots of dimples in the dough. Don’t be afraid if you accidentally poke a few holes in the dimples, they will grow back! Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature for another 1 or 2 hours until it doubles in size and fill up the pan. Or let the dough rise in the fridge over night.
To bake the pizza: preheat a pizza stone in the oven to 425 degree F. Meanwhile, prepare toppings on the pizza. Bake for 12~15 minutes or until the crust turns golden brown.
To bake the focaccia bread: preheat the oven to 425 degree F, bake for about 25~35 minutes. If using a cheese topping, bake until the cheese turns golden brown and bubbly. If using pesto topping, bake the dough first for 20 minutes or until the crust turns golden color, then brush on the pesto and add cheese, continue to bake for another 3~5 minutes to preserve the color.
We had some leftover seasoned pork belly strips so we threw it in the oven and roasted for about 20 minutes to get homemade bacon strips. As you've guessed, bacon goes well with anything, esp. focaccia!