Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fiery Focaccia

The name of this bread made me think it might be too hot to handle, but it had just the right amount of heat and was absolutely worth every bit of the time and effort it took.  I started by mixing up my basic focaccia bread dough in the breadmaker, but varied it by adding 1/4 cup of tomato paste.  When the dough was ready it was very loose and sticky, so I ended up adding 2 to 3 cups more flour than the recipe called for until it had it the consistency of normal dough.  I rolled out the dough and sprinkled on 6 cherry peppers that been chopped, 2 roasted bell peppers that had been chopped, 2 1/2 ounces of cubed emmental and 3 1/2 ounces of chopped chorizo. All the ingredients were gently kneaded into the dough.  The dough was then divided between two 8-inch cake pans and allowed to rise for an additional 30 minutes before I carefully drizzled on some pizza oil and ground some sea salt over the top.  The foccacia was then placed in a pre-heated 400 degree oven and baked for 25 minutes.  I have never knowingly tried chorizo before and I was expecting it to be spicy, but it wasn't spicy at  all.
Both the cherry peppers and the red bell peppers were from a jar, and I thought perhaps the cherry peppers would be spicy, but they were not.  The pizza oil was the only thing that really added any heat to this bread.  The recipe does suggest using salame piccante instead of chorizo, provolone piccante instead of emmental , and Peppadews rather than cherry peppers;  you might consider using those if you want to kick it up a notch.  This bread received rave reviews from my dear hubby, but the fact that we didn't eat until 8:30 that night and were both very hungry might have had something to do with that.  Your family will always appreciate your cooking if they're about starved by the time you feed them!  Seriously, this was delicious, and the recipe said it even freezes very well.  I was intending to do just that with one of the loaves I made, but as I said, we were both VERY hungry!

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