Harissa and Brie Focaccia

The soft and chewy interior makes this loaf perfect for an afternoon snack or even as a sandwich bread. Drizzled with hot honey, this cheesy focaccia is bursting with rich, spicy flavor in every bite.

Harissa and Brie Focaccia
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Harissa and Brie Focaccia

Makes 1 (13x9-inch) loaf

Ingredients

  • cups (420 grams) water, room temperature (70°F/21°C to 75°F/24°C)
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • cups (540 grams) bread flour
  • teaspoons (10.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast*
  • ½ cup (120 grams) harissa paste
  • ½ cup (80 grams) ¼-inch-sliced onion
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) Brie cheese, cut into small wedges
  • Flaked sea salt, for sprinkling
  • ¼ cup (85 grams) honey
  • 1 teaspoon (5 grams) apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, combine 1¾ cups (420 grams) room temperature water and 2 tablespoons (28 grams) oil. Add flour, kosher salt, and yeast. Stir with a large rubber spatula or wooden spoon until a cohesive dough forms. (Dough will be shaggy and tacky.) Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 1½ hours, folding dough in bowl every 30 minutes. (To fold, use wet or oiled hands to reach under one side of dough; gently stretch up, and fold over center; repeat on all sides of dough. (See more below))
  • Line a 13x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper, letting excess extend over sides of pan. Brush 2 tablespoons (28 grams) oil onto parchment.
  • Turn out dough into prepared pan; using just your fingertips, gently stretch dough to about a 10x8-inch rectangle. (If dough is tight and will not stretch completely, let stand for 5 to 10 minutes and then try again.) Spread harissa onto dough. Starting at one short side, carefully roll up dough into a log. Place dough lengthwise, seam side down, in pan. Let stand for 10 minutes. Using your fingertips, gently stretch dough to fill pan. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size and puffed, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Dimple dough using your fingertips, touching pan through dough without tearing dough. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons (28 grams) oil. Top with onion and cheese; sprinkle with sea salt.
  • Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), about 20 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Using excess parchment as handles, remove from pan.
  • In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat honey, vinegar, and red pepper on high in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until honey is fluid. Drizzle onto warm focaccia. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

*We used Platinum® Yeast from Red Star®.

 

NO NEED TO KNEAD

The traditional practice of kneading is replaced with a simple folding technique in focaccia dough

Oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 1½ hours, folding dough in bowl every 30 minutes. As the name implies, a high-hydration dough is relatively wet, so before folding, wet or oil your hands to prevent sticking. Reach under one side of dough, and gently stretch the edge of the dough as high as you can without tearing. Once you reach the top, fold the dough over the center. This motion strengthens the gluten network and is the preferred method to build elasticity for doughs that have high hydration levels. Repeat three more times around bowl to complete one round of folding. Fold the dough in the bowl every 30 minutes for a total of 1½ hours. By the last fold, you should notice the dough has become smooth and elastic.

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