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Breads

Cheese focaccia squares

Cheese focaccia squares
Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

THE trunk of the fallen eucalyptus tree makes a perfect picnic table and a couple of rocks nearby will do nicely as chairs. It's a cool, shady spot, halfway down the canyon, and sycamore branches arc high above, dappling the ... Read more

Total time: 2 hours including rising time | Serves 12
  • 2 packages active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Step 1Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl and stir in the warm water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let the mixture stand until it becomes bubbly, about 10 minutes.

Step 2Measure the flour and salt into a food processor. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Process until the mixture forms a ball of dough.

Step 3Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pat the dough out into a small rectangle and sprinkle the cheese over it. Fold the dough over the cheese and gently knead in the cheese. Shape into a ball.

Step 4Brush a medium-size glass bowl with oil. Put the dough into the bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a towel or with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Step 5Place a baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 6Prepare a baking sheet by brushing with oil and sprinkling with the cornmeal. Punch the dough down and pat it into a 12-by-7-inch rectangle on the sheet. Let it stand about 10 minutes, until dough begins to rise slightly. Make indentations over the top of the dough with your fingertips.

Step 7Use a large sharp knife to score the dough through to the bottom into 12 squares. Do not separate them. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Put the baking sheet on the preheated baking stone and bake 30 minutes, until lightly browned.

Step 8Remove from the oven; allow the bread to cool slightly, then break apart the rolls. Let cool before wrapping them in aluminum foil and tucking them into the day pack.

Note: From Donna Deane.

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