This one is my best, not one of the best but the best focaccia I ever made! It’s a focaccia with a unique flavour that was so appealing to our taste buds. With sautéed cremini mushrooms, black pepper, red onions, Monterey jack and Mozzarella cheese, oregano, red pepper flakes and more black pepper- lots of it……..the black pepper flavour gave a new dimension to it and its texture turned out perfect in my cast iron pizza pan. Everything came together in perfect harmony. It was like a symphony of flavours dancing on our taste buds singing in harmony with mother Nature. All Praise to God for all His blessings!
For the dough
3 cups all purpose flour
1 tbs yeast
1/3 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
For the toppings
1 x 225g box of fresh cremini mushrooms
1/2 a large red onion
1 cup Mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese
2 tsp dried oregano spices
4 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4-6 tbs olive oil
1. Dissolve yeast with sugar in 1 cup of lukewarm water and wait for the yeast to bloom. Meanwhile measure 3 cups of flour into the food processor add salt and pulse to mix it.
2. While the food processor is running pour the yeast solution through the feed tube carefully. Stop once you have poured it all in, then start pulsing till it forms into a ball of dough. If it is dry just sprinkle a little lukewarm water then pulse again. The dough should not be sticky (so do not add lot of water) but come together and at the same not too dry. Add one tbs olive oil and keep pulsing for short intervals till the dough starts spinning which means it is ready.
3. Remove the dough from the food processor, make it into a round ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover and let it rise in a cozy place on the counter for 1 – 2 hours.
4. As the dough is rising get all the toppings ready. Grate the cheeses, slice the mushrooms, slice the onions then chop them roughly etc. Also sauté half the mushrooms in olive oil with salt and pepper until lightly brown and set aside.
5. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Check to see if the dough is double in size. Grease your pizza pan, a cast iron one is the best to get a perfect texture for your pizza as well as focaccia because it retains the heat while baking.
6. Spread the dough on the pizza pan first with your fingers then in a circular motion by resting your wrist in the center of the dough and pressing the circumference with your fingers all around in a clockwise direction. Then adjust and make it evenly smooth all over. Prick the dough all over with a fork so that it doesn’t bubble up while baking.
7.Now drizzle one or two tablespoons of oil generously on the focaccia dough and spread it all over with a brush. Fist spread the sautéed mushrooms on the crust, then the grated cheeses evenly all over. Now place the raw mushrooms then chopped onions (both seasoned with salt & pepper and mixed with olive oil) on top of the cheese all over the focaccia.
8. Sprinkle with black pepper, red chilli flakes and dried oregano spices on top of the focaccia. Drizzle more olive oil on the toppings and the sides of the crust.
9. Place the focaccia in the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is lightly golden and the crust is crisp at the base and moist on top.
10. The focaccia is now ready. Enjoy it hot for brunch or dinner with your favourite soup! Bon appetit!
1. The focaccia dough should be soft and springy as it is one of the important steps that determines the texture of the pizza or focaccia.
2. Secondly the pan should be thick enough to retain the heat. A cast iron works best. You could also use good quality non stick bakeware which is workable.
3. Adding salt, pepper olive oil to the veggies just before topping them on the focaccia gives a better flavour to it.
4. You could also use quick rising yeast and add it to the flour to save time. But first make sure that the yeast is not stale.
5. You could also try using black pepper with other toppings for the focaccia.
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