So my birthday has come and gone, and while I enjoyed a weekend of being waited on, cooked for, and fanned with giant palm leaves, it was nice to get behind the stove again. After all, my last attempt at creation resulted less in falafel than an oily soup of fried chickpea mush (rectified recipe soon to come!). I thought chicken salad would be a nice, simple way to ease my way back into the food prep. And then I got bored, and thought "Hey self, why not MAKE the bread. And not just any bread, let's make something different and flavorful - like focaccia."
So here we have a delicious chicken salad on an almost pastry-like, subtly herbed, cheesy focaccia bread, perfect in small bites as an appetizer, ready-to-go lunch, or casual summer dinner.
It's time to start the music. It's time to light the lights.
2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat)
2 tbs salt
1 tbs sugar
1 package instant yeast
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup Italian seasoning
1/2 cup parm cheese, grated
Ingredients (Chicken Salad):
2 large chicken breasts, grilled and diced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup dijon mustard (I used Grey Poupon Country)
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 a large onion, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
A few leaves of lettuce
So let's start with the focaccia:
1. In a large bowl, mix together the salt and flours
2. Create a well in the middle of the mixture, and add the sugar and yeast
3. SLOWLY add the WARM water to the middle of that well, and let sit for 5 minutes, or until the yeast starts to bubble
4. Pour in 2 tbs of the olive oil, and stir until the dough becomes just slightly sticky
6. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and let sit for about 45 minutes, or until the dough rises to twice its size - then, if you aren't in a rush, punch it down and let it rise again.
7. While that rises, grate the cheese and combine with the Italian seasoning
8. Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet, and lightly flour
9. Move the dough to the parchment paper, sprinkle with 1/2 to 3/4 of the cheese mixture, then fold and knead the heck outta it
10. Form the dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inch thick, place in an oven, then set the oven to WARM. Let sit for 20 minutes as the dough rises again.
11. Drizzle the dough with a small amount of olive oil
12. Leave the dough in, then set the oven to 375, and let bake for about 30 minutes, checking occasionally. The cheese will crisp, and the bread will turn a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
2. Add the chopped celery, onion, mayo, vinegar, and mustard
4. Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes
5. Chop the tomato and lettuce
6. Place it all on the focaccia - and you're done!
Questions? Additions? Comment below, or email me at CutsEveryday@gmail.com.
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