A soft herbed focaccia drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt is the perfect accompaniment for a comforting bowl of soup; but how about taking an easy focaccia recipe and stuffing it with some flavorful fillings so that it can stand all on it’s own?
That’s exactly what I have done here and that’s not to say that you wouldn’t still want to have this with a bowl of soup or a side salad 😉
This focaccia is stuffed with creamy ackee, smoky andouille sausage, charred onions and red peppers. And as if that wasn’t enough: sprinkled with a crispy breadcrumb topping that features smoked paprika and cheddar cheese.
Our apartment smelled glorious while this baked. Web walked through the door just as I had taken it out of the oven and his nose was #blessed! He had had a particularly long and rough day of work and was beyond excited when he saw that this would be dinner. I had to remind him to kindly save me at least two slices for photographs 😆
Whereas a bit of patience is required while the bread proofs, this recipe is really easy to make. The focaccia dough is same recipe I used for the keezas (you can see those recipes here) a truly reliable and rewarding recipe. I made all of the fillings ahead of time so it was just a matter of assembly on the day I baked.
Once the dough is proofed it’s cut in half:
Stretched into the pan:
With a little rest and coercion the dough fills the pan then is topped with the fillings:
It’s then covered with the top half, gets another brief proof and is sprinkled with the topping before being baked:
That’s it! What do you think? As always feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below. If you make this or any of the recipes from the site, be sure to #amazingackee and @amazingackee so that I can see your posts across social media.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time 😊
For the dough:
- 415 g (3 1/3 cups) Bread flour, (I use King Arthur bread flour, you could also use all purpose)
- 10 g (2 1/2 tsps) Brown sugar
- 10 g (2 1/2 tsps) Salt
- 60 g (1/4 cup) Olive oil
- 6 g (2 tsps) Instant yeast
- 260 g (1 1/4 cup) Water
For the filling:
- Parboiled ackee (or canned), as needed
- Cooked and sliced andouille sausage as needed
- Charred onions & red peppers as needed**
For the topping:
- Shredded cheddar cheese about 1/2 cup
- Breadcrumbs about 1/4 cup
- Parsley as needed
- Smoked paprika as needed
- Salt and pepper to taste
To make the dough: **The following method for mixing is a tiny bit unconventional, in most cases in bread making you would usually add your water last. I once had a head baker that would do it the way I’m about to describe and have found myself doing it this way at work lately. Everything mixes more thoroughly and there is no danger of a dry patch of flour being stuck to the bottom of the bowl when you’re done. If you don’t feel comfortable doing it this way, mix the dry ingredients and oil together first then with the mixer running, add the water.**
Everything will be measured into the bowl of your standmixer: First put the water, then the yeast.
Next add the flour followed by the remaining ingredients.
This dough is soft enough to mix with the paddle attachment but you could use the dough hook if you prefer. Mix for 10 to 15 minutes on the recommended setting for your mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic (this is speed 2 on a KitchenAid Classic).
To generate as few dishes to wash as possible I use the same mixing bowl to proof the dough. I simply plop the dough onto my cutting board, spray the bowl with oil spray then return the dough to the bowl and cover loosely putting it in a warm place to double in size (usually in the microwave)
Let dough sit for about an hour or till it doubles in size (in Jamaica this would take about 30 minutes during the summer, here in CT in the fall it takes about an hour, basically it will all depend on how warm your kitchen is).
Gently deflate dough and cut in half
To assemble and bake:
Oil a 9 by 13 rimmed sheet pan
Taking one half of the dough at a time press and stretch the dough with your hands to a size that fills the sheet pan. It may be necessary to give the dough 5 to 10 minutes rest in between to relax.
Once the first half fills the pan, sprinkle with toppings.
Stretch the top half a bit larger than needed then cover the filling. Try as best as possible to push out any air bubbles that may get trapped in the process. Seal edges well and poke the dough all over.
Let rest covered for another 40 minutes to an hour till puffy.
For the topping:
Mix together all the ingredients
Preheat oven to 425F
Sprinkle the focaccia with the topping.
When oven is at temperature, place the focaccia in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375F. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes till golden brown. Take a peek around the 15 minute mark to see how its doing.
Once done, let cook for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.
*The numbers written in parentheses are approximate conversions, it is best to use a scale for accuracy
**To make the charred onions and red peppers:
- Slice onions and red peppers and toss in a bowl with just enough oil to coat them well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Place on a lined tray and cook under broiler till soft and charred. Set aside till ready to use.
***All fillings can be made ahead and chilled till needed.