No, this is not a photo of my big white butt! It’s the introduction to a simple recipe. We’ll call it, Cheater’s Focaccia.
It’s been a while since I shared a recipe, and this time I’m sharing a family secret. It’s not because it has secret ingredients to make it special. The reason this has been kept hush, hush is because it’s not a traditional, Italian-old-country, family recipe. Shh, don’t tell anyone. Grandma found it in a magazine some time around the 70’s, and she passed it to Mom, who passed it to me. In fact, the pan in these photos is the one Grandma used to make it in.
I’ve labeled it the cheater’s focaccia because you buy the frozen dough in the freezer section (I don’t know if this is available for those of you outside of the US).
Rest of the ingredients:
28oz canned whole tomatoes (or use fresh if you prefer)
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt, pepper & oregano
Remove two of the three loaves of dough from the package. Use nonstick spray on a deep round or rectangular pan (like a lasagna pan) and put the two loaves inside. Spray some plastic wrap and cover the dough with sprayed side. I personally like to let the dough rise overnight because it takes 8 to 12 hours. It takes especially long in the climate where I live.
The dough must rise as high, or higher than the “butt” photo at the top of the page.
Once it’s risen, preheat oven to 400 degrees, then press down the dough so that it goes up the sides of the pan.
Break up the canned tomatoes into small pieces and start dispersing them over the top of the dough.
Once tomato pieces cover the entire top of the dough, drizzle 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil all across the top.
Sprinkle a liberal amount of salt, pepper and oregano over the tomatoes and dough. You can try other seasonings that may appeal to you as well. You may even like to try a light touch of fresh minced garlic.
After sprinkling the seasonings, press your fingers into the dough to make divots for the oil to sink in as below. (click on photos to get better view of how it should look).
Put in preheated (400 degree) oven and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. It should turn a golden brown. While it bakes, be sure to wipe drool from the corners of your mouth as the aroma of seasoned dough permeates your home.
ENJOY YOUR CHEATER’S FOCACCIA BREAD