This is not a focaccia recipe. It’s about a delicious focaccia sandwich with fresh pesto, crisp arugula, seared peppers, and smoked scamorza. It’s crunchy, oily, fresh, and super easy to make. Uri spent a lot of time in Italy, cooking his way through Italian cuisine, and it shows.
No-knead focaccia has been around for a hot minute. Focaccia is tasty. Tasty is good. Make focaccia. After keeping us all busy with high-maintenance sourdough during the first Corona lockdown, we collectively decided to turn our backs on our little sourdough starter babies and make easy peasy no-knead focaccia instead. Some people went a bit over the top and made sourdough focaccia – but we are not those people. Our sourdough starters are where they belong: in the back of our fridges, long forgotten and probably going through their second divorce.
So we hopped on the no-knead focaccia trend, and we loved it.
Sophia spent hours on TikTok and a bunch of food blogs to find the easiest focaccia recipe. One day, her internet friend Theodora Melnik sent her her recipe, and it was so easy, even Sophia could make it. She just tweaked Theo’s recipe slightly and increased the hydration to 75% (the more hydration, the fluffier the bread gets), and that’s it. Just mix all the ingredients together, let it rise in the fridge, accidentally forget about it, remember, bake it. You’ll be rewarded with fluffy, crispy, perfect focaccia.
But, like we said before, this recipe is not about the focaccia. It’s about the awesome things you can do with focaccia. it’s about the perfect focaccia sandwich.
Yes, you could just dip it in olive oil and salt, which would be perfect. But you could also go the extra mile and make a fancy focaccia sandwich.
All the sandwich parts are good, but together they create perfection. The pesto is not only excellent on the sandwich, but it also goes perfectly with pasta. You can make the peperonata ahead and eat it as a side with almost everything. Just store it in an airtight container in the fridge and cover it with olive oil. You could probably skip the grill at the end, but why would you? There is only one thing better than cheese: melted cheese! Make sure you put the arugula on after baking since we want that extra fresh and hearty crunch of the leaves.
Focaccia Con Peperconata
- 500 g flour
- 5 g instant dry yeast
- 375 g tepid water
- 10 g salt
- 65 + 50 g olive oil
- 3 red bell peppers sliced into 1cm strips
- 2 red onions sliced thinly (vertically not horizontally!)
- 1 tbsp baby capers or larger ones, chopped roughly
- 30 g balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 clove of garlic crushed but remained whole
- 1 dry chili
- 10 sprigs of basil
- 100 g rocket
- 30 g parmesan
- 10 almonds
- 1 small garlic clove peeled
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100 g olive oil
To assemble the sandwich:
- 1 Focaccia cut into 6
- Smoked scamorza sliced
- A day in advance – in a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, salt, water, and 65 g olive oil only until homogenized. Cover the bowl with a towel, after 30 minutes, ´knead the dough, by lifting two opposite sides and folding them together, then turning the bowl 90° fold again, then once again turning and folding. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 220℃
- Coat a heat proof pan with the remaining 50 g of olive oil. transfer the dough into the pan, and use your fingertips to roll it out and stretch it to fit the pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, transfer onto a rack and let allow to cool.
- In a heavy bottom pan, place the dry chili, garlic clove, and rosemary. Add a generous layer of olive oil, and let infuse on a medium heat, about 3 minutes.
- Increase the heat and add the onions and peppers. Let them get some color, stirring occasionally, about 4-5 minutes, then add the balsamic vinegar, and lower the heat slightly, cover the pan and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, careful not to burn the bottom. Add the capers, and cook for 3-5 minutes longer, until the peppers and onions are cooked through but not mushy. (think roasted peppers, rather than onion jam).
- Discard the garlic clove and rosemary stalks.
- Blitz everything together.
To assemble the sandwich:
- Preheat oven to 200c Broiler setting
- Slice open each piece of focaccia. Spread pesto on each side, topping the bottom side with peperonata and the top side with sliced scamorza. Broil for about 5 minutes till the cheese is melted. Add rocket and don´t share it with anyone, because it also tastes great cold.
Like baking? Try our Triple Coffee Cake!