Focaccia with Bacon, Cheddar and 'Eggs in Wells' - Parsley, Sage, and Sweet

Focaccia with Bacon, Cheddar and ‘Eggs in Wells’

May 31, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Posted in Appetizers, Breads, Breakfast, Lunch, Rainbow, Vegetables, Yeastspotting | 46 Comments
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There’s a new bread challenge in town.  It’s called the Bread Baking Society (Twitter handle @Breaking_Bread – hashtag #BreakingBread), – founded by Lora from Cake Duchess and Shulie from  Food Wanderings.  This month the bread they asked everyone to bake is focaccia and of course, I wanted to take part. Thankfully I got it in on the last day, last minute, of the month.  Once again, there was humidity, but not as bad as last week.  But, no braiding or shaping of focaccia – just dimpling (awww) – so humidity foiled.  Ha!


Of course, there was free creative reign, so the variety of focaccias linked up, sweet and savory, is pretty amazing, from sweet potato to southern charm.

I made a Focaccia McMuffin.  I call it that because it’s composed of bacon, eggs and cheddar encased in dough (the Mcmuffin part).  What makes it kind of cool is, the eggs are in focaccia wells.  I scrunched up 6 large pieces of tin foil into 3-inch balls, coated each one generously with olive oil, then stuck them into the cheese and bacon filled dough before rising.  When fully risen, I pressed them down again, and baked the focaccia for 20 or so minutes, then removed the tin foil balls –  giving me perfect wells to crack 6 eggs into.  I put the focaccia back in the oven for 8 to 10 more minutes, and voila, six  perfectly cooked eggs in six bacon – cheese bread squares (when cut), per person.

Of course I had to make it pretty, so before baking the focaccia, I topped it with some roasted red peppers, arugula, more bacon – plus a few drizzles of olive oil.  When done, the eggs were seasoned with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives.

Finally, I used Nick Malgieri’s focaccia dough in this recipe, which Lora also used. But, due to the damn humidity, I had to add an extra cup of flour because the dough continued to suck up flour while basking in the free sauna the weather provided.  I also took down the salt because of the bacon..bacon = salty.  I’m sure Nick wouldn’t mind..he’s a pretty awesome pastry chef and guy, and he left a comment on THIS post back in 2010…thanks to Meaghan from The Decorated Cookie, alerting him to the post.  Cool, huh?

I was pretty stoked since I’m such a fan girl when it comes to my favorite chefs.  As you can see, I wrote a novel in response to his comment and it kind of makes me cringe. But, I won’t delete it because it was a genuine moment, and genuine moments can be embarrassing at times.

Bacon, Cheddar and 'Eggs in Wells' Foccaccia

So, uh, make this focaccia if you can.  Yes, it’s unusual, and yes, many Italians would probably gasp in horror at the site of it, but it’s really fun and delicious (this is all filler text since there used to be a story here.)

More filler.  Not much to say. *twiddling thumbs*.

 

Bacon, Cheddar and ‘Eggs in Wells’ Focaccia
Basic focaccia recipe adapted from How to Bake, by Nick Malgieri, with my revisions
Copyright (c) Nick Malgieri 1995, All Rights Reserved
6 individual servings

1 1/3 cups warm tap water (about 110 degrees)
2 1/2 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour ( I ended up using 1 more cup due to humidity)
1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
6 to 8 oz cheddar cheese, cubed
10 slices cooked bacon, chopped

Topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese plus 6 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese for the egg wells (1 tablespoon per well)
4 slices cooked bacon, chopped
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and sliced (optional, or add your favorite vegetable(s)*
arugula leaves (optional, or use your favorite greens)*
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 medium or large eggs
chopped chives
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

*If you don’t want to add greens or veggies of any sort, top with extra bacon and cheese.  Herbs would be nice too.

101/2 x 151/2-inch jelly roll and parchment paper

DIRECTIONS:
1.  In a small bowl,water sprinkle the yeast over the water.  Add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and stir.

2. In large bowl, combine the flour and 1  1/2 teaspoons of salt; whisk together or mix together on low speed in your mixer.

3. Stir the yeast, water and olive oil into the flour and salt until you have a dry dough.  Slowly add the 1 1/3 cup of water while mixing, until you have a soft, but slightly raggedy dough.  You may or may not use all the water.

4.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl.  Cover and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

5.  When dough has doubled, fold it onto itself, then flatten it on a floured board.  Scatter the cheddar cheese cubes and 2 pieces of chopped bacon all over the flattened dough.  Fold it over a few times, adding flour as needed.  Use a bench scraper because you will run into stickiness.  Keep folding and kneading until the bacon and cheese is disseminated throughout the dough evenly. If bacon and/or cheese pops out during kneading, just shove it back in.   Let rest, covered for 5 to 10 minutes to relax the gluten.

6.  While the dough is resting, oil the jelly roll pan, then cut a piece of parchment to fit.  The oil will keep the parchment paper down.  Flatten the ball of dough onto the parchment lined pan and spread it as best you can until it almost reaches all four corners.  If it resists, let it rest a few minutes, then start pushing and spreading again.  Tuck in any cheese or bacon that pops out.

7.  Make 6 tin foil balls..about 3 to 4-inches each, and coat each one with olive or any oil, generously (I used spray olive oil) Press each tin foil ball into dough, deep..two on each row, equally apart.

8.  Cover pan with oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 hours.

9.  Prehaet oven to 425 degrees F.  Once risen, press the foil balls down again (they rise with the dough), then dimple focaccia and drizzle with olive oil.  Top with remaining chopped bacon, pepper strips, and arugula.

10. Bake at 425F for 20 minutes, then remove pan from oven..keeping oven at 425F, and pull out foil balls.  Sprinkle a 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese in each well. Crack each egg, one at a time, into a ramekin or small bowl, then slowly and carefully pour each egg into a well, until all six are filled.

11.  Place pan back in the oven and bake for another 8-10 minutes, until the whites are cooked and the yolks are still jiggly, like a sunny-side up egg.

12.  Remove pan from oven, sprinkle all over with remaining shredded cheddar cheese (the heat will melt it), and salt and pepper each egg.  Sprinkle with chopped chives, if desired. Serve immediately, cutting the focaccia into 6 squares, each containing an egg.  Gently reheat leftovers, as not to overcook the egg.

I’m submitting this focaccia to Yeastspotting, hosted by the talented Susan of Wild Yeast.

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46 Comments »

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  1. hey, no need to promise a time or section# for the end of the story! i’m sure i can safely say: we’re all enjoying it!
    better to tell it in a relaxed manner, while taking the time and pages you need to make it really the way it was (and the way you like it) without the pressure to finish it NOW, so to speak :).

    beautiful breakfast bread–wish i could have it now!!!

    thanks

    • Thanks, johanne! It’s good to get some feedback about that aspect of it! I’m so glad you’re enjoying it :)

  2. Hi Lisa, So happy you joined #breakingbread and what a creative play on Egg Mc Muffins! Love the wells and as you might know I had some issues with the focaccia dimples. I would have never thought of using the foil balls while the dough is rising, Awesome. Awesome! Shulie

  3. Ok, the bread is great…the story is terrific! Only two chapters to go? I can’t stand the thought! And after that email, I am all confounded…what could happen???? By the way, I picked my college because it was the #1 party school. Honest. I was from Iowa, and was desperate for the real experience. Boulder, CO was the real thing for sure!

  4. I can’t believe you’re nearing the end of the story! I want to know what happens, but I’m going to miss reading it!

    And that focaccia looks like a perfect brunch dish!

  5. You know you have me here smiling and so hungry. Come on, Lisa! LOVE your super fun baking imagination. I’ve never seen anyone go where you go so effortlessly with ideas. The foil balls to make the wells for those perfect eggs…genius. The topping combinations…amazing. Thank you for taking time to do this today. now bring me a few slices for a snack;)!! Great continuation of the story, PS. I think this could go on all through the summer and I’d consider it part of my summer reading;)xx

  6. That focaccia looks and sounds AMAZING – I LOVE what you did with the eggs – I am totally going to try that one day, though I am sure I’ll wind up with egg sliding off all over the place because that’s just how things work out for me… LOL.
    And I’m glad you made it to prom :)

  7. I’m LOVING this story!! It’s so wonderful and being a Jersey girl, knowing the places you’re talking about just adds to it all. And you focaccia is beyond creative and so gorgeous! I love your idea to create holes for the eggs. Brilliant! I never would have thought to do that.

  8. Wow, now this is a extremely creative and fun idea! I would have never thought to do this, I definitely need to do this soon! Your rock:-) Hugs, Terra

  9. Your story has everyone hooked! What a brilliant take on focaccia, Lisa! LOVE the idea. Very creative. Excellent post. :)

  10. As usual, I enjoyed every bit of your story. Really beautiful. It brings back memories of my first boyfriend (staying up late, being tired at school, etc…)…

    That focaccia is splendid! I love the idea of adding eggs in wells…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  11. Hi, i just found your site, and I love it! The wells for the eggs in this focaccia is genius!! You come up with such creative food! Jus started reading whole Bad boy story, up to part 4, and all i can say is, wow, its romantic, funny, sweet, and so much more. Please keep the parts coming!

  12. I love the egg in the bread idea! I might start doing this.

    And I love your love story!

  13. Lisa, you are a genius! No sprigs of rosemary or olives for your focaccia holes. Not when you can have eggs. I LOVE YOU. (And I love eggs.)

    Eagerly awaiting Part 14. :)

  14. What a great idea with the aluminum foil…stroke of genius. The focaccia looks awesome. Your story is getting better especially now that we are getting to know him better. Your reactions to his friends and his mannerisms are very real and intimate and make for great storytelling.

  15. What a cool bread! This looks really beautiful and delicious – so creative!

  16. Love all your recipes! You’re a great cook!!
    And a great writer! You should totally write a book!
    I’m loving your story & wishing it would never end.. Now I wish I had a dreamboat :)

  17. Wow, focaccia with egg baked inside it? Amazing! I bet it tastes absolutely incredible.

  18. Oh no! The lost earring! :O And I can imagine that after waiting for the “I Love You” moment (hehe much like we’ve been waiting alongside you in this story for it), that was the last thing you were expecting.

    And as for this foccacia? Brilliant idea with the eggs!

  19. Oh good it’s not over.

    1. I love this eggy foccacia – perfect for a crowd.

    2. If you ever lose a diamond on the floor, here’s how you find it. Wait until absolutely dark and get a flashlight. The diamond with sparkle right back at you. It stops a LOT of tears I can tell you. :)

  20. Lol, you nut. “Focaccia McMuffin”? Only you…

    GO PETTITTE!! (coulda used him LAST year :-(

    Interesting chapter to you novel…I’ve only just now taken a quick peek. Seemingly as though events happened just yesterday.

    I have my novel too. I begins, “The sea was angry, my friend…”

    Hey – For a diversion, fire up your Jetson’s backpack:

    • Ha ha, you goofball!!. Are you sure that’s a video and not a ‘trip’? ;D Yes, Pettite is our savior thus far. So glad to have him back, especially with no Mo :( One run games are scary now. Talk more about that soon.

      ————————————–

      BTW,..are you feeling ‘Seaside’ through this? Memories?

      • Sure it’s a trip alright. Right into the Moody Blue’s ‘Land of Make-Believe’ – the lyrics say it: “heartache can turn into joy” (withOUT illegal substances ;-) NOT to be confused with Strawberry Fields Forever :-) ————————————– Great to see Pettitte on the mound and pumped. But without Mo relieving the Yanks are just like any other team during the last 15 years – sweating out EVERY 9th inning, eh?…….Yes, I am reliving my Seaside Days again and vicariously through your amazing recollection of “Young Love”. I suppose there will be some who can’t relate to the emotional minutiae of First Loves…or even remember it. Good stuff – thanks for sharing. Yes, I’m a fellow cornball.

  21. I also love, love the eggs in the foccacio! So intresting & mighty tasty & pretty too! :)
    Such a lovely post! Yum!

  22. This is making me crazy wanting to find out how it ends but, like a great story a part of me wants it to go on forever! Love it! Love the focaccia, too! Great brunch food! You are just so clever!

  23. The egg in a well is brilliant! I´m so glad I just read your bad boy story for the first time, because I could read all of it at once. I´m waiting for the rest!

  24. Such a clever idea to create wells to cook the eggs in. What a fabulous breakfast.

  25. This looks great! I love focaccia and am always looking for new ways to eat breakfast. Thanks for the recipe!

  26. Best focaccia ever, hands down. How brilliant to put eggs like that in it. You amaze me. The pics of the individual portions look like art on a wall. His to good to be real, even if such a bad boy. Being patient again for the next part.

  27. Your crazy creativity is on the loose again! I love this focaccia with the little egg nests, and bacon to boot! Sooooo good!

  28. Love your focaccia Lisa! Gorgeous! And oooo I sooo love your love story. You should write a book, seriously. It’s that good!

  29. Lisa, I love your blog so much! This recipe is beautiful, the plaited bread too…. I’m so enjoying the story – I kinda don’t want you to get to part 14!!
    Now, I’m sure you don’t need this and I may be being ‘blog naive’ in asking you this, but would you accept the One Lovely Blog Award from me please? Like I say, I’m sure you get awards and accolades all of the time, but I really do mean the sentiment!
    Thanks.
    Moo x

  30. You can’t end this story yet! Like a person said above, it would make for great summer reading! I loved the part about the guidance counselor..I would have been horrified! That IS a nightmare! This focaccia is pure creativity to the millionth degree. The eggs in wells is a marvelous idea!

  31. This looks amazing! I’ve never seen such a cool focaccia. The foil balls are such a great idea!

  32. This focaccia looks so tasty! I have to try the well trick. Would it work in a loaf type bread?

    • Thanks, Nancy..I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Just press the foil balls into the top of the loaf, depending on how many eggs you are using, and make sure to push them back down a little once the bread has risen with the foil balls in it.

  33. Love this breakfast foccaccia!!

  34. Awesome take on focaccia outside of olives and herbs. The eggs in wells in a dough is pretty impressive.

  35. Saw this on Pinterest, so clever!! Trying it for brunch soon!

  36. Hi Lisa, just wanted to tell you I love this focaccia – the wells are such a good idea. Love your stories too! I’m inspired to start my own food/stories blog!

  37. I made this and everyone thought it was so cool, not to mention delicious! What a great idea to use the oiled foil balls!!

  38. This is our new favorite Sunday breakfast bread. My son asked “Mommy, how did you get the sunny side up eggs inside the bread like that, did you put it on the stove like a pan??” We loved how the egg runs deep in each slice. Toast, eggs and bacon in one hand held bite with cheese is better than a McMuffin! Thanx so much for this recipe!

  39. Catching up on the love tory of the century now…and that focaccia is gorgeous!

  40. […] Recipe: Focaccia with Bacon Cheddar and Eggs in Wells […]


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