Bacon and Cheese Focaccia

I decided to bring a little savory something for a bake sale today.  The idea spawned from the chinese sausage focaccia I made from the Milk Bar cookbook a couple weeks ago.  Considering the ingredients I was going to use for this version, it should be failsafe.  I've become completely infatuated with a yeasty dough.  I love the smell, the feel, and of course, the result.  This dough is pretty easy to make and easy to handle.  Love it.

3 1/2 Cups bread flour
1 Tbsp kosher Salt
1 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 3/4 Cups warm water, just slightly above room temp
grape seed oil

In the bowl of your stand mixer, stir the flour, salt and yeast together with a spatula or the hook of a stand mixer to mix well.  In a steady stream, add the water as you continue to stir until the water is incorporated, for about 1 minute.
Place the bowl onto the stand mixer and put the hook in place.  Mix the dough on the lowest speed for about 3 minutes.  Pull the dough down off the hook and then continue to knead the dough on low for another 4 minutes.  
Brush a large bowl with the grape seed oil and put the dough inside.  Cover and let rise for 45 minutes.  It should be slightly sticky to the touch and bounce back when you press on it.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
2 1/2 Cups grated cheese (I used half Beechers Flagship and half gruyere)
1/2 lb bacon, chopped and fried until crispy, reserve the fat from the bacon
4 oz Skillet bacon spread

Once the dough is ready, dump it out onto a lightly floured surface.  Punch it down and pull and stretch it to be just slightly larger than a 9" x 12" baking sheet.  You will be folding the dough in thirds.  Spread half the bacon jam onto the middle section of the dough.  To make it easier to spread, take it out of the refrigerator about an hour before using.  Sprinkle half the bacon over top and then half of the cheese on top of the bacon.  
Fold one third of the dough over top and repeat the layers.  Finish with folding the last third over top and sealing the edges.  

Brush a 9" x 12" baking sheet with a bit of the reserved fat from the bacon.  Gently lift the dough onto the pan.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
Heat oven o 375F.  Uncover the dough.  Drizzle a little more of the bacon fat around the edges of the dough, not on top.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown.
Let the focaccia cool to room temp before cutting it to serve.  Yum...even better once sliced and reheated!


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