A busy college student, Sarah McClanahan of Raleigh, North Carolina makes this lightened-up version of flat Italian bread often because it's so easy to prepare. "Focaccia goes great with soup or pasta," she says. "And by adding tomatoes and onions, I can turn it into a light supper."
- 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 cup water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- In a bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a saucepan, heat water and 2 tablespoons oil to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat on low speed just until moistened. Beat on medium until batter is elastic and pulls away from sides of bowl. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough (do not knead). Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide dough in half. Press each portion into a 12-in. pizza pan coated with cooking spray. Brush with remaining oil; top with peppers and cheese. Sprinkle with pepper flakes if desired, basil, oregano, garlic powder, pepper and remaining salt. Let rest for 10 minutes. Bake at 425° for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 focaccias (8 slices each).
Originally published as Peppered Focaccia in Light & Tasty August/September 2001, p54
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