A new family favorite is my Focaccia-Omelette Sandwich, which makes a tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
While it’s extremely easy to make, the focaccia needs at least 5 hours of rise-time, so planning ahead is crucial. You don’t want to short-change this time period since this is when flavor and gluten development occur.
Note: Use a metal pan to bake the focaccia, if possible, to promote a crispy crust.
FOCACCIA – OMELETTE SANDWICH
- 3¼ cup (400 grams) bread flour
- 1½ tsp (4 grams) dry yeast
- 3/4 tsp granulated sugar
- 14 oz (1+2/3 cup) (380 ml) water, room temperature
- 1½ tsp kosher salt (or 3/4 tsp table salt)
- 6 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- toppings such as olives, sliced shallots
- 2 tsp dried oregano, divided
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 10 eggs
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 T fresh basil, chopped
- 3 oz Feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 tsp table salt
- 6 oz Fontina cheese, shredded
- 1 large tomato, sliced
Place the flour, yeast, and sugar in the work bowl of your food processor. Turn machine on and drizzle in the water through the pour-spout. Mix for 2 minutes, then let rest for another 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the kosher salt and run machine for another 2 minutes. Pour 2 T olive oil into a rectangular or square container with sides at least 3″ high, covering the bottom and sides. (The square corners train the dough somewhat and help it fill the corners of the baking pan. If you don’t have a container like this, just use an oiled deep bowl.) The dough is going to rise very high, then collapse somewhat. Cover container and let rise 5½ – 6 hours. Note the low height of the dough when I pour it in. Here’s after 2½ hours: After about 4 hours it starts to collapse a bit – this is normal. After dough has been rising for 5 hours, preheat oven to 500º Fahrenheit, rack in the middle position. If you have a baking stone or steel (I use a steel), place it on rack as the oven preheats.
After dough has been rising for at least 5½ hours, spread 2 T olive oil on the bottom and sides of a metal 9½” x 13″ metal pan. (I know, I know – the pan has, obviously, seen better days!) Note how bubbly the dough is: Gently pour the dough into the prepared pan, nudging the dough into the corners – try not to deflate the dough. If you’re using toppings such as olives or slices shallots, sprinkle them on, lightly pressing them into the dough. Let dough set uncovered for 20 minutes. Brush 2 T olive oil over dough, then sprinkle on 1 tsp oregano, pepper, and salt. Place in 500º F preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until well browned on top and sides have pulled away from the edges a bit. Remove from oven and let rest in pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.Decrease oven temperature to 350º F, leaving oven door open to expedite the oven temperature drop.
During that 10 minutes, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add in the red pepper, basil, Feta, table salt, and the remaining 1 tsp oregano. Beat mixture to blend. After removing focaccia from pan, line the bottom and sides of the empty pan with parchment. Brush a light coating of olive oil on the parchment, then pour in the egg mixture. Place in the oven at 350º F and bake until egg mixture is no longer wet – about 12-15 minutes. While omelette is baking, remove focaccia to a cutting board. Using a long bread knife, very carefully slice bread in half horizontally. (Take your time – the edges are crispy, making it difficult. I’ve found it best to cut into the bread only – not in and out, which tends to tear the bread.) Once the bread is completely sliced through, leave it together to retain its heat.
After removing the omelette, let it rest in the pan for 15 minutes to set. You can use this time to slice the tomatoes and shred the Fontina.
When the omelette has set, remove the top of the focaccia and set it aside, cut side down. Sprinkle 1/3 of the Fontina cheese over the bottom half. (The cheese is going to serve as a glue to hold everything together.) Remove the omelette from the pan by using the parchment to lift it. Set it beside the bottom half of the focaccia, long sides next to each other. Carefully peel the parchment away from the sides – I use a knife help separate the egg from the parchment.
Fold the long side of the parchment that’s next to the bread under to get it out of the way. Using the 2 short sides parchment ears, lift and flip the omelette on top of the focaccia bottom. Peel away and discard the parchment.
Sprinkle 1/2 of the remaining Fontina on top of the omelette. Layer on the sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle on remaining Fontina and cover with the focaccia top.
If you like, you can place the entire sandwich on a cookie sheet and heat at 400º F for about 10 minutes to crisp it up, or you can go ahead and slice it up as is.