Prep 13 hrs
Cook 35 mins
Great to pack for a picnic; my son also enjoys taking a slice for his lunch at school. For the filling, feel free to substitute your favorites, such as mozzarella or fontina for the cheese and pepperoni, prosciutto or capocollo for the meat.The possibilities are endless, just don't use anything too moist or the bread will become soggy. If you end up short on time, you can certainly ferment the biga for a shorter amount of time. The bread will not have the same flavor depth, but it will still be fantastic. -Adapted from a recipe from King Arthur Flour
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 1/2 ounces)
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄8 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 3/4 ounces)
- 3⁄4 cup water
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1⁄2 lb thin-sliced salami
- 1 lb thin-sliced provolone cheese
- 4 ounces grated parmesan cheese (1 cup grated) or 4 ounces asiago cheese (1 cup grated)
- 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (1/2 cup grated) or 2 ounces asiago cheese (1/2 cup grated)
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, cover and let the mixture rest, at room temperature, for about 12 hours, or overnight (I usually leave it closer to 24 hours).
- In a large bowl, or the bowl of a mixer, combine the biga with all the dough ingredients except 1 cup of the flour, stirring to mix well.
- Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough becomes cohesive, then knead by hand or machine, until it's springy, about 5 minutes (or a bit longer by hand).
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it, and allow it to rise for about 60 minutes; it should just about double in bulk.
- Assembly and Baking:.
- Gently deflate the dough, divide it in half and transfer it to a lightly greased work surface.
- Cover it, and let it rest for 15 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
- Working with half the dough at a time, roll it into an 18 x 13-inch rectangle.
- Don't worry if it's not exactly 18 x 13, you can stretch it once it's in the pan.
- Transfer the dough to an olive-oiled half-sheet (18 x 13-inch) pan.
- Cover the pan and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
- After its rest, stretch the dough with your fingers to the edges of the pan; this may take some doing, but keep gently working it until it covers the bottom of the pan.
- If it is entirely too resistant, cover and let rest a little longer.
- Layer half the provolone atop the crust, then all the salami.
- Top the meat with the cup of freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago, then the rest of the provolone.
- Roll the other half of the dough into a rectangle large enough to cover the filled crust.
- Drape it over the filling and seal it to the bottom crust all the way around.
- Cut a small hole in the center to allow any steam to escape.
- Cover the focaccia and let it rise for 30 minutes, while you preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the focaccia for 20 minutes.
- Remove it from the oven, sprinkle it with the half cup of Parmesan or Asiago, and return it to the oven.
- Bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the focaccia is golden brown.
- Remove it from the oven and as soon as possible use a large spatula to transfer it to a rack to cool (to prevent the bottom from becoming soggy).
- Slice into generous rectangles to serve.
Though mine looked no -where as good as the pic, it was still very delicious! I used ham and a couple different cheeses for the filling. I had company who also sampled and loved it. I had been wanting to make this for a long time, but was too scared. Finally got the nerve up and now I will be making it again! Maybe next time it will look better, but it won't have to in order to be devoured! Thank you Gayla!!!