I really love focaccia. It's one of the easier breads to make because it requires very little kneading and bakes quickly. When Justin and I were in Chicago this past winter celebrating our 10th anniversary (of dating, that is), we went to Riccardo's Trattoria. They had the most amazing zucchini focaccia, and I thought I'd recreate it at home with a little more zip added from some lemon and Parmesan.
For the topping:
1/2 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
For the bread:
1 cup warm water
1 tsp sugar
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3-4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1. Mix the water, sugar, and yeast in a bowl or measuring cup. Let it sit in a warm area until the yeast has bubbled, about 10 minutes.
2. Mix 1 cup of the flour with the yeast mixture, salt and olive oil. Add in the remaining flour a little bit at a time (either by hand or in a stand mixer) until the flour has absorbed and you can't add any more.
3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes (again, you can just let the stand mixer do the work if you have one). When the dough is soft and supple with the flour fully incorporated, rub it with some olive oil and place it in a bowl. Cover it with a damp dishcloth and let it sit in a warm place for 2 hours or until doubled in bulk (you can put it in the fridge overnight too).
4. Meanwhile, thinly slice the zucchini and shallot. Marinate them in the juice/zest of half a lemon, a tablespoon of olive oil, and some salt and pepper while the bread proofs.
5. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roll the dough into a rectangle that fits your baking dish. Cover it again with the dishcloth and let it proof for another 15 minutes.
6. When the dough is ready, give it a little poke every few inches to give it that focaccia-dimpled look. Sprinkle on the zucchini and shallots, then shake some Parmesan on top. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and crunchy.