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James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Beach Focaccia

A simple topped bread will stand up to coastal conditions, especially when cut into squares and individually wrapped in waxed paper. Our easy version is conveniently made from purchased bread dough; you can top it off with items from an Italian deli counter or supermarket. We especially like silvery little marinated anchovies plus a sprinkling of coarse sea salt—both of which add appealing flavors from the briny deep. You can also use sliced marinated artichoke hearts, pitted oil-cured black olives, cherry tomatoes, thinly sliced red onions, and/or roasted red peppers.

Sunset AUGUST 2002

  • Yield:

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds frozen bread dough
  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Toppings (see notes)
  • Fresh rosemary leaves
  • Coarse sea salt

Preparation

1. Thaw bread dough at room temperature.

2. Pour 3 tablespoons olive oil into a 10- by 15-inch nonstick baking pan.

3. If you are using two 1-pound loaves, pinch dough together firmly. Spread dough flat in pan, pushing to cover bottom of pan (if dough pulls back and will not spread, let it rest 5 minutes and try again). Let rise until surface is bubbled, 45 to 60 minutes.

4. With your fingers, poke dough at 1-inch intervals until entire surface is dimpled (do not pierce dough).

5. Drizzle surface evenly with 1/4 cup olive oil and top as desired. Drizzle with additional olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.

6. Bake in a 400° regular oven until top and bottom surfaces are golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

7 Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack at least 10 minutes before serving; to serve, cut into squares.

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Beach Focaccia recipe

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