I love focaccia. It is a great bread for sandwiches either from a cut loaf or from stuffing the dough with fillings and then baked.
The 8×8 pan I most often used was purchased so I could get 4 even pieces. The same was true of the round pan but making sandwiches from a triangular piece was less than optimum. The square pan gives me 4 nice 4×4 pieces just right for dressing with meat, cheese, and condiments for a tasty lunch.
One day while cutting just such a piece, I wondered if it could be made easier if I simply scored the dough before putting it in the oven. It is common for crackers to be scored and I have done it with shortbread as well. After a good dimple and sprinkling with salt & sesame seeds, I used a plastic bench scraper to cut 2 scores into the dough side to side then top to bottom. Into the oven as usual and 18 minutes later out came my first scored pull apart flatbread.
With sourdough bread in loaves, scoring usually refers to using a sharp knife or razor to cut the top of the loaf before baking to allow the dough to spread with oven spring. This focuses the expansion in a guided way and prevents a blowout elsewhere as the loaf expands. This focaccia score however is simply taking a bench scraper and pushing it all the way through the dough to the pan separating it for easy tear off.
After it cooled, I gently separated a 4×4 piece as easily as you please. Just right for lunch with cheese and some sliced meat.
After several bakes, I realized that trying to eyeball even scores was often giving me odd sized pieces so I took a ruler and divided each side by half then made a mark with a black sharpie in the top edge center of each side. This gives me a reference for more even scoring. Another rule for this is to be careful and cut straight down with each score. The slack dough easily deforms if pushed sideways and gives uneven pieces. To keep the bench scraper from sticking, take some of the oil sprinkled atop the dough and rub the scoring tool.
More than 2 scores can be made for 8 pieces as well. Just divide each square in two for rectangular pieces just right for dipping in a bowl of olive oil or soup. I intend to test triangles as well but suspect that the narrow corners will not break away cleanly. Once that experiment is done, photos will of course follow.
It is understood that this is perhaps not a genius move just a thoughtful one but I have yet to come across a posting suggesting this technique.
Looking on-line for ‘Scored Focaccia’ found little help in finding this technique.
There was a recipe called focaccia by Jonathan Stiers but it looked like a typical boule or round loaf that was scored once each way to pull apart.
I found others after Googling ‘Pull Apart Focaccia’, but in the first recipe she says to cut the flattened dough into 16 pieces around a center punch out and twist/fold each piece over, add an olive then bake. There were no photos of the finished preparation. Again, not what I am talking about. There were a few different sites with similar recipes and I did see photos that looked pretty good but all rely on separating and manipulating pieces of dough. After seeing the photos, these were the closest in appearance but take much more work. My method is no more involved than adding a few deep scores to the flatbread and baking it.
The last one I found was a recipe for a pull apart focaccia pizza, but it was made in the flattened style of a monkey bread where small dough balls made from store bought pizza dough are placed together and covered with pizza toppings. It looked pretty good for a bite size party snack but it was made with retail dough and definitely not focaccia.
If you make focaccia, please try this simple method for easy sandwich sized pull apart pieces or smaller focaccia dunking sticks.
Help me grow by sharing on Social Media