Pesto Foccacia with

Olive Oil and  Balsamic Vinegar

3/4 cup + 3 Tb Warm  Water (90-100 deg..)   1/2 cup Pesto
3 cups   White Flour 2 Tb  Butter or margarine
2 Tb   Dry Milk 1 pkg  Active Dry Yeast
3-1/2 Tb Sugar Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tb  Butter Hinzerling Balsamic Vinegar

This makes a great little starter while a main course is being prepared. It can be made by hand using traditional bread making techniques. We like to use a bread machine to do the initial mixing, kneading and proofing.

Add lukewarm water to bread machine pan. Add flour, milk sugar, butter, and pesto.  Make a well in center of pan and add yeast. Set machine to dough cycle and start. When done, remove from pan, place on floured surface and let rest 15 minutes. Knead for about 1 minute. Form into pie shape about 12 inches across by 1 inch thick. Place on a greased sheet ( a pizza pan works well). Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free place for 20-30 minutes. Use handle of a wooden spoon and make indentations in the top every inch or so. Brush dough with a little olive oil. Bake in preheated oven at 400 deg. F for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly.   If you don't have any pesto, you could substitute your favorite herb mix like rosemary or thyme and add 1 more Tb. Butter and a pinch or two more of salt.

Pour some extra virgin olive oil onto a large dished plate and add 5-10 drops of high quality balsamic vinegar -Hinzerling is good- and maybe a little minced garlic or shallot. Tear a piece of foccacia off the loaf and swipe through vinegar/oil. Enjoy with a hearty glass of wine.

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