Jun 29, 2016

Chocolate Stuffed Basil Focaccia

Whoa, amirite?

Stuffing focaccia is going to become a real thing in this house. I’ve never tried stuffing bread like this before, and it’s kind of awesome, you guys. And did you know that basil and chocolate are delicious together?! As you can see, this recipe blew my mind on so many levels.

Last time we talked, I mentioned my woes about turning 30. Then at midnight on the second day of my birth-month (June) my Eddie passed away very suddenly. It’s incredibly painful to relive, so I won’t write about it right now. However, if you’d like to know more feel free to visit my facebook post.

I bring it up because all of the sudden I found myself not caring that I was turning 30. I didn’t care that I had a birthday coming up, I didn’t care that it was the beginning of summer, I didn’t care that I was too sad to work out, and I didn’t care that I was too emotionally sick to eat. I didn’t care about anything.

As I slowly emerge from that place my sadness remains, but I’m starting to care about myself again.

But you know one thing I still don’t care about? Being 30. I mean maybe I do a little, but mostly I just wish Eddie could be here.

You know what else I don’t care about anymore? The amount of bread I eat. Or the amount of anything I eat as long as I remain healthy and happy. I love bread, and Eddie loved bread, and everyone I know loves bread. I’m over arguments that say bread is “bad”. Unless you’re allergic, bread is amazing. 

I used to say “I would eat bread everyday if I could.”. You know what though? I can eat bread everyday. I can eat homemade bread everyday if I want to. Eddie used to love homemade bread, and would follow me around if he caught me eating it. So the first big decision of my 30s was to eat bread whenever I felt like it. There’s no reason not to, and it would have delighted Oedipus.

This Chocolate Stuffed Basil Focaccia is what’s up. The bread is so so so soft with fresh basil baked right into the dough. You get a salty crunch on the exterior followed by a pillowy herbed sponge, and sweet chocolate filling. It’s a great way to do salty-and-sweet meets summer.

Make this and eat it soon! And if you love bread, make it a habit to eat it more often. I have.

ps. Please don’t share this with your cats or dogs. The chocolate and sugar in this recipe could be hazardous to their health. Seriously, don’t feed this to your pets! Eddie would have demanded some, and I would have said no.

Chocolate Stuffed Basil Focaccia
Makes 1 loaf
  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, separated
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 4 teaspoons sugar, separated 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, separated
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Combine the yeast and warm water in a large mixing bowl. Let the mixture sit for about 5 minutes, or until the yeast is frothy.

2. Mix 2 tablespoons of the oil, the basil, and 2 teaspoons of the sugar into the yeast.

3. Add the flour and 2 teaspoons of salt to the mixture, and stir with a strong spatula until a dough forms.

4. Sprinkle a large clean working surface (like your counter) with flour. Transfer the dough to the work space, and begin kneading it until it’s smooth and passes the windowpane test, about 7-10 minutes.

5. Spray a large clean mixing bowl with a little bit of oil spray, and add the dough. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel, and allow it to rise until it doubles in size, about two hours.

6. While the dough rises prepare a large baking sheet by drizzling it with the remaining olive oil.

7. After its first rise punch the dough down in the bowl.

8. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Use your fingers to spread the dough out into a roughly shaped 18×9 inch rectangle. Don’t worry about the shape, this thing is rustic. Sprinkle the remaining sugar and chocolate over half of the dough. Fold the naked side over the chocolate side, and pinch the edges the seal the bread. Use your fingers to make those classic focaccia indentions on the top of the bread. Re-cover the stuffed focaccia with the kitchen towel, and allow it to sit for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.

9. After its second rise, remove the towel from the dough. Evenly sprinkle the remaining salt over the focaccia.

10. Bake the stuffed focaccia in the pre-heated oven for 8 minutes. Rotate the pan halfway through cooking, and continue cooking for 7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the bread from the oven, and allow it to sit and cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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