Sausage and fennel seed sourdough focaccia

Sausage and fennel seed sourdough focaccia

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Sausage and fennel is a favourite combination. Cooked here on top of bread dough laced with olive oil, thirsty from the heat of the oven, I think this focaccia gives good pizza a run for its money.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity sourdough after bulk fermentation or yeasted bread dough, after the first prove and before you would shape it into a round

For the topping

Quantity Ingredient
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra to drizzle on the cooked loaf
100g new potatoes, thinly sliced, no thicker than a pound coin
1/2 a fennel bulb, trimmed of tough outer leaves and thinly sliced
1-2 teaspoons crushed fennel seeds
150g sausage, casings removed, meat squished out, (approx. 2 sausages’ worth)
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt, coarse or flaky

Method

  1. Spread the proven dough to fit an approximately 25 x 35cm deep oven tray. Cover it with clingfilm and allow to rise again for about 45 minutes.
  2. While you’re waiting for the focaccia to prove, prepare the topping. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then add the potatoes and fennel to the pan and cook for around for 5 minutes, just until they are slightly softened. Add the seeds and continue to cook for a further minute or two. Leave to cool, then add the squeezed-out sausage meat, mixing it in among the fennel and potato mix, leaving in the odd big chunk here and there.
  3. Preheat the oven to 210°C.
  4. Once the focaccia has risen sufficiently, ‘dimple’ the dough using well-oiled fingertips, digging deeply enough to give good indentation but not so much as to go through the dough and into the tray. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top of the dough. Spread the potato and sausage mix, along with the rosemary and the salt, evenly over the top of the focaccia.
  5. Put the tray into the oven and bake the focaccia for about 25 minutes, until golden brown and with a good crust. It should sound hollow when tapped underneath or have an internal temperature of 95°C if you use a digital thermometer.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and drizzle the hot focaccia with a little extra olive oil, about a good tablespoon’s worth.
  7. Leave to cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before serving.
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