Fast Focaccia with Spicy Cheese Spread


  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, Italian seasoning, or za’atar seasoning
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • Make the focaccia dough: In a mixing bowl that will fit in your oven, combine the flour, water, yeast, 1 1/2 tbsp of the oil, and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Use a dough whisk or spatula to work the ingredients into a fairly wet, sticky dough, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that the dough is in a ball at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a silicone lid, and place the bowl in the oven. Select PROOF or DEHYDRATE at 90°Fand set the time for 40 minutes.
  • When the program ends, the dough should have about doubled in volume.
  • Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Drizzle the parchment with 1 1/2 tsp of the oil and spread it around. Use a spatula to transfer the dough to the middle of the parchment— it will be very sticky.
  • Preheat the oven on BAKE at 360°F and set the cooking time for 15 minutes for a softer bread, or 20 minutes for a crunchier, more golden-brown crust.
  • Drizzle the dough with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, then use your fingers to spread and prod the dough out in a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. With your fingertips, poke dimples all over the dough. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp salt evenly over the dough. If you like, this is the time to sprinkle the dough with the herbs. Place the sheet pan on top of the cooking pan.
  • Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven.
  • While the bread is baking, make the spread: Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds, until it is a little bit warm. Add it to a mini chopper along with the cheddar, Tabasco, and cayenne. Process for about 2 minutes, until very smooth, scraping down the sides halfway through. Taste for seasoning, adding more Tabasco if you like. Transfer the spread to a ramekin.
  • When the cooking program ends, wearing heat-resistant mitts, transfer the focaccia to a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice into rectangles and serve warm, with the cheese spread alongside.
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