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Casual cooking - Preserved Mayer Lemon Foccaccia

My 'burn out' from daily recipes is yet to dissipate, but I think I still plod on. Quickly scribbling down ideas as they pop into my head and before they disappear, like the same flash with which they crossed my train of thought. My support system comprising of fellow bloggers gave me a much need 'kick in the pants' last weekend when we met up at home for a casual lunch. Siri, the bubbly author of 'Cooking with Siri',  Radhika  ( Food for 7 stages of life ) and Latha ( A Peek into my Kitchen ). 

(L to R: Siri, Me, Radhika & Latha)

As is with all the food bloggers I've met so far, there was no ice to break whatsoever, the conversation just flowed, along with the wine & food!

Quinoa, roasted corn & Black bean tabbouleh with pomegranate

Motivation all fired up, I decided that I was going to surprise my son by making him Pizza for Dinner. My standard go - to failproof recipe for the dough is from Food52 - in particular Jim Lahey's no knead Pizza dough  'Genius' recipe

This time around, partly accidentally and partly on purpose. I decided to tweak the dough. I used bread flour (higher gluten content) instead of the standard all purpose flour and (accidentally) used a whole packet of yeast instead of the recommended 1 teaspoon. The result was a rather 'liquidy' looking dough that I definitely did  NOT feel confident of rolling into a Pizza round. So, in the interest of not wasting precious ingredients, decided to 'pour' out the dough into a well oiled baking pan and make a focaccia instead. once that was decided, the choice of toppings just fell into place.

Preserved lemon Focaccia

You need: (For the dough)

500 gms Bread flour (you can substitute with All purpose flour if you want, the bread will not be quite as chewy)
1 packet active dried yeast (the regular one,  not the instant/rapid rise )
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups water at room temperature

For the topping:

1 preserved lemon,  chopped (added bonus if its a Mayer lemon)
2 tablespoons rosemary needles coarsely cut up
1-2 teaspoon Aleppo pepper flakes or Korean chili threads (if available)
1-2 tablespoon brown sugar.

Combine the flour, yeast and the salt in a large mixing bowl. Gradually pour in the water, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until all the flour seems to be moist. Cover and place in a warm place for about a couple of hours (~3 hrs)  until the dough has more than doubled its original volume (it should look like its completely rising up the sides of the bowl with no discernible shape.

Liberally coat a 13 * 9 inch baking pan with olive oil and 'pour' out the dough into the pan. using greased finger tips gently press down the dough so that it evenly fills out the entire base. The surface of the dough should be uneven and feel free to 'dimple' the dough with your fingertips. Sprinkle the chopped preserved lemon, rosemary , brown sugar and the chili pepper flakes / threads.
(I did sprinkle on some added flaked salt but that kinda over salted the bread, so my advice, leave it out even though you see those flakes in the photographs).

Allow the dough to rise again for about 15 - 20 minutes (A great time to click those 'before baking' pictures!). During this time, Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C).

Place the dough into the oven and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the top turns a golden brown color.

 Once the bread is ready, allow it to cool slightly before cutting it up. Swallow whole or in pieces at room temperature or slightly warm. It tastes best when eaten the day its baked.

Anyone who may feel intimidated by ingredients like preserved lemon - Don't be.. the classic Indian 'Neembu ka achar' (without the red chili pepper and asafetida) is a perfect substitute.

Bon Appetit!


  1. Jim Lahey's no knead Pizza is the best. I made couple of years ago and posted on my blog. The pizza recipe itself is such a beautiful canvas to play around with different flavors. Had a fun time meeting you all Niv. Thank Y.O.U for opening the house for us.


  2. It's my favorite food, are very happy to see it here.

  3. Wow, this looks amazing. it really good and interesting.

  4. Very nice, looks good, I like to cook, and I like bread very much

  5. Good to see a get together event like that. I miss my old buddies.We used to party like this.

  6. This is Great Post.I like it. I have some tip here
    Thank you for sharing and keep your work.
    Can I share it on my facebook?

  7. Oh thank you so much for sharing this post!

  8. Thank you for sharing this, really loved the way you hangout with your friends. Cheers.


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