Cheese focaccia squares

Time 2 hours
Yields Serves 12
Cheese focaccia squares
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Place the yeast and sugar in a small bowl and stir in the warm water. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let the mixture stand until it becomes bubbly, about 10 minutes.


Measure the flour and salt into a food processor. With the machine running, add the yeast mixture and 3 tablespoons olive oil. Process until the mixture forms a ball of dough.


Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board. Pat the dough out into a small rectangle and sprinkle the cheese over it. Fold the dough over the cheese and gently knead in the cheese. Shape into a ball.


Brush a medium-size glass bowl with oil. Put the dough into the bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with a towel or with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.


Place a baking stone on the lowest rack of the oven. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.


Prepare a baking sheet by brushing with oil and sprinkling with the cornmeal. Punch the dough down and pat it into a 12-by-7-inch rectangle on the sheet. Let it stand about 10 minutes, until dough begins to rise slightly. Make indentations over the top of the dough with your fingertips.


Use a large sharp knife to score the dough through to the bottom into 12 squares. Do not separate them. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt. Put the baking sheet on the preheated baking stone and bake 30 minutes, until lightly browned.


Remove from the oven; allow the bread to cool slightly, then break apart the rolls. Let cool before wrapping them in aluminum foil and tucking them into the day pack.

From Donna Deane.

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