Star-Crossed Focaccia with Green Onion Parmesan Butter

Posted February 19, 2015 by Alison's Wonderland Recipes in Romeo and Juliet (Feb. 2015) / 0 Comments


Considering Romeo and Juliet is based in Renaissance Italy, I wanted to include at least one menu item that the characters would have likely eaten in that time period. Though focaccia has seen a rise in popularity in recent years, the current form of the dish first became popular in Romeo and Juliet’s day. I love this particular recipe because the dough doesn’t need to rise, and it’s got great herbed flavor and fun texture. The star shape, of course, is a tip of the hat to Verona’s famous star-crossed lovers.

 

Star-Crossed Focaccia

“Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Do with their death bury their parents’ strife...
— Romeo and Juliet

INGREDIENTS:

For the Bread:

  • 1 lb (1 loaf) frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a 3″ star cookie cutter

For the Butter:

 

Makes 4 servings

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your basil, sage, oregano, salt, and pepper. Place your dough in a large bowl and kneed in 4 tsp of the herb mix. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, add your butter, green onion, and Parmesan to a medium-sized bowl. Stir until well combined and transfer to a serving dish.

    Or you can chill it for a bit, wrap it in some wax paper, and roll it into a cylinder for easy slicing.
  4. Tug the dough into a 8-10 inch circle and and lay it on a pizza stone. It may want to spring back into a smaller circle, so keep pulling and pressing at it on the pizza stone until the circle stays close to 10 inches across. Let it rest for another 10 minutes.

    When you reach the desired circle size, ensure your dough is an even thickness throughout by pushing dough from thick areas into thinner areas.
  5. If necessary, press and pull the dough just a bit more to get the circle back to 10 inches across. Brush with 1 tbsp olive oil. With the back of a wooden spoon or greased regular spoon, make indentations into the dough about 1 inch apart by firmly pressing down into the dough. The dents will fill back in a little bit, but you should be left with a bunch of pinprick-sized indentations all over the dough.

    If your dents are filling in entirely, try pressing all the way down until you hit the pizza stone.
  6. Bake the dough for 10 minutes. Brush with the remaining olive oil and add a sprinkling of your remaining herb mix (you don’t have to use it all). Bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  7. Allow the bread to cool on the stone for 5-10 minutes. When the bread is cool enough to handle, move your bread to a cutting board and use your cookie cutter to cut out star shapes. Remove the stars from the loaf by gently pressing on them from behind. If the star isn’t coming out all the way, don’t force it. Instead, cut along the outline of the star with a small, sharp knife. I noticed that the corners need the most attention to ensure clean lines and easy star removal.

    If you plan on throwing out the scraps, you can cut the stars very close together and get 4-5 stars out of the loaf. If you want to serve the whole loaf with just a few stars cut out for effect, you can get about 3 stars out of the loaf.
  8. Serve to the Fates to convince them to favor you.

    This is best while warm. If you’d like to save it to serve later, tightly wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 48 hours (with the stars tucked inside the spots where you cut them out). This will prevent the loaf from drying out. Just before serving, microwave the loaf inside the plastic wrap for 20 seconds.

 

 

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Here’s the Yummly printable!

Star-Crossed Focaccia with Green Onion Parmesan Butter

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

    For the Bread:
  • 1 lb (1 loaf) thawed frozen bread dough
  • 2 tbsp basil
  • 2 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • a 3" star cookie cutter
  • For the Butter:
  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 1 tsp snipped green onion

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together your basil, sage, oregano, salt, and pepper. Place your dough in a large bowl and kneed in 4 tsp of the herb mix. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. While the dough is resting, add your butter, green onion, and Parmesan to a medium-sized bowl. Stir until well combined and transfer to a serving dish.
  4. Tug the dough into a 8-10 inch circle and and lay it on a pizza stone. It may want to spring back into a smaller circle, so keep pulling and pressing at it on the pizza stone until the circle stays close to 10 inches across. Let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  5. If necessary, press and pull the dough just a bit more to get the circle back to 10 inches across. Brush with 1 tbsp olive oil. With the back of a wooden spoon or greased regular spoon, make indentations into the dough about 1 inch apart by firmly pressing down into the dough. The dents will fill back in a little bit, but you should be left with a bunch of pinprick-sized indentations all over the dough.
  6. Bake the dough for 10 minutes. Brush with the remaining olive oil and add a sprinkling of your remaining herb mix (you don't have to use it all). Bake for another 5 minutes or until golden brown on top.
  7. Allow the bread to cool on the stone for 5-10 minutes. When the bread is cool enough to handle, move your bread to a cutting board and use your cookie cutter to cut out star shapes. Remove the stars from the loaf by gently pressing on them from behind. If the star isn't coming out all the way, don't force it. Instead, cut along the outline of the star with a small, sharp knife. I noticed that the corners need the most attention to ensure clean lines and easy star removal.
  8. Serve to the Fates to convince them to favor you.
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