Easy and delicious apple focaccia, with aged cheddar. This one is perfect for entertaining, as it pairs beautifully with wine and is easy to grab and enjoy.
For greasing the pan:
For the dough:
1cupwarm water(105-115 F.)
2 1/4tspactive dry or instant yeast
2 1/2cupsall-purpose flour
1tspkosher saltless if using fine salt
1/2tspfresh thyme leavesless if using dried thyme
For the topping:
1cupaged white cheddar cheeseshredded, packed
3-4red applesunpeeled and thinly sliced down the sides, avoiding core
Preheat oven to 400F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking sheet with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook, combine the warm water and honey and stir well. Sprinkle in the yeast and stir. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
Add 2 cups of the flour, the salt and thyme leaves and knead in. Continue adding the remaining flour in small increments, as needed, until dough wraps the hook (or spoon) and cleans the bowl in spots. Dough will be moist and may look a bit sticky still.
Generously flour a work surface. Remove dough to work surface and lightly flour the top of the dough, then form in to a ball. Cover with a clean tea towel and let stand 10 minutes.
Gently press dough in to prepared baking pan, using your fingertips to stretch and push it so it fills the entire pan. Work as gently as possible so you don't remove all the air from the dough. Cover dough with a clean tea towel and let stand 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your apple slices. To slice, take thin slices from opposite sides of the apple, slicing from top to bottom in very thin slices and stopping when you reach the core. Discard or save remaining apple for another purpose. Set aside.
Use your fingertips to make some indentations in the dough. Scatter dough with 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Top with sliced apples, covering most, but not all of the top surface, over-lapping slightly here and there. Place 3 thyme sprigs randomly on top of apples. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil.
Bake in preheated 400F. oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and scatter remaining cheese on top. Return to oven for a further 3-5 minutes, or until cheese has melted. If desired, pop under the oven broiler for a short time to brown cheese a bit. Remove from oven. Allow to stand a couple of minutes, then loosen from pan and slice focaccia on to a cooling rack. While warm, top with a sprinkling of flaky salt and a scattering of a few fresh thyme leaves.
To serve, use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut in to serving pieces. Drizzle with a bit of nice honey to serve, if you like.
Be sure to read the Ingredient and Cook's Notes above the recipe card for more tips on making this recipe.