The big mmm factor – Focaccine With Black Pepper, Pine Nuts and Crunchy Parma Ham

Focaccia ingredients

January, on the one hand this month makes me feel good because it marks the beginning of the end of the darkness but on the other hand, it is a blasted month, filled with tiredness, bad moods and all that boring stuff that are earmarked January in my life. But it could be worse, it could be so much worse. I have a working oven, for example, and that is surely a great thing to have, especially in January! And especially when I make these little focaccias, if you feel like I do about January – make them and you will at least think about something else for a while when you eat them. I did. And I will again. And if you love January, make them and celebrate the month!

Focaccine With Black Pepper, Pine Nuts and Crunchy Parma Ham

FOCACCINE WITH BLACK PEPPER, PINE NUTS AND CRUNCHY PARMA HAM

25 g/0,9 oz fresh yeast (1 tsp instant yeast = 10 g fresh yeast)
1 tblsp sugar
1 tsp salt
8oo ml/3,4 cups tepid water
850 ml/ 3,6 cups wholemeal flour
850 ml/ 3,6 cups flour, I use Manitoba, i.e. hard, gluten rich flour but AP (all purpose) works too
black pepper corn, crushed
pine nuts
Parma ham in thin slices
salt, I used pink Hawaiian lava salt for the effect but normal salt is obviously perfect
extra-virgin olive oil

First dough:
 Crumble the yeast in small bowl and sprinkle the sugar over it. Add 200 ml/0,85 cup water to it and stir well. Add 200 ml/0,85 cup normal flour, mix well, cover with cling film and let it stand possibly over the night but it is OK with 2-3 hours.

Main dough:

 Mix the two flours (part of the the ‘normal’ flour was used with the pre-dough so now you use 650 ml/2,7 cups) with the salt and then add half of it to the tepid water, remember that you already used some of it so now it is 600 ml/2,5 cups left. Mix well and then add the pre-dough.

 When the two doughs have been made one, you add the rest of the flour, a bit at a time and work it until it is nice and elastic. You may need less or more flour than stated. Cover it with a towel and let it rest for an hour or two, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Let it double in size.

 Divide the dough and work it into small balls and then you leave them to rest for about 15 minutes to relax the dough.

 Roll quickly out the balls to long ovals, like small ciabattas, see photo if I am unclear. Make them quite thin.

 Brush each focaccina with extra-virgin olive oil and then sprinkle each with the crushed black pepper, pine nuts and salt.

 Bake in a pre-heated oven (200°C/390°F) until golden, it takes 10-15 minutes in my oven.

 While they bake you put the slices of Parma ham in a non-stick pan and fry them until crispy. Put on kitchen paper to drip off excess fat.

 Serve the focaccine with crispy ham on top.

Focaccine With Black Pepper, Pine Nuts and Crunchy Parma Ham

L