Focaccia Pockets

These handheld stuffed focaccia pockets make great party food or lunches on the go. You can vary the fillings to suit your taste and what you have on hand--for example, swap sliced ham or salami for the pepperoni. Or omit the meat altogether and add roasted peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and/or a scattering of chopped olives. These pockets will keep for several days in the refrigerator too.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 pockets
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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Stir the yeast and sugar into 1 3/4 cups warm water (about 100 degrees F) in the measuring cup or a small bowl. Let sit until foamy, about 3 minutes.
  2. Combine the flour and kosher salt in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the yeast mixture and 1/4 cup of the olive oil and mix on low speed just until the dough comes together. Switch to the dough hook and knead the dough, adding more flour or water 1 tablespoon at a time if needed, until the dough forms a loose ball that just pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead on high speed until the dough is smooth and elastic but still a bit looser than traditional bread dough, about 5 minutes. 
  3. Coat a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the dough and turn to coat. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 
  4. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Transfer the dough to the middle of the baking sheet. Gently stretch the dough all the way to edges of the baking sheet. If the dough springs back, let it rest for a few minutes and continue stretching. (Don't rush it; this process could take up to 10 to 15 minutes.)  
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. Use a pizza wheel to cut the dough lengthwise in half through the center, then make crosswise cuts to get 8 rectangles. Divide the pepperoni among the rectangles, placing it on the lower half of each rectangle and leaving a border around the edges. Dollop the ricotta on top of the pepperoni and spread with the back of a spoon, again leaving a border around the edges. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and pecorino, leaving the border free.  
  6. Fold the top of each dough rectangle over the filling and press the edges to seal. Use a large spatula to help transfer the pockets to the prepared baking sheets. Flatten each pocket slightly with the palm of your hand. Trim the edges with a pizza wheel, if desired. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise 20 minutes.  
  7. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the plastic wrap from the pockets and use the tips of your fingers to gently dimple the dough all over. Brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with additional pecorino, the rosemary needles and flaky salt. Bake, rotating the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through, until the pockets are golden brown on the tops and bottoms, about 20 minutes. Serve warm with marinara sauce. 

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods.) If making ahead, let the pockets cool completely, then wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 3 days; reheat in a 350-degree F oven for about 5 minutes.

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