I love all things lemon. Obviously.
And I have a fascination with Meyer lemons.
So, when I spotted a rather large clamshell package of them at Costco, I just couldn’t resist.
So bright, so tempting. So many options.
A long time ago, I bookmarked a recipe over on The Kitchn (which is a fabulous site and well worth checking out, if you have not already) for a lemon and sea salt focaccia. Bread? Lemon? Flaky salt? Yes, that sounds like perfection.
And it did indeed sound like perfection.
I’m just not sure I loved the reality.
I thought a mandolin would get the lemons thin enough to top the focaccia, but the blade wasn’t sharp enough, so, in the end, I just used my extremely sharp paring knife. But I don’t think I got them quite as thin as they needed to be because even after baking they were a bit overpowering. I like the acidic bite of a lemon — maybe more than the average person — but the bites of lemon, even with the bread, were pretty sour.
That said, I loved the actual focaccia part of it. So, I’m going to keep this recipe around because the dough is so great.
Meyer Lemon and Sea Salt Focaccia
Adapted slightly from The Kitchn.
For the Dough
- 1 envelope (2-1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons really good extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 cups bread flour, plus more for kneading
- 2 teaspoons salt
- Really good extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Meyer lemons, washed and very thinly sliced into rounds
- Flaked salt, like Maldon
For the dough, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in 1-1/4 cups water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil.
Add the flour and salt and, using the dough hook, mix until a ball of dough forms. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large bowl. Roll dough around in bowl until coated with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Pour a thin film of oil into each of four 8-inch round cake pans. (Though I used a rimmed cookie sheet and spread the entire dough over it.) Quarter the dough and put one piece into each pan. Using your fingertips, spread dough out in each pan. The dough is elastic and will resist stretching. Let it relax for 5 minutes or so after you’ve stretched it as far as it will go. Eventually, it will cooperate and fill the pan.
Preheat the oven to 450°. Cover the pans with damp dishcloths and let the dough rest until it has swollen in the pans a bit, 30-60 minutes.
Uncover the pans. Sprinkle the dough with the rosemary (I didn’t have rosemary, so went without.) Using your fingertips, poke dimples into the dough in each pan, then liberally drizzle with oil so it pools in the hollows. Arrange just the thinnest rounds of lemon on top, drizzle with more oil, and sprinkle with sea salt. We like ours salty. Bake the focaccia until golden brown, 20-30 minutes. Drizzle with more oil when you pull the focaccia from the oven. Serve cut into wedges.