RECIPE: David Lovett’s Italian-style ham and cheese focaccia

 In Recipes

Not all hams are created equal. Especially when it comes to Salumi Australia, where cured meats are an artform. The latest addition to our ever-growing brood is the Salumi Australia prosciutto cotto (meaning cooked ham), an Italian-style ham that’s more pink of hue and lighter in flavour than its cousin the crudo. Picture a boneless meat, delightfully soft in texture with a mouthwateringly sweet bite to it. This new addition to the family is made all the more delicious by the fact that it’s a natural, free-range ham.

And we could think of no better way to indulge in the flavours of this delicious new addition to the range than partnering it with focaccia. Focaccia fiend (and fellow Northern Rivers local) Chef David Lovett has created a rather special recipe for this special occasion for you to make at home. “It’s beautiful to finally have a ham that’s not hiding behind copious amounts of salt and smoke,” he says, “just the pure flavour of free range pork in the form of this splendid ham. This recipe goes back to the classics and, a filled focaccia adorned with nothing but exceptional local ham and wonderfully creamy mozzarella – buon appetito!”

Focaccia ripiena con prosciutto cotto e mozzarella

Ingredients
500g plain flour
350ml warm water
80ml olive oil (plus extra for feeding the dough as it proves)
12g sea salt (plus extra for the top)
10g dry yeast
200g sliced Salumi Australia prosciutto cotto
250g fresh Vannella mozzarella, torn into chunks
Polenta, for dusting tray

Method
Preheat your oven, fan on, to 220oC.
In the bowl of your stand mixer add water followed by yeast, flour, oil and salt, in that order.
Mix with a dough hook for 8-10mins, checking sides for any flour that may have stuck to the side of the bowl. After a scrape, allow to mix for another 1-3 minutes on a medium to high speed. You will end up with a nice dough that will still be a little sticky but nice and soft.
Using a plastic pastry scraper or rubber spatula scrape your ball of dough into a lightly oiled bench and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes.
Now with lightly oiled hands shape the dough into a rough rectangle by gently pulling and stretching the dough, allowing the weight of the dough to do the work rather than pulling it.
Lay the prosciutto cotto all over the dough, then evenly place the mozzarella over one half of the dough
Fold the side with no mozzarella over the cheese & prosciutto to incase it, pinch and tuck the edges together to seal them. Working quickly but carefully, then move your parcel to an oiled tray that’s been dusted with polenta. Oil the top of the focaccia and allow to prove for 20-30 minutes.
Give another splash of oil and press your fingers into the dough to create a number of holes. Sprinkle with a nice pinch of sea salt and place into the hot oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until the focaccia is golden brown and sounds hollow when the bottom of the tray is tapped.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes or so before diving in!