I first read about peach focaccia, a sweet-savory twist on the classic Italian bread, in the New York Times. I shared the recipe with a friend, and she mentioned that all summer long, she’d been eating sliced peaches sprinkled with goat cheese and basil honey. The combination sounded delicious. So when I adapted the New York Times recipe, tweaking the quantities of fat and sugar, and substituting olive oil for butter, I added chunks of goat cheese, fresh basil leaves, and a drizzle of honey. The result is a perfect late-summer snack.
Peach, Basil, Honey, and Goat Cheese Focaccia
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 package active dry yeast
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 3/4 cups flour
¾ cup olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large peaches, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons honey
Goat cheese, to taste
Note: I used a goat cheese infused with black pepper. Feel free to use plain goat cheese, and sprinkle some black pepper over the focaccia.
- In a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a standing mixer, combine water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar (use a dough hook if preparing in the standing mixer; use a wooden spoon if preparing by hand.) Set aside until foamy and bubbly.
- Add flour, salt, egg, 3 tablespoons sugar, and ½ cup olive oil. Mix until smooth and elastic, around 5 minutes (this can be tiring if done by hand, but totally doable!)
- Cover the bowl and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size.
- Toss the peaches with honey and basil leaves.
- Spread remaining ¼ cup of olive oil over bottom of a rimmed baking sheet.
- Stretch dough into an oval or a rectangle. Let rise uncovered until dough rises about ¼ of an inch.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Press your fingers into the dough to make indentations. Spread peach slices over the surface. Sprinkle with sea salt (and black pepper, if using; see note) and small clumps of goat cheese.
- Bake for around 20 minutes, until focaccia begins to turn golden brown.
- Let cool for a few minutes, and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days.