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I like to think of this playful recipe as the best way to serve bacon, eggs and toast to a crowd. The crispy, fluffy focaccia combines everyone's favorite breakfast trifecta into one, so that all that's left to do is grab some plates and pour the coffee.
If you're new to bread-making, this recipe is a great place to start; you're rewarded with an impressive, fluffy focaccia without doing much work at all. In fact, a no-knead dough is actually the best way to make focaccia, because it prevents too much gluten from developing (which can result in tough, chewy bread).
In my opinion, the tastiest focaccia features super-crispy top and bottom crusts and a soft, airy interior. To achieve this, you'll generously oil the sheet pan, transfer the dough to the pan, then flip the dough so all of it is shiny and coated with oil. Baking the focaccia in a super-hot oven (475 F) crisps up the oiled crust.
Think of breakfast focaccia as a super-sized egg-in-a-hole: Each generous square serving boasts a sunny-side up egg. For set whites and runny yolks, the eggs only need about 8 minutes in the oven, meaning the focaccia itself needs to get a head-start.
After the dough has risen in the sheet pan, you'll preemptively make the wells for the eggs so that the dough bakes with egg-sized indents. (If you cracked eggs onto a flat focaccia, they would run all over the place). After about 20 minutes in the oven, you'll pull out the lightly browned focaccia, crack the eggs into their wells, scatter the whole thing with cooked, crumbled bacon and lots of shredded cheese, then return to the oven for the eggs to cook.
4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (1/4-ounce) packet active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1 3/4 cups warm water
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling the bowl
8 strips bacon (about 5 ounces), cut in half
9 large eggs
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (about 2 cups)
1 ounce finely-grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup)
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
Ranch dressing, for serving (optional)
Place the flour, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse to combine. Add the water and 2 tablespoons of the oil, and pulse until a rough ball of dough forms, 12 to 15 pulses. The dough will be very sticky.
Lightly oil a large bowl. With floured hands, scoop the dough out of the food processor and form it into a ball. Place in the bowl and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Drizzle the remaining 3 tablespoons of oil onto a 13-by-18-inch rimmed baking sheet. Punch down the dough, transfer to the baking sheet, and turn to coat the dough in the oil. Use your fingertips to stretch the dough to the edges of the baking sheet. Cover again and let sit in a warm place until puffed, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Meanwhile, cook the bacon.
Place the bacon in a single layer in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook until just crisp, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate.
Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 475 F. Using the bottom of a flat-bottomed 1/4-cup measuring cup, make 9 evenly-spaced wells in the dough (this will be for the eggs), then use your fingers to make the wells even more defined. Sprinkle the dough with remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
Bake until the focaccia begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Press the same measuring cup in the wells to make them even deeper. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then carefully pour into one of the wells. Repeat with the remaining eggs. Crumble the bacon over the focaccia, then sprinkle with the cheddar and Parmesan. Season with lots of freshly ground pepper.
Return to oven and bake until the egg whites are just set and the yolks are runny, 7 to 9 minutes more. Garnish with the parsley, and season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with ranch for dipping if desired.
Recipe notes: The dough can be left in the covered bowl to rise overnight in the refrigerator -- the slower rise actually provides extra flavor. In the morning, transfer the cold dough to the rimmed baking sheet and allow it to warm up a little, about 30 minutes, before stretching and proceeding with the recipe. Leftovers can be tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to four days.
This article is written by Grace Elkus from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.