Focaccia with Lemon Pesto

Lemon-scented pesto spread over the loaf before baking gives this focaccia an extra-special touch.

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  • Makes: 12 servings
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Rise: 1 hr 20 mins
  • Bake: 25 mins 400°F

Focaccia with Lemon Pesto

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Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add about half of the warm water. Do not stir. Let stand until yeast foams (about 10 minutes). Add remaining water and olive oil. Mix well.
  2. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 3 minutes. Shape dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased large bowl; turn once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in warm place until double (about 50 minutes).
  3. Meanwhile, for lemon pesto, place almonds in food processor bowl or blender container; cover and process or blend until finely chopped. Add garlic; cover and process just until blended. Add basil leaves. With machine running slowly, gradually add the 1/2 cup oil in a thin, steady stream, processing until the mixture is combined and slightly chunky. Add Parmesan cheese and lemon juice. Process or blend just until combined.
  4. Grease a 12-inch pizza pan; place dough on a pan. Using the palms of your hands, pat the dough into an even round, just slightly smaller than the pan. Using your fingertips, poke the dough.
  5. Spread 1/3 cup of the lemon pesto over dough. Cover loosely; let rise for 30 minutes. Bake in a 400-degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or cool, cut in wedges. Makes 12 servings.

From the Test Kitchen

Prepare pesto. Use 1/3 cup pesto for focaccia as directed. Store remaining pesto in refrigerator for up to 1 week. (If desired, toss remaining Lemon Pesto with hot cooked pasta, using about 12 ounces uncooked pasta for the remaining pesto.)

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