Nothing like a little midnight AND 3AM vomit clean-up sessions to get your adrenaline pumping on a Wednesday!!!
Awkward to be talking about vomit on a food blog, but hey. REAL LIFE.
Also: I am so very very tired.
Little kids really should not be allowed to have stomach bugs until they are old enough to recognize the pre-throw up sensation and can run to the bathroom in time. The clean-up situation after something like this is just unreal. This has been our first real experience with it and I pray that it is our last. Just setting realistic expectations over here, as usual.
Okay, enough talk about bodily fluids, let’s talk shakshouka focaccia!
It’s kind of a mouthful to say and to eat, but in the most fun way.
Basically, this recipe takes bread bowls to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. It’s from the Breaking Breads cookbook (the masterminds from the best babka in all of NYC) and while it takes an entire weekend day to make, most of the process is hands off – waiting for bread to rise, sauce to cook down, etc – and VERY straightforward.
First, start the matbucha (spicy tomato sauce). It takes 90 minutes to cook down to the really jam-like consistency that you need for this recipe to ensure no soggy dough bottoms. It can definitely be made ahead of time if you want to break this into a two-day process.
Then, make the dough! This is a no-knead dough that really just requires you to mix all of the ingredients together, do a few folds at specific time points, but otherwise it’s really just a lot of watching and waiting.
Last, you need to shape the dough, fill it with the matbucha sauce, top it with an egg and bake it! My one word of caution with this last step is that you really need to make good deep wells for the eggs to sit in because the raw whites WILL run right out of the dough (and onto your baking pan, the floor, etc – ASK ME HOW I KNOW) if you don’t.
- 3 cups room temperature water
- ½ tsp active dry yeast
- 6¾ cups all purpose flour
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 12 tomatoes on the vine, peeled or 2 (28 oz) cans whole peeled tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and quartered
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- flour, for shaping
- olive oil, as needed
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds or nigella seeds
- 6 large eggs
- sea salt, as needed
- parsley, finely chopped to garnish
- In a large bowl, whisk together the yeast, flour, sugar, and salt. Use your hand to combine the ingredients, mixing the dough by hand until all of the flour has dissolved and there aren't any clumps. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest until it has risen slightly, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap and drizzle some olive oil onto your hands. Grab a quarter of the dough from one side of the bowl, then stretch it up and over onto the center of the dough, allowing it to fold over itself. Turn the bowl 90 degrees and repeat with another quarter of the dough. Repeat until you have made a 360 degree turn around the bowl. Slide a bench scraper under the dough and flip it over. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for 20 minutes.
- Repeat the folding process from step 2 again. Allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or saucepan over medium-low heat. Add in the garlic and jalapenos. Cook until the garlic is golden, about 5-7 minutes. Decrease the heat to low.
- Use your hands to crush the tomatoes one by one as your place them into the pan. Stir in the salt and sugar. Cook, stirring every 5-10 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened into a jam-like sauce, about 90 minutes. Set aside.
- Heavily flour a clean work surface. Transfer the dough to the work surface and stretch into a 14 x 8-inch rectangle. Divide in half lengthwise and then into 3 strips to make a total of 6 pieces. Fold the four corners of each dough square into the center so that it forms a circle. Flip each circle over.
- Place the dough balls on a floured pan and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place a pizza stone or steel in the oven and heat to 500F.
- Place a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza peel. Place two pieces of dough onto the peel. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into a small bowl and dip your fingers into it. Press your fingers into the center of the dough, pushing it outward so that it forms a bowl-like shape in the center. There should be a 1-inch border of thicker dough around the edges to serve as a wall to keep the eggs and sauce inside. Repeat with the second piece of dough. Go back to the first dough and flatten the center of the dough again. Add ⅓ cup of the matbucha sauce to the center of the dough, spreading it in an even layer. Sprinkle the sesame or nigella seeds on the edges of the dough. Make a well in the center of the sauce and crack an egg into it. Sprinkle salt over the top. Repeat with the second dough round.
- Slide the parchment paper with the shakshouka focaccia on it onto the preheated pizza steel. Bake for 9-10 minutes, or until the breads are browned and the eggs are cooked. Remove from the oven.
- Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve warm.