Tomato and arugula pesto focaccia

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Yesterday at 4pm I had a panic attack–What was I going to make for dinner?!  Then I had an idea that I knew I could throw together quickly: focaccia.  I ran into the kitchen, pulled out my breadmaker, and threw a handful of items in the bucket.  I set it to go and less than an hour later my dough was ready!  Voila!  Hubby arrived home stressed out and sort of crabby, so I was so thankful that I had planned something that I know he really likes to eat.  Once the dough is prepared, it goes together very quickly, since there are only a handful of toppings, and it bakes in about 20-25 minutes.  Thank goodness for frozen pesto, too.  What a lifesaver that was!  Everything was from the CSA or my garden, so I’m still making good on my plan to eat mostly local food, too.  That feels good.

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Tomato and arugula pesto focaccia

Dough:

1/4 cup oil

1 cup lukewarm water

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

3 teaspoons sugar

3 cups flour

2 teaspoons yeast

Toppings:

4 ounces arugula pesto with oregano, or other pesto of your choice

1 – 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese

2 tablespoons fresh, chopped parsley

If you are using a breakmaker, place the ingredients in the pan in the order they are listed.  Set your breadmaker setting to pizza dough and your work is done.  If you are mixing by hand, add the yeast to the water and let it sit for a few minutes.  Then add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand or with a stand mixer until the dough is well mixed and springy.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover.  Let sit in a warm area until the dough has doubled in size, about an hour.

Remove the dough from the breadmaker pan or bowl and stretch it to fit into a 9″ x 13″ greased pan.  If the dough is very springy, and mine usually is, it might not stay in the corners, but it will fill in while baking.  Spread the pesto over the dough, top with cherry tomatoes, cheese, and parsley.  Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes.

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