Fast Focaccia with Spicy Cheese Spread
By :Coco Morante
Fast Focaccia with Spicy Cheese Spread
Recipe by Coco Morante from The Ultimate Air Fryer Oven Cookbook

Photography by Katie Newburn

This recipe is inspired by fond memories of the breadsticks and cheese spread served for “hot lunch” at my middle school, catered by Florentine, a now-closed Italian-American restaurant in Los Altos, California. The warm, herbed bread and tangy spread are as irresistible a combination now as they were then. Best of all, this is the fastest focaccia you’ll ever make, in about an hour start to finish—the dough proofs in the air fryer oven, then bakes in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bread.
Fast Focaccia with Spicy Cheese Spread
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Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Medium
Browse Category Side Dishes, Snack
Duration 1-2 hours
Diet Vegetarian
Cooking Technique Bake, Dehydrate, Proof
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
1 focaccia
Ingredients
Focaccia:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water 110°F
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, Italian seasoning, or za’atar seasoning optional
Spicy cheese spread:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce plus more to taste
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Difficulty Medium
Browse Category Side Dishes, Snack
Duration 1-2 hours
Diet Vegetarian
Cooking Technique Bake, Dehydrate, Proof
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Passive Time 15 minutes
Servings
1 focaccia
Ingredients
Focaccia:
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup lukewarm water 110°F
  • 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, Italian seasoning, or za’atar seasoning optional
Spicy cheese spread:
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded medium or sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce plus more to taste
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
Fast Focaccia with Spicy Cheese Spread
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Rating: 0
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Instructions
  1. Make the focaccia dough: In a mixing bowl that will fit in your oven, combine the flour, water, yeast, 1 1/2 tbsp of the oil, and 1/2 tsp of the salt. Use a dough whisk or spatula to work the ingredients into a fairly wet, sticky dough, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl so that the dough is in a ball at the bottom of the bowl.
  2. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap or a silicone lid, and place the bowl in the oven. Select PROOF or DEHYDRATE at 90°Fand set the time for 40 minutes.
  3. When the program ends, the dough should have about doubled in volume.
  4. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper. Drizzle the parchment with 1 1/2 tsp of the oil and spread it around. Use a spatula to transfer the dough to the middle of the parchment— it will be very sticky.
  5. Preheat the oven on BAKE at 360°F and set the cooking time for 15 minutes for a softer bread, or 20 minutes for a crunchier, more golden-brown crust.
  6. Drizzle the dough with the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, then use your fingers to spread and prod the dough out in a 1/2-inch-thick rectangle. With your fingertips, poke dimples all over the dough. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 tsp salt evenly over the dough. If you like, this is the time to sprinkle the dough with the herbs. Place the sheet pan on top of the cooking pan.
  7. Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven.
  8. While the bread is baking, make the spread: Microwave the cream cheese for 30 seconds, until it is a little bit warm. Add it to a mini chopper along with the cheddar, Tabasco, and cayenne. Process for about 2 minutes, until very smooth, scraping down the sides halfway through. Taste for seasoning, adding more Tabasco if you like. Transfer the spread to a ramekin.
  9. When the cooking program ends, wearing heat-resistant mitts, transfer the focaccia to a cooling rack. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice into rectangles and serve warm, with the cheese spread alongside.
Recipe Notes

Nutrition Information: Per ⅙ focaccia loaf: 173 calories, 6 grams fat, 27 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 6 grams protein

Per 2 tablespoons cheese spread: 102 calories, 10 grams fat, 1 gram carbohydrates, 0 grams fiber, 4 grams protein

Vegetarian, vegan/dairy-free (substitute Cashew Garlic and Herb Cream Cheese for the cream cheese and vegan cheese shreds for the cheddar)