It is Meyer Lemon season. I have been in love with Meyer Lemons since I was a little girl. My great grandmother had an ever bearing Meyer. Coming from a citrus family has advantages. I wonder how that 60+ year old tree in Glendora, California is doing now. I do lots with the lemons on my tree and those I buy to supplement my habit. Here is what I did with some of them yesterday.
Meyer Lemon Focaccia
Makes 1 focaccia.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) instant yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons if you use bulk
- 5 cups all-purpose flour, preferably organic
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- Olive oil, for bowl and baking sheet
- 1/2 cup mozzarella or pecorino toscano thinly shredded
- 2 lemons, very thinly sliced crosswise
- about a tablespoon of fresh rosemary
- 1-2 meyer lemons sliced thinly and seeded
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese to grate over the top
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like a kick)
- thinly sliced sweet onion
3-4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I use smoked)
*Note: It is best to use very fresh lemons for this, as older lemons rinds become difficult to chew.
- In a large bowl, or in a bowl of a stand mixer, combine yeast and 2 1/2 cups flour with 2 cups water; whisk to combine. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Add remaining 2 1/2 cups flour and salt; mix until well combined. Change to the dough hook if using a stand mixer. If using the mixer, knead with the mixer. If doing by hand, turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface; knead until wet and tacky, but not sticky, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a well-oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand until doubled in size, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
- Scatter semolina on a large rimmed baking sheet and press dough evenly into baking sheet. Let rise until puffy, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees.
- “Dimple the dough with your fingers Drizzle some olive oil on the dough. Cover dough lightly with Pecorino or Mozzarella and lemon slices, then sprinkle with rosemary and pepper; drizzle with more extra-virgin olive oil. Gate a little Parm over the top.
- Transfer to oven and bake for 15 minutes. Rotate baking sheet, and continue baking until lemons and crust are golden brown, about 15 minutes more.
- Remove bread from baking sheet and transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 10 minutes before serving.