I have to be honest, this might be the best thing I have ever done with Christmas leftovers! Normally, I just chop the whole lot up, fry it in a little butter and a little leftover gravy and serve it as a breakfast hash with a poached egg on top. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably do that too, but for something a little more special and impressive, I recommend this beauty!
The focaccia dough proves for 18-24 hours, so you need to make it in advance, but it is worth it, and the actual making of the dough is super easy as well. For my toppings, I’ve used leftover stuffing, pigs in blankets and roast potatoes, plus a little fresh sage, but you could chuck anything on there that you have leftover. Make sure you serve it with some warmed leftover gravy for dipping and it is pure magic.
Christmas Leftovers Focaccia
500g strong bread flour
7g instant dried yeast
0.5 tsp caster sugar
375ml warm water
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil, plus more, for shaping
Handful of leftover stuffing, pigs in blankets, and roast potatoes
Small handful fresh sage, roughly chopped
Maldon or other flaky sea salt
Leftover gravy, to serve
1. To a bowl, add your flour, yeast, sugar, and 300ml of the warm water. Mix to form a rough dough. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment, but you can use a trusty bowl and spoon too! Next, add your salt, your tablespoon of olive oil and the remaining 75ml water. Mix again for a good 5-10 minutes until you have a soft, slightly wet dough. If after five minutes it doesn’t look like it’s coming together, just stick with it! Cover with cling film and set aside for 15 minutes.
2. After the 15 minutes, it’s time to stretch and fold the dough. Sounds really complicated, but it’s not! Put some oil on your hands, go underneath one section of the dough, stretch it up towards you, then fold it over. Repeat, working your way around the dough, then cover again with cling film. Do this once every 15 minutes for one hour, so three times in total.
3. When the hour is up and you’ve done your last stretch and fold, put the dough into an oiled Tupperware container, pop the lid on and stick it in the fridge for 18-24 hours. It’s a short amount of hands-on time and then it’s out of sight, out of mind until tomorrow!
3. The next day, take the dough out of the fridge and ease it out onto a large baking tray lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil. Use your hands (with a little oil on them) to gently shape the dough to fit your baking tray. Drizzle over some more olive oil and leave to prove for 2 hours at room temperature.
4. Preheat your oven to 200c (fan). Use your fingers to create dimples in the dough, then roughly chop all your Christmas leftovers. Scatter the leftovers over the focaccia, pushing them into the dough, then sprinkle over the chopped sage and some Maldon salt.
5. Add a final drizzle of olive oil, then bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly, then serve with some warm leftover gravy, for dipping. ENJOY the best Christmas bread you have EVER eaten!