Enjoy one of your favorite breads, focaccia, with a savory twist! Sandwiched between these slices of whole-wheat focaccia is a layer of a rice-based cheese spread, sautéed zucchini, and plenty of fresh basil, mint and chives. These bites are an ideal dish to bring to brunches and gatherings.

Zucchini and ‘Cheese’ Stuffed Focaccia [Vegan]

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Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups and 1 tablespoon of whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons of ground wheat bran
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon malt syrup
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • Lukewarm water (about 1 cup)

For the Filling:

  • 10.6 ounces of boiled zucchini leaves
  • 7 ounces of zucchini
  • 7 ounces rice cream cheese or other non-dairy cream cheese
  • 3.5 ounces of cream of rice or other vegetable cream
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1 large bunch of aromatic herbs  (mint, basil, lemon thyme, chives, etc.)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 chopped pepper
  • Salt, to taste

Preparation

To Make the Dough:

  1. Dissolve yeast in half a glass of warm water (100°F), sweetened with malt. Mix well and let stand 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Combine the flours and salt and then mix them with oil. Knead, adding lukewarm water until obtain a homogeneous and elastic dough ball.
  3. Put the dough in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and put it in a warm place sheltered from air currents to rise until doubled in volume (about 2 hours). Knead briefly and then divide it into two parts, Making one lightly larger than the other. Let rest for about 30 minutes covered with a damp cloth.

To Make the Filling:

  • Cut the zucchini and leaves coarsely with a knife.
  • Put them both in a pan with oil and garlic. Sauté over high heat for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper, and add the chopped herbs. Let cool.

To Assemble and Bake the Bread:

  1. Roll out the two loaves in two sheets (one must be larger then the other). Place the largest on the bottom of a well-oiled roasting pan and spread the vegetables over it. Add the rice cheese and sprinkle nutritional yeast flakes.
  2. Cover with smaller loaf and close the edges of the larger towards the inside to seal . Brush with water and oil, sprinkle with salt, and make some incisions on the surface of the dough.
  3. Bake in a static oven at 480°F for 10 to 15 minutes.

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