Own Your Kitchen
You Will Need
Preheat the broiler.
In a small bowl, combine the cornichons, Dijon mustard, and mayo. Spread the inside of each piece of the focaccia with the cornichon mixture. Be sure each piece is evenly coated.
Lay 2 pieces of Gruyere on each piece of focaccia. Transfer to a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook until the cheese gets really nice and melty, 4 to 5 minutes total.
Remove from the broiler and crinkle 2 pieces of ham on the bottom half of each piece of foccacia in a fluffy, even layer. Return the sammies to the broiler for another minute, or until the ham is warm but not crusty.
Remove the sammies from the oven, place the tops on the bottoms, and press firmly to secure. Cut in half on the bias and serve hot.
Combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a small bowl and let sit in a warm place for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is bubbly and aromatic. NOTE: It’s really important that this whole setup be WARM—if it’s too hot the yeast will die, and if it’s too cool the yeast won’t activate.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, kosher salt, 1/2 cup of the olive oil, and the yeast mixture. Using the dough hook attachment, work the mixture on medium speed until the dough comes together. Continue to knead the dough for 6 to 7 minutes or until it’s really smooth and supple. If the dough is too tacky, add a sprinkey-dink of flour.
Sprinkle a clean work surface liberally with flour. Turn the dough out and knead it by hand 3 or 4 times. Coat the inside of the mixer bowl lightly with a few drops of olive oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel, and let it hang out in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size. NOTE: A warm place is key to allowing the yeast to work its magic.
Coat a jelly roll pan with the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil (this may seem excessive but focaccia IS an oily, crusty bread—that’s why it’s SOOOOO delicious). Turn the dough out onto the pan and squish it out evenly to fit the size. Turn over the dough to coat the other side with olive oil. Continue to spread the dough out to fit the pan. As you do this, spread out your fingers and use them to poke holes all the way through the dough—it’s fun!!! Yes, I know it may seem strange, but as the dough rises again it will create the characteristic “craggy” look that makes focaccia unique. Sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the coarse sea salt. Place the pan in a warm (yes, again with the warm) place and let the dough rise for 1 hour.
While the dough finishes rising, preheat the oven to 425°F.
Bake the focaccia for 20 to 25 minutes or until the top and bottom are golden brown. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let cool completely before cutting.