Skip to content
Steak Sandwich on Homemade Focaccia

Steak Sandwich on Homemade Focaccia

Welcome, fellow sandwich aficionados! Today, we’re embarking on a culinary adventure with a recipe that’s bound to redefine your lunch experience: a sumptuous steak sandwich cradled between slices of homemade focaccia. We’re not talking about just any steak; we’re using the succulent hanger steak, nestled within olive oil-enriched focaccia bread. Let's delve into the wonders of these ingredients before we get our hands dirty with the cooking.

What is Focaccia?

Ah, focaccia bread! A cornerstone of Italian cuisine, renowned for its chewy middle, crisp crust, and heady aroma. This flat, oven-baked bread bears a resemblance to pizza dough and serves as an excellent foundation for an array of toppings. From rosemary and sea salt to sun-dried tomatoes and olives, focaccia’s versatility allows it to absorb and showcase rich flavors, ensuring every bite is heavenly.

How to Make Focaccia Bread

    Step-by-Step Focaccia Bread Recipe:

    1. Activate the Yeast:
      • In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of warm water (ideally around 110°F to maximize yeast activity without killing it), 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast, and 2 teaspoons of salt. Stir these ingredients together until fully incorporated. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed for about 5 minutes, or until it becomes foamy on the surface. This foam is a sign that the yeast is active and ready to leaven your bread.
      2. Mix the Dough:
      • Gradually add 560 grams of high-protein flour to the activated yeast mixture. Since the dough will be quite sticky, use a spatula to fold the flour into the liquid. Mix until all the flour is absorbed and a rough, shaggy dough forms. This initial mixing is crucial for starting gluten development.
      3. First Rest:
        • Cover the bowl with a damp cloth to prevent the dough from drying out. Let it rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. This rest period allows the gluten strands to start forming naturally, which is essential for the bread's texture.
        4. Stretch and Fold:
        • After the rest, wet your hands to prevent sticking and uncover the dough. Gently lift and stretch a portion of the dough from the side and fold it over to the center. Rotate the bowl approximately 90 degrees and repeat the process. Perform this stretch and fold action four times in total. This technique helps align the gluten networks and adds strength to the dough.
        5. Repeat Rest and Fold:
          • Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes covered, then repeat the stretch and fold process. Continue this resting and folding cycle four times over 2 hours. Each cycle further enhances the dough's elasticity and volume, crucial for a light and airy focaccia.
          6. Prepare the Baking Pan:
          • Drizzle 3 tablespoons of olive oil evenly into your baking pan. Make sure to coat all sides and corners. This oil not only prevents the dough from sticking but also contributes to the characteristic crispy bottom and flavorful crust of the focaccia.
          7. Shape the Focaccia:
          • Carefully transfer the dough to the oiled pan. Gently stretch the dough towards the edges and corners of the pan, being careful not to tear it or deflate the air bubbles that have formed during the rising process. These bubbles are what will give your focaccia its beautifully airy texture.
          8. Final Rise:
          • Allow the shaped dough to have one final rise in the pan for about 30 minutes. This allows the dough to puff up slightly, filling out the pan and getting ready for baking.
          9. Add Toppings and Dimple:
          • Once the dough has puffed up, lightly oil your fingertips and press down into the dough to create dimples across the surface. These dimples are characteristic of focaccia and help hold your toppings. Scatter sliced black olives and red peppers over the top, then give a final drizzle of olive oil to enhance flavor and help prevent the toppings from burning.
          10. Bake the Focaccia:
          • Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes. You're looking for a golden-brown crust and a crispy edge. The aroma of baked bread should be irresistible at this point.

          These detailed steps will help ensure your focaccia turns out perfectly airy, flavorful, and delicious—ideal for slicing open and stuffing with hanger steak for a gourmet sandwich experience!

          Here are some reflections and lessons learned from my focaccia baking experience:

          • Pan Selection Issues: I used a 1/4" thick steel pan, which wasn't ideal for this recipe. Its thickness prevented it from heating up quickly, leading to a longer cooking time. Unfortunately, I couldn't preheat it effectively, which meant that the bottom of the focaccia didn't become as crispy as I would have liked. A thinner, more responsive pan might work better for achieving that desirable crispy crust.
          • Proofing Adjustments: After completing the final stretch and fold, I realized that an overnight rest in the refrigerator could have enhanced the proofing process. Cold fermenting the dough allows for a slower yeast activity, which not only helps in developing a stronger gluten network but also enriches the flavor of the focaccia. This extended, cold proofing slows down the yeast, preventing it from consuming too much of the flour and resulting in a more flavorful and well-textured bread. Unfortunately, I baked the dough on the same day, and the results were less than stellar.

          Incorporating these changes next time should lead to a much better focaccia, with the right texture and depth of flavor.

          How to Eat Focaccia

          Slice it horizontally and load it up with your favorite fillings for a fulfilling sandwich, or enjoy it as is, perhaps dipped in a mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Or better yet, use it for this incredible steak sandwich with hanger steak.

          What is Hanger Steak?

          Hanger steak is a prized beef cut, famously known as "butcher’s steak" because butchers would often reserve it for themselves. Sourced from the diaphragm, a part that does minimal work, it's exceptionally tender and packed with flavor.

          What Cut is Hanger Steak?

          Hailing from the plate section or the lower belly, the hanger steak is tender and more flavorful than many other popular cuts due to its minimal muscle activity.

          Is Hanger Steak a Good Cut?

          Absolutely! Celebrated for its robust beefy flavor and tender texture, hanger steak is ideal for grilling and searing, a favorite among beef enthusiasts for its exceptional quality and versatility.

          Instructions for Hanger Steak:

            1. Marinade:
            • Season the steak generously with salt and pepper. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
            2. Preparation:
            • Clean the steak by trimming away excess fat and removing any silver skin and the central membrane.
            3. Cooking:
            • Opt for reverse searing in a Kamado grill at 250°F until it reaches an internal temperature of 120°F, then sear over direct heat for 1 minute per side. Alternatively, grill directly over high heat for a quick, even sear.
            4. Slicing:
            • Slice thinly to prepare for sandwich assembly.

            Preparing the Sandwich:

            1. Slice the Focaccia:
            • Cut the focaccia in half horizontally.

            2. Spread Chimichurri:

            • Slather both cut sides with chimichurri sauce.
            3. Layer the Ingredients:
            • Begin with lettuce on the bottom half, followed by slices of hanger steak and mozzarella cheese.
            4. Assemble:
            • Drizzle more chimichurri sauce over the cheese and top with the other half of the focaccia.

            There you have it! A delightful, gourmet steak sandwich that’s bound to impress. Enjoy every bite of this culinary masterpiece. Happy cooking!


            Print this Page

            Compare products

            {"one"=>"Select 2 or 3 items to compare", "other"=>"{{ count }} of 3 items selected"}

            Select first item to compare

            Select second item to compare

            Select third item to compare