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Rosemary, Lemon,
and Pepper Focaccia

serves 6 as an hor d’oeuvre

When chef Kevin Taylor told me about this intriguing focaccia he had served at the Zenith American Grill in Denver, I could not imagine how lemons would work on a bread. So I adapted it to my standard focaccia method to try it; it remains one of the most dramatic and delicious focaccias I know, never failing to surprise and delight me or my guests.

Flour for rolling
1 pound Basic Pizza Dough (page 355) or frozen pizza dough, thawed
1 tablespoon fruity extra–virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, scrubbed and dried
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
or 1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt, such as Maldon, or kosher salt

Thirty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 425°F and place a pizza stone, or baking tiles, an inverted large cast–iron skillet or griddle, or a heavy baking sheet in the oven to heat.

Flour the work surface lightly and roll the dough into a rough circle 11 inches in diameter. Place a sheet of parchment paper roughly the size of the dough on a wooden peel, a rimless cookie sheet, or an inverted baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the parchment and reshape it with your fingers.

Prick the dough with a fork and brush it lightly with some of the olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with the rosemary and grind pepper over it. Cut the lemon in half through the stem (reserve one half for another use). Slice the remaining half crosswise as thin as you can. Remove any seeds. Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer over the dough. Brush them lightly with olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic and set aside to rise for 15 minutes.

Slide the focaccia, still on the parchment, onto the hot stone. Bake until the crust is golden brown and puffed, about 20 minutes. Brush the dough with the remaining oil and sprinkle with the cheese or salt. Cut into wedges and serve at once.

in advance: You can roll out the dough well in advance of assembling the focaccia. Arrange it on a baking sheet on the parchment, wrap well in plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 hour before baking.