Continuing with alternative baking methods/bread, I decided to attempt focaccia. Spoiler alert: not perfect, but perfectly acceptable in a pinch.
In my search for a suitably-sized vehicle, I discovered that out of the dozen or so bread/loaf pans accumulated in decades of marriage — this not being the first for either of us, though that may not explain the excessive number — only one actually fits in the toaster oven.
Dimensions, for anyone else who is oven-less, or wants to give this a try (the rest of you can enjoy a short snooze):
Length: Exterior including handles 9.75″/25 cm; interior 8.25″/21 cm
Width: Exterior 5″/12.25 cm; interior 4.25″/11cm
Height: 2.5″/6.5 cm
1 cup warm water (not too hot; you don’t want to cook the yeast)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon (more or less) extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
12 pitted olives, Kalamata or Castelvetrano, as you prefer, sliced
Wanting to take advantage of an overabundance of fresh tomatoes, I had a pizza craving yesterday. I could have ordered one, but a) take-out pizza around here is less than stellar, b) I only wanted a small portion for lunch, and c) I was mostly in the mood to bake and we don’t have our ovens yet. (Ah, the endless joys of home remodeling.)
One option would have been the grill but I didn’t feel like a massive post-lunch cleanup and preferred something quick and easy. Solution: the toaster oven. I was also curious to see if other items like cookies or baklava could be baked in it.
Step 1: Divide a pizza dough recipe by 25% to make a quantity that might fit in the toaster oven. Caveat, this is not my favorite recipe, which is best made 2-3 days ahead, but it was ok in a pinch:
1 cup bread flour (sorry, MacGyvering did not allow time to convert to grams)
Scant 1/4 teaspoon sugar
Heaping 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
Approximately 1/4 cup warm water
Mix dry ingredients in a medium-large bowl
Add most of the olive oil, retaining a small amount in reserve
Add about half the water, and begin mixing everything together
If dough is too dry/crumbly, add more water a little at a time until it comes together. Likewise, add more flour if the dough is too soggy.
Dump dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it forms a ball.
Spread remaining oil around the inside of the bowl, add the dough, and roll the dough around until it’s lightly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
After the dough has nearly doubled in size, punch it down lightly and shape it into a rectangle on an aluminum foil “tray” that will fit in your toaster oven.
Pre-bake the crust at the hottest temperature (mine only heats to 450F) until golden brown.
Remove from toaster oven and add toppings. I used a light layer of (more) olive oil, then sliced tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, and scattered bits of Boursin cheese because that’s what I had in the fridge.
Return to the toaster oven and continue baking until cheese is melted and everything is cooked. You can blast it on the “toast” setting towards the end to help brown the crust.
I can’t tell you exactly how long this takes because you’d have to experiment, but it was maybe 20-30 minutes baking time.
Delicious quick lunch with my nonalcoholic Faux Cosmo:
Fill a tall glass with seltzer or sparkling water. Add a splash each of orange juice and cranberry juice. Add the juice of 1/2 lime. Garnish with a slice of lime. Pretty and refreshing!