Use Frozen Dinner Rolls For A Last-Minute Focaccia

Frozen dinner rolls are both convenient and luxurious because they give you freshly baked bread without the grunt work and hours or days it takes to make leavened dough. However, instead of popping frozen dough balls into the oven, you can repurpose them to create a delicious batch of focaccia bread.

Focaccia bread is an Italian flatbread with a perfectly crunchy, almost fried crust and bouncy, chewy crumb with a characteristic dimpled appearance. While flat breads are fairly straightforward to make, even an easy focaccia bread recipe requires overnight or 24-hour wait times for the dough to rise. Frozen dinner rolls eliminate the rising times, cost of ingredients, and the mess involved in scratch-made dough.

You'll need 20 frozen dinner rolls to fill a rectangular baking pan. When the dough is thawed and arranged in the pan, spray rolls with cooking spray or brush with olive oil, cover, and let the dough balls rise for two hours.Once the dough has risen, you'll have a nearly uniform mass of dough to work with. Using your fingers, press the dough to create the characteristic focaccia dimples. Then, drizzle a hearty helping of extra virgin olive oil over the dough so that it pools in the dimples. Finish it off with a sprinkling of herbs and coarse salt and pop it in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.

Focaccia variations and meal ideas

While olive oil and salt are fundamental in creating the crunchy crust and earthy, moist crumb, focaccia bread has countless variations and uses. The most classic variety of focaccia adds fresh rosemary to the mix for a savory, herbal infusion to enjoy as an appetizer or accompaniment to a main course soup, salad, or pasta dish.

However, you can make focaccia the star of the show while also getting creative with its presentation by baking veggies, meats, spices, and herbs into the dough. Focaccia bread art is a trendy and fun way to make focaccia into a one-pan meal by assembling colorful ingredients into flowers, gardens, or other nature scenes. The only additional step you'll take is to let the dough sit in the olive oil for an extra 30 minutes before placing fresh vegetables or meats on top. This extra resting period ensures that the dough won't envelop the toppings while it bakes.

For another authentic Italian focaccia variety, you can make your focaccia into pizza bianca with the addition of fresh white cheese, herbs, and other savory toppings like mortadella or pancetta. Alternatively, you can add raisins or fresh peach and plum slices for a sweet take on focaccia to enjoy with whipped ricotta or mascarpone and a drizzle of honey. If you want to stick to the basic salty, olive oil-baked recipe, you can use focaccia as a sandwich bread upgrade.