Wake and Bake

Breakfast snacks for those who get peckish first thing in the morning.

Wake and Bake: Meyer Lemon and Olive Focaccia

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[Photograph: Carrie Vasios Mullins]

Is it just me or do most recipes these days assume that you own a stand mixer? I don't have anything against using these machines—in fact I love mine and employ it all the time—but they're heavy, require ample counter and/or closet space, and most all, they're expensive. Prohibitively expensive, I found, until I received one as a gift on a sweet, sweet birthday a few years ago.

Yes, any recipe which calls for a stand mixer can be made in the original stand mixer, i.e. you, standing at your counter, kneading the crap out of some dough. But I got sick of flagging a "quick and easy!" bread recipe only to find that it was quick and easy if you could turn on your stand mixer and walk away.

One appliance I have always had is a food processor. You can get a cheap-y one for 30 bucks, and a high end one for $100, which is still half the price of any decent stand mixer. And one dough recipe that I've been using since my stand mixer-less days (and continue to use) is this focaccia, which is adapted from Canal House Cooking.

The dough comes together in the processor in less than five minutes, after which it's just a matter of letting it rise and choosing your toppings.

I often keep this focaccia simple: after the second rise, I give it those cute little focaccia dimples, drizzle it with olive oil, and sprinkle it with flakey sea salt. You could also add herbs or slices of tomato. But while Meyer lemons are in season, I like to make this unusual version, which pairs tart lemons with salty Kalamata olives. I find it's a tangy, salty, strangely addictive bread. (A quick note: because the lemons are baked with their rinds on, it's important to wash them thoroughly and to slice them as thin as possible.)

Pull this warm, chewy, golden focaccia, glistening with olive oil and dotted with yellow and purple, from your oven and you'll say, stand mixer, who?

About the author: Carrie Vasios Mullins is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios

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