Monday, September 9, 2013

grape and rosemary foccacia (revisited).

I am going to preface this post with the fact that this is the second grape and rosemary focaccia recipe on the blog.  The first was posted almost exactly a year ago (I love how consistent my cooking can be).  You may be wondering how it is possible for me to be discussing a second version of grape foccacia because grape focaccia is not chili or tomato sauce or a food that warrants dozens of different varieties.  But I am a person who loves finding the best versions of thing and while the original was superb in flavor, I always found it to be a little fussier then I would like.  It was a project and I knew there had to be a way to make one that didn’t leave me with sticky dough covered fingers.  This new version does exactly that but in a more streamlined way.  The focaccia is crispy on the outside with a soft and chewy interior.  The grapes cook down, making pockets of tart jammy grapey goodness that intermingles perfectly with the sea salt and coarse sugar.  The rosemary perfumes the whole thing with a warm and earthy scent.  I usually devour the whole thing about 5 minutes after it emerges from the oven and I imagine you will do the same. 

Rosemary and Grape Focaccia (Revisited)
Recipe adapted from Dolci: Italy’s Sweets by Francine Segan

Makes one 9x13 bread

I edited this recipe a little since I found it to be a little overly complicated for my tastes and the new version is utterly perfect.  I also added a sprinkle of salt and coarse sugar (which is reminiscent of the original recipe) to the grapes in order to take this into a more savory direction.  If you don’t devour the whole thing straight from the pan, then I highly recommend serving it with a wedge of tallegio and some thin slices of prosciutto. 

7 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely minced
2 ¼ teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
½ cup warm water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ pounds concord grapes, halved and seeded (other grape varieties would work as well)
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons coarse suagar

In a small saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons of the oil and 2 tablespoons of the rosemary until warm.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the yeast into the warm water and set it aside until it bubbles, about 2 minutes.  Sift the flour onto a work surface or into a large bowl.  Make a well in the center and fill with the yeast water, rosemary oil, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and the salt.  Gradually incorporate the flour into the liquid in the well until a dough forms.  Knead the dough until smooth, then set it aside in a lightly oiled bowl until it doubles, about 1 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9x13 inch baking pan with 2 tablespoons of the oil.

Place the dough in the baking pan, stretching the dough so it reaches the corners of the pan.  Top the dough with the grapes.  Sprinkle the coarse sugar, sea salt, and remaining tablespoon of the rosemary over the grapes.  Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of oil over the bread.  Bake for about 1 hour, until the top is golden brown.  Serve at room temperature. 

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