Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It's Addictive, It's Dangerous, It's...Grape Focaccia!

I know what some of you are thinking-you're thinking, "Grapes on focaccia? With rosemary? I'll just use those cherry tomatoes going bad on my counter instead, that will taste better." But you would be wrong, my friends, because not only do grapes and fresh rosemary go together, in this bread the sweetness of the grapes, and the spicy fragrance of the rosemary blend to create something unique and fabulous. It just won't be the same with tomatoes, no matter how ripe they are. Go to A Year in Bread and bake this marvelous focaccia. Make no changes. No substitutions. Ok, fine, I did sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar on top along with the salt and rosemary, but that doesn't count.

A few comments on the focaccia:

1. I decided to add a teaspoon of sugar to the top along with the salt and rosemary and I think it worked out great, but its certainly not necessary. I used Dorie Greenspan's approach to infusing flavour into the sugar: I blended the fresh chopped rosemary, sugar and salt together with my fingertips to release a bit of the oils into the salt and sugar, then sprinkled it all over the focaccia.
2. I only had black grapes, not red ones, so I used those. Still delicious.
3. Use fresh rosemary. I used dried the first time around because that is all I had on hand, and it was good, but the flavour of the fresh rosemary is so superior that it is worth a shopping run for.
4. Use coarse salt as called for in the recipe. Plain old iodized salt just isn't going to cut it texturally.
5. This recipe is pretty big. I divided the dough in half and baked one half one day and the other another. (I just stuck the dough in the fridge until I needed it and it kept fine). Half the recipe makes enough for two people to eat with salad as a meal, and plenty for four people as an appetizer or to accompany your dinner.
6. This bread is easy to make, so if you aren't an expert with yeast and bread dough, have no fear. There are few ingredients and its simple to put together.
7. If you don't eat all the focaccia while it is warm, you can wrap it in tin foil and put it in something airtight, then pop it into the fridge. I kept it overnight that way, then ran it under the broiler for a minute or two the next day to bring it back to life.

Thank you Kevin and all the lovely folks at A Year in Bread for the recipe. I will be baking this one regularly!

Get the recipe here: Grape Focaccia at A Year in Bread


farmgirl susan said...

It's also beautiful! Well done. I'm not even hungry and my mouth is watering. Plus you've convinced me that when I finally get around to trying this recipe, I shouldn't make it with tomatoes or kalamata olives (which I thought was what Kevin had used when I first saw his photos), but to stick with the grapes! Thanks for the links to A Year In Bread. Love the title of your post. : )

kitchenmage said...

This bread has been haunting (taunting?) me since Kevin posted it. Next time I see grapes, I am buying some just so I can make it. Thanks for the multiple mentions here. Nice to know we are inspiring folks to bake!

Lyra said...

Thanks for the nice comments guys. My Mom taught me how to bake bread when I was 13, but I never tried focaccia until now. It is absolutely delicious and I highly recommend it.

I'm waiting with baited breathe to learn more about sourdough from you guys-I've never attempted a starter and I need advice!

Brilynn said...

I just made focaccia last week, but after seeing this I'm going to have to make it again!

Lyra said...

You definitely should. The sweet grapes just kind of burst in you mouth along with the salt and the fragrant rosemary-its heaven.

I'm probably going to make it again soon to use up the grapes I have left-over.