FOCACCIA WITH GRAPES
I used instant yeast to make my focaccia, but active dry yeast will work, too. Just make sure you whirl it in the food processor with the water until it dissolves before adding the flour, salt, rosemary and melted butter. I served this bread with chicken kebabs marinated in olive oil, parsley and a lot of garlic. I loved the way the juicy, garlicky chicken tasted alongside the juicy, sweet grapes. It would also be good as an appetizer with some Gorgonzola or robiola cheese or slices of prosciutto and sopressata.
SERVES: 6 to 8
1 1/3 cups warm tap water
1 teaspoon instant yeast or active dry yeast (not “rapid rise”)
3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 to 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 1/2 cups seedless red grapes
2 tablespoons sugar
Sea salt for sprinkling
Combine water, yeast, flour, salt, rosemary and 3 tablespoons of butter in the work bowl of a food processor and process until a rough ball forms. To knead dough, continue to process 30 seconds longer.
Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Shape the dough into a rough ball and place it in the bowl.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it stand in a warm, draft-free spot until it has more than doubled in size, 4 to 5 hours.
Spray a 15½-by-10½-inch rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. Turn the dough into the pan (it will deflate) and gently press it into pan so it reaches the edges of the pan.
Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap, and let it stand in a warm, draft-free spot until it is puffy and almost double in size, about 1½ hours.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Press grapes into the dough at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle remaining tablespoon of melted butter over dough, letting some collect in grape indentations. Sprinkle the sugar and sea salt, to taste, over the dough.
Bake until the focaccia is golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Use a large spatula to remove it from the pan and slide it onto a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.