Sunday, November 22, 2009

Red Grape, Walnut, Rosemary and Pink Peppercorn Focaccia

Red Grape, Walnut, Rosemary and Pink Peppercorn Focaccia
(Tuscan Schiacciata Coll’uva)
As shared by the kitchen of Once Upon a Plate
Makes one 9 x 12-inch (or a thicker 8 x 10-inch) focaccia
Recipe can easily be doubled


1 1/2 teaspoons rapid-rising dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/8 cup olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting


Extra-virgin olive oil
15 to 20 red or green grapes, roasted
1/2 cup broken walnuts, (a little more if you like), toasted
A tablespoon or 2 granulated sugar
A few pinches of kosher salt
A few small sprigs of rosemary, off the stem
A few pink peppercorns, crushed between your fingers as you sprinkle them on the dough
Optional: A teaspoon or two of fennel seeds


Line a small, shallow baking pan with parchment or foil. Scatter grapes evenly over the prepared pan, drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat the grapes evenly, sprinkle very lightly with a little granulated sugar (1 or 2 teaspoons.) Roast in a hot 400* (F) oven for 10 to 20 minutes (depending upon the side of the grapes), until skins begin to shrivel and give up some of their juices. Stir once or twice to distribute evenly during roasting time. Remove from oven, set aside to cool.

Roast walnuts, set aside to cool.

Prepare dough in bread machine (choose 'dough' cycle), or in food processor. I make mine in my stand mixer:

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle, combine yeast with the warm water and sugar. Stir gently to dissolve. Let stand 3 minutes until foam appears. Turn mixer on low and slowly add 1 cup of the flour to the bowl. Switch to dough hook and add remaining flour. Dissolve salt in 1 tablespoons of water and add it to the mixture. Pour in 1/8 cup olive oil. When the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium. Periodically scrape the dough off the hook. Mix until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes, adding a little flour as necessary.

Remove dough to a lightly floured work surface and fold over itself a few times. Shape the dough into a round and place in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the entire ball with oil (to prevent a tough skin from forming.) Cover with cling film or a damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

Brush or rub a sheet pan with a little olive oil and sprinkle lightly with corn meal. When the dough has doubled turn out onto work surface. Shape and stretch the dough out to an oblong shape about 1/2-inch thick or so. Place the flattened dough on the pan and cover loosely with cling film. Let rest for 15 minutes. While dough is resting, position oven rack to lowest (bottom) position, preheat oven to 425* (F).

After 15 to 20 minutes uncover the dough and dimple with your fingertips all over. Brush the surface with more olive oil and then press grapes evenly into the dough, followed by walnuts, then sprinkle with pink peppercorns, rosemary and salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I sprinkle a few additonal rosemary needles over after removing from oven.

It is wonderful warm or at room temperature with a fruity Chianti, or your favorite beverage. Enjoy!

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