Grape Focaccia

Don't be intimidated by homemade bread; even a beginner can master this simple baking sheet focaccia. It's an effortlessly gorgeous dish for entertaining, and the unexpected combination of sweet and savory flavors will impress. As an appetizer, serve the warm slab of bread, sliced, on a large cutting board with a few wedges of your favorite cheese. Try muscadines or figs in place of the grapes. For leftovers, spread the focaccia with peanut butter for a fresh, sophisticated spin on PB&J.

Yield:

Makes 12 to 14 servings

Recipe from

Recipe Time

Hands-on: 30 Minutes
Total: 3 Hours

Ingredients

1 (1/4-oz.) envelope active dry yeast
1 2/3 cups warm water (100° to 110°)
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
3/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 pound red and green grapes, halved
Coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Garnishes: chopped fresh rosemary, fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

1. Stir together yeast and warm water (100° to 110°) in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add bread flour, salt, and 1/4 cup oil to yeast mixture; beat on low speed, using paddle attachment, 25 seconds or until blended. Add chopped herbs. Switch to dough hook; increase speed to medium-high, and beat 5 minutes. (Dough will be sticky.)

2. Place dough in a large, well-greased bowl, turning to coat top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (80° to 85°), free from drafts, 1 hour or until doubled in bulk.

3. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil in a half-sheet pan or jelly-roll pan; place dough in pan. Press dough down and into edges of pan, using your fingers. (It's okay if there are holes in the dough.) Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in warm place 1 hour.

4. Preheat oven to 425°. Scatter grapes over dough. Drizzle with remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Note:

September 2014