Yeast Breads

Grape + Black Pepper Focaccia


 Prep Time : 15 + 10 Minutes | Cook Time : 20 Minutes | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy

Hello my lovelies! Can’t go too long without a bread recipe for you. Don’t want you to feel strangely empty or anything. A dose of carbs will sort it out. Today we are mixing sweet and savoury. Which you know I’m a fan of. Chewy golden bread studded with sweet roasted grapes. Sticky juice trickling out. Balanced with flaky salt and cracked pepper. Use the best grapes you can. These mini focaccia are delicious with regular supermarket grapes but if you can get your hands on more flavourful varieties it will change the game. In NZ there is a short season for NZ grown grapes that have a tonne of flavour so keep an eye out at your fruit market over the next month. In the meantime let’s get out bread on. This is a genuinely easy recipe. The dough doesn’t even leave the bowl until it’s time to divide it up and shape the breads. In this weather the dough will rise quickly so it won’t even take very long. No excuses.

In a large bowl measure the flour, pepper and salt into a large bowl. Mix the salt into the flour.

Sprinkle over the yeast over the water and leave until foamy.

When the yeast is all frothy add the liquid to the flour. Use your hand to bring the dough together. It will be sticky and squidgy. If it feels stiff add a tablespoon of extra water and mix again

When the dough is reasonably mixed cover the bowl and leave the dough to hydrate for 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step.

Now moisten your hand with a little water and fold the dough. Reach under the dough and grab a handful. Pull it up and over the dough and stick it down.

Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Go around the bowl twice for a total of 8 folds. Cover the dough again and leave for 5 to 10 minutes.

Repeat the folds 2 more times making 3 rounds of folding altogether. Cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to double in size.

When the dough has risen, lightly grease a work surface with olive oil. Oil your hands as well. Gently tip the dough out onto the bench.

Divide the dough into eight even pieces. Using your oiled hands pat each piece out into a  palm-sized round.

Transfer each to a piece of baking paper. Pop them onto baking sheets and leave them somewhere warm until they have doubled in height.

When they are almost risen heat the oven to 240C (465F). If you have a cast iron griddle that has a flat side put it in the oven to heat. If you don’t have one put the heaviest baking sheet you have into the oven.

Cut the grapes into halves and press them cut side down onto the dough. Press them right down till they’re well embedded. About 6 to 8 pieces each is good.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I used a merlot infused salt this time because it felt appropriate. Don’t ask how many types of salt I have. It’s embarrassing.

Bake each for about 8 to 10 minutes on the cast iron, or slightly longer on a baking sheet. You should be able to bake them all in 2 batches. The focaccia should be golden brown and the grapes will be oozing juice and collapsing.

Transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool a little before serving. These sweet and salty breads are excellent cut up for appetizers or just as a satisfying snack. Find a sunny spot and enjoy a cool drink and a warm bread. Nothing better.

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Grape + Black Pepper Focaccia


Prep Time : 15 + 10 mins | Cook Time : 20 mins | Total Time : 3 hours | Difficulty : Easy | Makes : 8 individual breads

Golden chewy breads topped with sweet roasted grapes and a hint of black pepper.

Ingredients:

  • 500 grams strong bread flour
  • 10 grams fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 + 1/2 cups (360 mls) tepid water
  • 1 + 1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups (about 30) grapes (the best flavoured you can find)
  • flaky sea salt and black pepper to finish

– If using metric cups, reduce volume measures by 1 tablespoon for every cup of dry or liquid ingredients – 

Equipment:

  • Bowls and spoons
  • Cast iron griddle or heavy baking sheet

Directions:

In a large bowl measure the flour, pepper and salt into a large bowl. Mix the salt into the flour.

Sprinkle over the yeast over the water and leave until foamy.

When the yeast is all frothy add the liquid to the flour. Use your hand to bring the dough together. It will be sticky and squidgy. If it feels stiff add a tablespoon of extra water and mix again

When the dough is reasonably mixed cover the bowl and leave the dough to hydrate for 15 minutes. Don’t skip this step.

Now moisten your hand with a little water and fold the dough. Reach under the dough and grab a handful. Pull it up and over the dough and stick it down.

Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat. Go around the bowl twice for a total of 8 folds. Cover the dough again and leave for 5 to 10 minutes.

Repeat the folds 2 more times making 3 rounds of folding altogether. Cover the dough and leave it in a warm place to double in size.

When the dough has risen, lightly grease a work surface with olive oil. Oil your hands as well. Gently tip the dough out onto the bench.

Divide the dough into eight even pieces. Using your oiled hands pat each piece out into a  palm-sized round.

Transfer each to a piece of baking paper. Pop them onto baking sheets and leave them somewhere warm until they have doubled in height.

When they are almost risen heat the oven to 240C (465F). If you have a cast iron griddle that has a flat side put it in the oven to heat. If you don’t have one put the heaviest baking sheet you have into the oven.

Cut the grapes into halves and press them cut side down onto the dough. Press them right down till they’re well embedded. About 6 to 8 pieces each is good.

Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper. I used a merlot infused salt this time because it felt appropriate. Don’t ask how many types of salt I have. It’s embarrassing.

Bake each for about 8 to 10 minutes on the cast iron, or slightly longer on a baking sheet. You should be able to bake them all in 2 batches. The focaccia should be golden brown and the grapes will be oozing juice and collapsing.

Transfer the focaccia to a wire rack to cool a little before serving. These sweet and salty breads are excellent cut up for appetizers or just as a satisfying snack. Find a sunny spot and enjoy a cool drink and a warm bread. Nothing better.

Cook’s Notes:

  • Use the best grapes that you can – in NZ at this time of year look for the NZ grown grapes which have excellent flavour. Use whichever colour you fancy!
  • If you intend to slice these focaccia for entertaining just divide the dough into two large pieces and bake them for slightly longer – about 12 to 15 minutes each.

 – Eat this bread the same day or freeze it, well wrapped for up to 2 months. Reheat in the oven once thawed – 

Adapted from the River Cottage Bread Handbook by Daniel Stevens.

© 2017 The Winsome Baker. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

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