Do you remember waaaay back, to the first Fiesta Friday Challenge, when Angie dared us to make something with yeast and herbs? Well, I think that many of the participants, me included, got the yeast bug! After our challenge, (see my entry here) I vowed that I would learn how to make bread, and since then I have been busily experimenting with pizza dough and other yeasty concoctions, some successful and others, not. I made today’s focaccia in the height of this year’s very long blueberry season, and was so tickled with the results. Not only was it really pretty, but I discovered that juicy, oven roasted blueberries and fresh, herbaceous rosemary, make a luxurious topping for focaccia. Dust the finished product with some flaked salt, such as Maldon and every bite is a little bit of heaven.
I am proudly bringing a large pan of my bread over to my buddies at this week’s Fiesta Friday. Many of them participated in the challenge and will remember the excitement of presenting our recipes to the judges. Well, today there are no judges, but the excitement of showing off my creation is still there. I hope you all like it! For any of you who haven’t discovered Angie and The Novice Gardener yet, well where the heck have you been? Please pop by and join in the fun!
I found this recipe in the June 2014 issue of Sunset Magazine.
Blueberry Rosemary Focaccia
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 cup milk, at room temperature
9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus ½ teaspoon flaked salt, such as Maldon
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves, divided
about 6 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups blueberries (you can use individually frozen or fresh)
1 tablespoon coarse or regular granulated sugar
Put yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) and pour 1 cup of warm water (90° to 105°) on top. Let sit until yeast dissolves and is bubbling, 5 to 8 minutes.
Add milk, ¼ cup olive oil, kosher salt and 1 tablespoon rosemary. Attach dough hook and with mixer on low, gradually blend in 6 cups flour. Beat on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, 10 to 12 minutes. If necessary, add about 2 tablespoons more flour until it’s only slightly tacky. (Or knead by hand: Stir in 5 ¾ cups flour with a spoon, then knead on a work surface, adding flour as required to prevent sticking.)
Cover dough in bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled. 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours. Oil a 12 by 17 inch rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil. Punch down dough and transfer to a baking sheet. Use your hands to push it into an even layer. Cover loosely and let it rise until puffy, about 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425°.
With your fingers, poke holes in the dough 1 to 2 inches apart, straight down into the risen dough. Drizzle dough with 2 tablespoons oil. Combine remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary and the sugar and sprinkle on top.
Bake until golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with flaked salt. Cool in the pan on a rack for 15 minutes. Loosen focaccia with a wide spatula and slide onto a work surface. Cut into pieces about 3 inches by 4 inches. Serve warm or at room temperature.