Red Grape and Rosemary Focaccia

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Wolfgang Puck I especially love embellishing focaccia dough before baking. One of my favorite additions, however, is something sweet: seedless grapes. The Red Flame variety, so plentiful right now, has a beautiful purple color and a hint of spice. As the dough rises, it almost completely covers them, leaving just a hint of skin peeking through. When you take a bite, you get the wonderful surprise of a sudden burst of juice. Great home-baked bread has never been easier.

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. active dried yeast
  • 1 1/2 C. lukewarm water, about 80 degrees
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 3 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. table salt
  • 3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/4 C. for greasing pan and drizzling over the focaccia
  • 1 C. whole Red Flame seedless grapes
  • 1 Tbs. kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary leaves

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Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the yeast, water and honey. With a wire whisk, stir briskly until the yeast has dissolved. Add 2 C. of the flour and stir until the ingredients form a fairly smooth paste. Pour in the remaining flour and salt, covering the paste. Set aside at warm room temperature for 20 minutes. Place the bowl on the stand of the mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment. Pour in 3 oz. of the olive oil, turn on the machine to medium-low speed and mix for 1 minute. Stop the machine and, with a wooden or plastic spatula, scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing at medium speed until the dough looks smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the machine. Drape a clean, damp kitchen towel over the bowl and leave it to rest at warm room temperature for 10 minutes. Line the bottom of a 10-inch cake pan with parchment paper, using the pan as a guide for tracing an outline on the paper before cutting it to fit. Brush the paper with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it into the cake pan. Cover the pan with the damp towel and leave the dough to rise at warm room temperature for about 20 minutes more. Uncover the pan. With a fingertip, make regularly spaced deep indentations in the dough, placing a grape in each indentation. Cover the pan once again with the damp towel and leave it at warm room temperature to rise until the dough has doubled in bulk, almost burying the grapes, 45 minutes to 1 hour. About 15 minutes before the dough is done rising, adjust an oven shelf to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Remove the towel from the pan and lightly brush the dough with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher or coarse salt and rosemary leaves. Put the pan on the middle shelf of the oven and bake for 10 minutes; then, reduce the heat to 350 degrees and continue to bake until the focaccia is a deep golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately brush it with the remaining 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, cut into wedges or squares. Makes 1 10-inch round sheet, 6 to 8 servings.

(Chef Wolfgang Puck's new TV series, "Wolfgang Puck's Cooking Class," airs Sundays and Wednesdays on the Food Network. Write Wolfgang Puck in care of Tribune Media Services Inc., 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY. 14207.)

©2004 WOLFGANG PUCK WORLDWIDE, INC.

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