Saturday, April 24, 2010

Raisin Focaccia

I recently discovered Yeastspotting, a site to showcase your recently baked bread. This is the brainchild of Susan of and each Friday a new line up of all types of breads are featured. What a wonderful resource to find new bread recipes! It is here that I saw a raisin focaccia by baker Sandra of My Daily Bread and my mouth watered. I love anything made with raisins and I’ve been making savoury versions of focaccia for too long to remember, so why didn’t I ever think of this combination for a sweet version of focaccia? I left a comment on Sandra’s blog only to find out that this recipe is in Peter Reinhart’s The Baker’s Apprentice which I have. Focaccia originated in the Ligurian region on the north west coast of Italy, where you will find the picturesque port or Portofino and the Ligurian capital of Genoa. Peter Reinhart writes, “ that there is a strong tradition of sweet, or breakfast-style, focaccia in Liguria”. It is mentioned as a variation to his herbed focaccia on the side bar, but I hadn’t noticed it before, but with fairness to me, I haven’t made this particular focaccia as I have another recipe for focaccia that has always worked for me and have stuck to. On Saturday I had whipped up a batch of dough to make carmelized onion and rosemary focaccia which I’ve already blogged about. Only this time, just as Sandra had done, I divided the dough in two; one for the onion focaccia and one for the raisin focaccia.

It was very simple; just knead in plenty of raisins to the dough and let it rise until doubled. Punch the dough down and after a brief rest shape the dough out flat on a baking sheet, cover with plastic and allow to rise until doubled. I sprinkled some turbando sugar on top and baked it at 400F. for about 20 minutes.

To say I love this thin, sweet focaccia loaded with raisins would be an understatement. I love love love this focaccia! It satisfies my sweet tooth without being overwhelmingly sweet. It hits the spot for a snack or as an accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee. Come to think of it a combination of raisins and cranberries would be a great in this focaccia as well.

A week later having devoured this excellent foccaccia and wishing I had more to snack on I mixed up another batch of dough to make more. Only this time, again dividing the dough, I made one with potatoes and onions on my son's request and one with raisins and cranberries. The Potato focaccia turned out really well even though I forgot to add some fresh rosemary. The Raisin Cranberry version was also delicious.

I liked how Sandra arranged her slices of raisin focaccia for her photo that I took a photo of mine similarly arranged. I hope she doesn’t mind. I’m glad that she posted this on yeastspotting otherwise I may not have discovered it in The Baker’s Apprentice for quite awhile.

You will find the dough recipe in the Carmelized Onions Focaccia blog. If you make a full recipe just add about three cups of raisins to the dough in the last few minutes of kneading. Let the dough rise until doubled. Stretch it out in a 12 x 17 inch sheet pan. Let is rise and sprinkle with turbando sugar and bake at 400F for about 20 minutes.

Potato Focaccia
adapted from Jim Lahey Potato Pizza

2 potatoes
1/2 onion sliced thinly
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
olive oil to drizzle over potatoes

Make dough (see Carmelized Onion Focaccia blog) while the dough rests prepare potato topping.

Slice potatoes very thin using a knife or a mandoline. Then soak them in water to remove excess starch and prevent discolouration. Drain slices in a colander, toss with 1/2 tsp. salt, and set aside for ten minutes; drain any accumulated water. In a medium bowl, combine potatoes, sliced onions, rosemary and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and set aside.
Stretch out dough on a prepared rimmed baking sheet and let it rise for about one hour. Evenly spread potatoes over the surface of the dough up to the very edge, or about 1 inch from the edge if you desire a crust on your focaccia. Season with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and olive oil.
Bake at 425 F. for about 30 minutes.


Melinda said...

The sweet raisin focaccia does sound really good. I haven't made it either and also have Peter Reinhart's book!
Your potato onion focaccia sounds scrummy good with or without the rosemary!

doughadear said...

Thanks Melinda,
I think the raisin focaccia will become a regular bake for me. I'll just have to take longer walks when I have some.

Sandra said...

Ahhhhh! Oriana! I am both honored and jealous! :) Your bread looks so much better than mine, and the idea of the cranberries...I think your son's a genius. you have also inspired me now I must play around some more with the different additions that are possible, but kudos to you for a spectacular looking focaccia.

doughadear said...

How funny that you should think mine looks better than yours when I thought yours looked so much better than mine.

I've been thinking about different additions as well. How about dried figs!?

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Alisa said...

Ive been drooling over your delicious posts here. This bread looks fantastic! I'd eat this together with your yummy carbonara anytime :)If you wont mind, I'd love to guide Foodista readers to your blog.Just add your choice of foodista widget to the end of this post and it's all set, Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Just found this site looking for a recipe for raisin focaccia. I had some in Italy this spring from a bakery in San Quirico which was lovely for my lunches. Will definitely try this.

doughadear said...

Anonymous, this raisin focaccia is quite addictive, at least it was for me. I hope that this one will bring back memories of the one you had in Italy.