2010/09/14

My obsession...

You see, I had this obsession.  Well, really I had more than one; but this particular one started when I saw this post on Smitten Kitchen.  It intrigued me.  It taunted me.  The ingredients were calling out to me "dabble here, dabble here".  I knew I was in trouble.  I was as antsy as a five-year old waiting for birthday cake & presents.  Tuesday....  Wednesday...  Thursday....  It was almost within my reach.  A trip to the grocery store Thursday night would bring me one step closer.  Finally.  Friday.  Glorious Friday. I had a day off (yea!).  In which I could indulge my baking fantasies. 


Apparently, I have a cooking M.O.  Truly.  This was what I was told.  Apparently, I can't be satisfied with the "normal food".  No chocolate or vanilla for me - but HELLOOOO, how can you dabble if you always stick to the expected???  I guess normal people (and to reiterate the obvious, I don't fall too close to that line) would make focaccia and top it with garlic or onion or something like that.  Which is all well and good.  But it doesn't SING to me.  There is no siren's call leading me down the road of safe and expected.  BUT, when I saw a recipe with grape and rosemary leading the way.  I stopped.  I read.  I printed.  I yearned.  I obsessed.  No really.  I obsessed.  For four whole days.  Truly, I did. 


I took what I was hoping would be a "to die for" recipe and made sure that I made at least one tweak (sub'd a half cup of spelt flour for AP).  I chopped the pretty little grapes.  The recipe fit beautifully into two 8" cake pans (drizzled with oil).  I used my USA Pans with the silicone coating, so I knew they would release.  If I was less certain, then I probably would have just formed them on a lightly greased cookie sheet or on a piece of parchment. 


Fortunately, everyone was pretty pleased with the end result.  The first one was inhaled daintily savored within minutes...  The sweet of the grapes played nicely against the coarse salt.  And the savory touch that the rosemary brought took everything up a notch.  I liked it enough to put this recipe in my "keeper binder".

Grape Focaccia w/ Rosemary

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen - tweaked Dabbler Style

3/4 cup warm water
2 Tbs warm milk
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 cups unbleached A/P flour
1/2 cup spelt flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 Tbs olive oil + more for pan & drizzling
1 1/2 cups black grapes, cut in half (seeds removed if seeded)
1 tsp fresh rosemary needles
2 Tbs raw sugar
2 tsp kosher salt

In the work bowl of electric mixer (paddle attachment), stir together water, milk, sugar, yeast and the spelt flour.  Let mixture sit until foamy (~10 minutes).  Add remaining flour, salt and 2 Tbs olive oil to the mixture and mix well (low speed).  Switch over to dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes more. 

Turn dough into well greased bowl.  Cover, and let rise until doubled in size.  After rising, turn onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half.  Form into two balls and place in oiled cake pans (or on greased cookie sheet or parchment paper).  After ~20 minutes, using wet fingers, press dough out to cover bottom of pan (or into 8" circles).  Wet fingers will leave dimples -- this is what you want. 

Cover with plastic and let rise until really puffy (~1-1.5 hours).  Near the end of the last rise, preheat oven to 450F.  Drizzle olive oil on top of each disk (to taste -- I used ~1 Tbs on each).  Sprinkle grapes, rosemary, salt & sugar evenly over dough.  Bake for ~15 minutes (until top is golden brown and edges are puffed).  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing.  Cool on wire racks.  Best served within an hour of baking. 

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