Focaccia with Grapes

“This rustic Italian bread is especially popular in late summer and fall when grapes are fresh and juicy. I used Zinfandel grapes, but any red grape will do.”
– Katie Wetzel Murphy, AVV Ambassador and Family Partner

– Serves 4 –

1 package active dry yeast
3 Tbsp. dry red wine
1 Tbsp. honey
¾ cup warm water
3 cups mixed flour (1 ½ cups all purpose flour, 1 ½ cups cake flour, not self–rising)
¼ cup AVV extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. fine sea salt
3 cups red grapes, do not seed them
¼ cup chopped rosemary leaves
¼ cup granulated sugar

Method of Preparation:
Stir together yeast, wine, honey and warm water in a bowl until yeast is dissolved. Let it stand until it bubbles, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of mixed flour. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk, about 45 minutes. Add oil, 1 ½ cups mixed flour and sea salt, and stir until a sticky dough forms.

Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead with your hands, gradually adding up to ½ cup more mixed flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking.Knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat. Re-cover this bowl with the kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let rise again, about 1 hour.

Turn dough onto your work surface and cut in half. Roll out one of the halves with a rolling pin into a large rectangle, about 12 by 10 inches. Transfer to a sheet pan, drizzle with a little olive oil, scatter half the grapes and rosemary over the dough and sprinkle with half the sugar. Repeat with the second half of the dough, topping with olive oil, grapes, rosemary and a dusting of sugar.

Heat oven to 375°. Let the dough rest while the oven heats. Bake focaccia until well browned and firm in the middle, about 30 to 40 minutes. Ovens vary, so be sure to check occasionally. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving with a wedge of aged cheese and a glass of AVV Primitivo.