Inspired by the Italian “Schiacciata con l’uva” or grape harvesters’ focaccia, this soft bread is fragrant and bursting with the flavors of roasted red grapes and fresh rosemary. Bake this grape and rosemary focaccia this Thanksgiving and pair with a hearty red wine to add some oomph to your Thanksgiving menu.
Hey, did you miss me? I am trying my best to be consistent with my blog posts, but life always comes in the way. Not that I’m complaining. I can’t believe it’s almost time for Thanksgiving. What are your plans this year?
If you are looking for a change from the traditional dinner rolls for your Thanksgiving/Friendsgiving do, then I have the perfect recipe for you. Pillowy, soft and fragrant grape focaccia will be the perfect accompaniment, I tell you.
Bread baking is one of the most therapeutic things ever. The dough for a simple sandwich loaf really doesn’t need any embellishments. A well-risen yeast dough is a delight in itself. Maybe a touch of honey and a sprinkling of seeds is all you need to elevate the flavors a notch.
But focaccia is another story. It takes so well to anything you throw on it. Literally.
The first time I made focaccia, I topped it with tomatoes, parsley and cheese. But once I tried a sweet version made with juicy strawberries, I was firmly hooked onto the sweet focaccia camp. Savory pizzas and sweet focaccia, that’s how life should be, if you ask me!
When I say sweet focaccia, I definitely do not mean anything like sweet rolls. Just a sprinkling of the freshest winter grapes, paired with fragrant fresh rosemary, and lightly dusted with chewy Demerara sugar makes this focaccia lightly sweet with a touch of savory.
Personally, I like a slightly thick focaccia, so I made this recipe in a 9″ pan. If you like a thinner bread, feel free to stretch it some more.
I have made this focaccia bread as 2 layers, with grapes and rosemary in between the layers. Biting into a juicy half of roasted grape in the bread is nothing short of magical. Please do not substitute fresh rosemary with dried herbs, or the magic will be lost. It has to be fresh rosemary with fresh grapes. But you can use regular granulated sugar if you do not have Demerara sugar. A sprinkling of sea salt on top, and the pillowy dough bakes to a loaf of pure bliss!
- Active Dry Yeast – 1 tbsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Water – 1 cup, very warm (around 110 deg.F)
- All purpose flour – 3 cups
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Olive oil – 6 tbsp, divided
- Red grapes - ½ lb, halved
- Fresh rosemary leaves - 1-2 sprigs
- Demerara sugar - ¼ cup
- Sea salt - a pinch, to sprinkle on top
- Line the bottom of a 9" baking pan with parchment paper, oil the sides and set aside.
- Combine the yeast, 1 tsp of sugar and warm water in a bowl to proof the yeast. It should take 5-10 minutes for the solution to turn frothy.
- Sift 2½ cups of flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the yeast solution and 2 tbsp of olive oil to this and combine to form a dough.
- Turn the dough out on to a clean and floured surface and sprinkle the rest of the flour on top. Knead well to incorporate the flour and till the dough is soft and elastic, around 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle some flour if needed, but focaccia dough is supposed to be very soft and slightly sticky.
- Oil a bowl thoroughly, place the dough ball in it and turn around to completely coat with the oil. This is to prevent the dough from drying out. Cover with a clean, damp cloth and allow to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F.
- Once dough is risen, divide it into two parts. Stretch and shape one ball of dough in the bottom of the baking pan.
- Make dimples or indentations all over with your fingertips. Brush 2 tbsp of olive oil all over, allowing it to rest in the dimple marks. Scatter half of the grapes and rosemary on top. Gently push the grapes into the dough. Sprinkle half of the Demerara sugar on top.
- Stretch and shape the other ball of dough over the first one. Pinch the ends of the two sheets of dough together to form a seal.
- Again, make dimples or indentations all over with your fingertips. Brush 2 tbsp of olive oil all over, allowing it to rest in the dimple marks. Scatter the rest of the grapes and rosemary on top. Gently push the grapes into the dough. Sprinkle the rest of the Demerara sugar on top. Add a pinch of sea salt on top as well.
- Cover lightly with cling wrap and rest for 30 minutes. The dough will have risen well and fill the 2" pan.
- Bake in the lower half of the oven for 20-25 minutes or till top is golden brown.
- Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove and cool on a wire rack. Slice and serve bread warm.
Enjoy warm slices of this delicious and moreish grape and rosemary focaccia.
Focaccia is best eaten fresh on the day it is made, but the dough can be refrigerated overnight and baked the next day.
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If you are looking for Thanksgiving recipes, this Whole Roasted Chicken Seasoned With Sumac & Piri Piri Sauce will pair nicely with this sweet and savory grape focaccia. Go here for more Thanksgiving & Christmas recipes.
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