Thursday, February 23, 2017

Floral Grape and Lemon Focaccia

I've never been that skilled at making "pretty" flatbreads. I have no clue why this is, but rather than pans of perfect, evenly-dimpled focaccia, puffy naan, pocketed pitas and the like, mine are... well, ugly. I guess, if you wanted to be politically correct, you'd call them "rustic".

Floral Grape and Lemon Focaccia

However they look, for the most part I am able to nail a decent enough flavour profile with my loaves. Rather than the tangy, mouthwatering nuances of sourdough that infuse most of my larger boules, I stick with either straight-yeast or quickbread recipes when I need a flat outcome. Focaccia, though, with all it's pretty little dips and pots on the surface, always seemed like simply too much work for everyday bread, and since around here my breads are first and foremost a carrier for any number of  Toast Toppers, the olive oil and herbs that sit atop what seems like every type out there often conflict.

Floral Grape and Lemon Focaccia

Then, while poking around for inspiration for an upcoming Bread Bakers event, I found a way to get the dimpled treat on the table in under an hour, using basic pantry ingredients: yeastless focaccia. One bowl, one spoon and a pre-heated pan (ideally stoneware) are your only necessary tools, whole flour, water and baking powder are the ingredient A-B-Cs. I whipped up a 100%-plain loaf at the beginning, which was great hot and fresh from the oven, dipped into spicy marinara sauce, but since the oven was still on and the stone was still hot, I made a second loaf for teatime. This one was on the sweeter end of the focaccia world, although not cloyingly so - the dough, while sugar-free, was lifted with the delicate flavour and aroma of Meyer lemon zest, offsetting the deep sweetness of the grapes scattered on top and the dusting of slightly peppery, nasturtuum-infused sugar dusted on top. Paired with some sweet iced tea (or maybe a glass of limoncello), it hits the spot on a sunny afternoon - even if the temperature outside still isn't quite Mediterranean!

Floral Grape and Lemon Focaccia
Serves 8
1/2 cup water
1 1/4 cups flour
pinch salt
1/2 tbsp baking powder
zest of 1 Meyer lemon
1 tbsp melted butter, divided
1/4 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1/2 tbsp nasturtium-infused sugar (or coarse sugar)
  1. Place a baking stone (I used a lightly oiled 11½" x 7¾" stone "bar pan") on the middle or bottom rack of the oven and heat to 425F.
  2. Stir together water, flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest until it forms a loose ball of dough.
  3. Add water if dough is too stiff.
  4. Remove stone pan from oven, quickly drizzle with half the butter and scrape dough onto it.
  5. Drizzle with remaining butter and spread dough with your fingers to 1/2" thick (it does not have to be perfectly even - just not holey).
  6. Sprinkle with grape halves and nasturtium sugar.
  7. Bake 25 minutes, until golden and crisp on the bottom. 
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 95.0
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 3.9 mg
Sodium: 10.8 mg
Total Carbs: 16.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
Protein: 2.6 g