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Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

If you've never had homemade focaccia, you're in for something special. This sweet one, sprinkled with rosemary, isn't overly doughy and has an amazingly crisp crust. The bread isn't difficult to make, but it does take time. And don't worry if the dough seems loose as you work with it; that's how it should be.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 12
  • Yield: Makes one 13-by-17-inch focaccia
Sour Cherry and Rosemary Focaccia

Source: Martha Stewart Living, July 2011

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds bread flour, (4 1/2 to 5 cups), plus more for surface and bowl
  • 2 3/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • 3/4 teaspoon active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces fresh sour (tart) cherries (or drained thawed frozen), pitted (2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Whisk flour, water, and yeast with a mixer on medium speed until combined. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until tripled in volume and bubbling, about 2 hours.

  2. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to bowl. Switch to dough-hook attachment, and mix on low speed for 5 minutes. Raise speed to medium, and mix for 30 seconds. (Dough should be loose and sticky.)

  3. Turn out dough onto a well- floured surface using a dough scraper. Fold bottom edge of dough up toward the center, and pat gently to deflate.
    Fold top edge down toward the center, and pat gently. (Folds should overlap slightly.) Repeat with left and right sides, tapping off excess flour as you work. (Dough will be difficult to handle, but try not to incorporate too much flour.) Gently flip dough into a lightly floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  4. Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface, and repeat folding process. Transfer dough to lightly floured bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour 1/3 cup oil onto a 13-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet, coating entire surface. Turn out dough onto baking sheet, coating bottom with oil. Push dough out toward edges of baking sheet using your fingertips. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 15 minutes, pressing dough toward edges occasionally.

  6. Drizzle dough with remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Scatter cherries over top, and sprinkle with sugar and rosemary.

  7. Bake in lower third of oven or on a pizza stone placed on the oven floor, rotating halfway through, until bottom is golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Immediately slide focaccia out of baking sheet onto a wire rack. Drizzle with any oil left in pan. Let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reviews (3)

  • RachelBCarroll 14 Jun, 2014

    I found this recipe when trying to use up some sour cherries from a tree in my yard. I cut the salt down to about a teaspoon at the suggestion of other reviewers. Yes, it does take some time, but this bread is totally worth it. It seemed like a strange combination but it's really remarkable, and also, just a good focaccia recipe in itself. Definitely worth a try.

  • weasel 11 Jul, 2012

    This bread was way too salty. Great combo used to top it but the salt overpowered the cherry, sugar, rosemary topping. Really great crispness to the bread. Might try it again with half the salt. It was disappointing to invest so much time and then be overwhelmed by salt.

  • dorryan 10 Sep, 2011

    This sounds like a strange combination, but it's absolutely wonderful! Not too sweet. And the focaccia recipe is so good that this is now my go-to recipe for rosemary focaccia (just leave out the cherries and use sea salt instead of sanding sugar).

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