What would the world be like without grapes? To start with we would be missing a tasty and healthy natural snack. We would also be missing one of the finest beverages of all – wine. It is no secret I do my part in contributing to the economy via the wine industry. A glass of wine a day keeps me happy and thank goodness it has health benefits too. Occasionally I buy grapes for snacking or to put in salads. I haven’t baked with them until now. Grape Focaccia is my first bread with them and I know it will not be the last.
Grapes get sweeter when they bake. The flavor is more concentrated too. I was curious to see how they would taste after I put the focaccia in the oven. A couple of them rolled off as the bread was rising. I’m glad I thought ahead and put a big sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom rack to catch any drips or spills. Anyway, I had to taste a baked grape so I picked one off after it cooled a little. It was like eating jelly only that it still had grape texture. I’m really thinking about roasting or baking grapes by themselves because I enjoyed it so much.
Grape Focaccia is not difficult to make. It is a from-scratch, homemade yeast bread. The hard part, kneading, is done by a mixer. You do not have to roll out or shape the dough. All you have to do is use your fingers to spread it out in the pan after the first rise. It’s fun to create those classic indentions on the top by pressing into the dough with your fingertips. Poke away and make those wells for olive oil to soak in the bread. Oh, and use the best extra-virgin olive oil you can find. It is such a big part of focaccia and you should not skimp out on flavor by using extra-light or mediocre oil.
How is the focaccia? It is taller/thicker than most I’ve seen. That could vary depending on the size jelly roll pan you use. It has a soft texture on the inside and crispy edges. Fresh rosemary and thyme flavors are throughout with heavenly sweet grapes on top. I used black seedless grapes because of it being October and thinking of Halloween coming soon. Red or green ones, or a mixture of them, works too.
Have you baked with grapes before? Whether you have or not, you may be inspired to do so after you check out the below list of recipes by Bread Bakers. Our host this month, Stacy of Food Lust People Love, chose grapes as the theme and I’m so glad she did. Oh, and for a non-bread recipe with grapes take a look at my Chicken Salad on Endive.
- Beaujolais Bread from Robin at A Shaggy Dough Story
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Rocío at Kidsandchic
- Double Chocolate Red Wine Bread from Heather at Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Easy Grape Focaccia from Kimberly at Rhubarb and Honey
- Golden Raisin and Fennel Sourdough Pocket Bread from Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Grape Bread Pudding from Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Grape Cornbread from Vonnie at My Catholic Kitchen
- Grape Focaccia from Renee at Magnolia Days
- Oat and Raisin Hokkaido Loaf from Kelly at Passion Kneaded
- Peshawari Naan from Anshie at Spiceroots
- Povitica from Stacy at Food Lust People Love
- Raisin Bread from Caro at En La Cocina de Caro
- Red Wine Poached Pear Brioche Tart from Sophie at Sweet Cinnamon & Honey
- Savory Grape Bread with Goat Cheese, Lemon and Sea Salt from Jenni at Pastry Chef Online
- Schiacciata all’uva from Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Sweet Dry Grapes Bread with Cinnamon from Kathya at Basic N Delicious
- 1 2/3 cup water
- 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 ounce
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1/2 to 3/4 pound seedless grapes cut in half lengthwise
Use shortening or olive oil to well grease a large bowl.
Heat water to 100 to 110 degrees F. Stir together warm water, yeast, and honey in the bowl of a heavy-duty stand mixer. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Add flour, salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil. Mix on low speed using the flat beater until combined (about 30 seconds to 1 minute). Change beater to dough hook.
Add thyme and rosemary and knead with dough hook for 5 minutes at the speed recommended by your mixer's manufacturer for using the dough hook (usually medium-low to medium speed). Dough may be sticky.
Place dough in the greased bowl, turning to coat dough surface. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled.
Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil in a jelly roll pan. Use your fingers to press down and into the edges of the pan. Use the tips of your fingers to make indentions in the dough.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm draft-free place for 1 hour.
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F while dough is on the second rise.
Scatter grapes over dough and drizzle remaining 1/4 olive oil on top. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
A recipe for Grape Focaccia, a homemade yeast bread topped with seedless grapes and flavored with fresh rosemary, thyme and extra-virgin olive oil.
Recipe adapted from one in Southern Living Magazine September 2014 issue.
What is Bread Bakers? It’s a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Bread Bakers Pinterest Board. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page.
How is the monthly theme determined? We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
Would you like to join in the fun? If you are a food blogger, send an email with your blog name and url to Stacy at foodlust[email protected].