Harvest Focaccia

To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven.

Herbed Focaccia with grapes and tomatoes
It's October... and along with lengthening shadows, falling leaves and a general sense of slowing down that this time of year brings, the time to reap is here. 

And what better way to celebrate this harvest season than by baking a Harvest Focaccia with the last crop of ingredients gathered from my vegetable garden... The last few tomatoes off my vine, grapes from a neighbor's arbor and oregano, thyme, rosemary and basil that I had harvested and dried out a few weeks ago are the key ingredients to this fragrant bread.

This simple herbed focaccia, baked in a skillet, is so easy to prepare. Wonderfully aromatic and deeply satisfying, the combination of salty parmesan cheese and tomatoes with the sweet, juicy macerated grapes offers a delightful balance of salt and sweet, that will make it difficult to stop with just one slice.


HARVEST FOCACCIA RECIPE



INGREDIENTS:

☐ 1 package (1/4 ounce) instant fast rising yeast
☐ 1 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
☐ 1 teaspoon sugar
☐ 2 cups all-purpose flour
☐ 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
☐ 1 teaspoon salt
☐ 1 teaspoon garlic powder
☐ 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
☐ 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
☐ 1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
☐ 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
☐ 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
☐ 1 small tomato, thinly sliced
☐ 6 medium size red grapes
☐ 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

METHOD:

1.  Prepare the yeast mixture
  • Dissolve a  teaspoon of sugar in a glass of warm water. Sprinkle in yeast, cover with a cloth and set aside until a foam develops.

2. Prepare the herbs
  • Herbs: In a mortar and pestle grind all the dried oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil.
  • Set aside 1/2 teaspoon for sprinkling later.

3. Form dough
  • In a large bowl blend flour, salt, herbs, with a whisk.
  • Make a well in the flour, add the tablespoon of oil and pour in the yeast mixture.
  • Mix with a wooden spoon to form a smooth dough.
  • Knead in bowl for 5-6 minutes with your hand and form a ball.
  • Place the ball of dough in a clean, greased bowl and give it a quick swirl to coat the entire dough with a layer of oil.

4. First rise
  • Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).
  • Gently punch dough down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Grease a 11 inch wrought iron skillet with oil and place the dough in the center.
  • Press dough out evenly to cover the entire base of the skillet.
  • Press lightly oiled grapes into the dough.

5.  Second rise
  • Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes (Dough should ideally be 1/4 to 1/2 inch from the top of the skillet after rising).
  • Brush dough with remaining oil; arrange sliced tomatoes over the top, sprinkle with cheese and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of dry herbs. 

6. Bake
  • Bake at 425°F for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let skillet cool for 20 minutes.

Inspired by:
https://www.marthastewart.com/1536316/grape-focaccia
https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/tomato-herb-focaccia/

If you would like to try your hand at creating beautiful artwork on focaccia bread, click on my post  How to Make Focaccia Bread Art., to learn how to do it.

This bread goes really well with my Butternut Squash Harvest Soup.


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