Concord grape & thyme foccacia

Concord grape & thyme foccacia

By
From
The Desserts of New York
Makes
2
Photographer
Alicia Taylor

I had the extremely good fortune of living 10 minutes from Union Square Greenmarket, the city’s beloved farmers’ market that runs four days a week, year round, even in the depths of winter, which meant that every time I walked past, I’d grab something sweet to eat then, or bake with later. It was the best.

Come late summer, dark purple, floral-flavoured concord grapes (a native American grape species) are in abundance. New York chefs put them in all manner of desserts, from La Newyorkina’s popsicles to Four & Twenty Blackbirds’ pie, and locals go, well, bananas for them.

So I bought my first-ever bunch, plus fresh thyme, with plans for this rustic fruit foccacia, inspired by those I’d savoured at epicurean Italian food hall Eataly and Williamsburg hotspot Lilia. Somewhat savoury and just sweet, it’s a gorgeous morning or afternoon snack that allows fine produce to shine.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 teaspoons dried yeast
2 teaspoons caster sugar
160ml lukewarm water
225g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Topping

Quantity Ingredient
40g unsalted butter, chopped
55g caster sugar
1 bunch concord or other black seedless grapes, grapes picked
10 small thyme sprigs

Method

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook and set aside for 5 minutes or until frothy. Add the flour, salt and olive oil, and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic (the dough will be very sticky). Shape into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  2. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Using floured hands, knock back the dough and divide into two portions. On a lightly floured work surface, shape each portion into a 15 cm round (don’t worry if it’s more oval, it’s supposed to be rustic), then transfer to the prepared tray. Set aside in a warm, draught-free place for 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the topping, place the butter and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted (you don’t want to dissolve the sugar as the crystals give a crunchy topping). Gently spread most of the sugar mixture evenly over the dough all the way to the edges, taking care not to deflate the dough. Press in the grapes and scatter over the thyme sprigs, then carefully spread over the remaining sugar mixture.
  5. Bake for 22 minutes or until the top is golden and the bread is cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool slightly, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tags:
Desserts
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