This is Richie eating his piece of focaccia for breakfast one morning. Notice the happy face he is making because he loves it so much. Also notice those pajamas. everyone likes sleepy lions.
But really, I served this for breakfast, lunch, and dinner to a number of people, and they all loved it. Though I made them taste it before I told them about the weird flavor combination. When I told people I was combining raisins with rosemary, they all thought I was crazy. The two ingredients don’t really sound like they go together. They’re a surprisingly great combination, though.
I loved baking this bread! Well, I love baking most bread, but since this one was so different than what I usually make, it was extra fun for me. Raisins, cinnamon, rosemary, and spreading it out over a whole sheet pan! The interesting flavor combination means that it’s good for any meal (though what bread isn’t?)
I made one mistake when I made this, though, and that was letting it rise in the fridge overnight covered with a towel instead of plastic wrap. It dried out just a bit, though none of the people eating it really noticed. It just made it a little harder to dimple the next day when I was ready to bake.
Want to make the dough one day and serve it fresh the next? Let rise (second rise) for only 20 minutes on the counter, then cover well with plastic and stash in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature (about an hour) before baking.
Also, it can easily be made pareve if you just use water instead of milk in the beginning.
Raisin, Rosemary, and Cinnamon Focaccia, from the Art and Soul of Baking:
- 2 cups raisins
- 2 1/4 cups warm whole milk
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 5 cups (25 ounces) all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 8 branches fresh rosemary, leaves removed, and very finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About 3 tablespoons sanding sugar
1. Combine warm milk and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Whisk in 1/4 cup flour by hand and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly and foaming.
2. Whisk in another 2 cups of flour and mix on low for 4 minutes.
3. Add the olive oil, raisin, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt to the dough.
4. Attach the dough hook and knead on low until well blended.
5. Add the remaining 2 3/4 cups of flour and knead for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and turn the dough over and knead another 2 minutes (don’t scrape down the sides of the bowl again!).
6. Lightly oil a bowl and scrape the dough into the bowl, coating with oil. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until doubled in size.
7. Put some oil on your fingertips and punch down the dough lightly.
8. Place on a 17 x 12 x 1/2 inch cookie sheet and lightly stretch the dough onto the corners. If it pulls back, wait 10 minutes until trying again.
9. Lightly oil the top with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until almost doubled in size, about 1 hour.
10. Place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 375 degrees. Make sure you really heat the stone for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
11. Remove the plastic and dimple the focaccia by pressing your fingertips in about 1/1 inch deep.
12. Sprinkle the dough with sugar.
13. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the bread is a deep golden color and cooked through.
14. Cool 10 minutes, then cut into pieces with a serrated knife.