Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Raisin, Rosemary, and Cinnamon Focaccia

This focaccia is one that I have been wanting to make ever since my friend Wendy of Pink Stripes made it back in January. The recipe is from the book The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet, a great baking reference book, and has been skillfully adapted by Wendy.
This sweet focaccia was the perfect bread to bake for Bread Baking Day #22 - Sweet Breads hosted by Hefe und mehr.
I made mine slightly healthier by using half whole wheat flour and reducing the amount of turbinado sugar that I added at the end. The raisins offer the bulk of the sweetness of this bread, and the rosemary, far from being the oddball in this flavour combo, adds that lovely je ne sais quoi that keeps you munching. It's perfect with a morning coffee and some fresh fruit.

Raisin, Rosemary, & Cinnamon Focaccia
Adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Wendy of Pink Stripes

2 1/4 cups (18 ounces) warm whole milk (110 F to 115 F)
1 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
5 cups (25 ounces) bread flour (I used half whole wheat and half all purpose)
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) olive oil, plus more for brushing
2 cups (10 ounces) plump, sweet raisins
1/4 cup very finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar (I used about 1 tsp, and added mine after the bread was baked)

In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine warmed milk, sugar, and yeast. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the flour and let sit for 10 minutes or so until yeast is activated and foamy. Whisk in another 2 cups of flour and use paddle attachment and mix on low speed for 4 minutes.
Add raisins, olive oil, rosemary, cinnamon, and salt, switch to dough hook and knead until well blended. Add remaining flour and knead for 2 minutes. Scrape down sides and turn dough over in bowl to make sure everything is well mixed. Knead for another 2 minutes.
Lightly oil a tub or bowl and place dough, lightly coating it in oil, into it. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.
Prepare a 12″ by 17″ jelly roll pan by lightly brushing it with olive oil. (I used my Silpat) Scrape risen dough onto prepared pan and lightly punch down to release some of the air. Gently begin stretching and pressing dough to fit the length and width of the pan. If at anytime it seems like the dough is resisting, brush it with olive oil and let it rest for 10 minutes.
Brush the dough with olive oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until it is almost double in size approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Meanwhile place a baking stone in the oven and preheat it to 375 F.
Remove plastic wrap and dimple dough by gently pressing your finger tips into the dough.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until bread is a deep golden brown and registers 200 F on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer to a cooling rack and immediately brush with olive oil. Sprinkle dough with turbinado sugar. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
This bread has been Yeastspotted!