Rosemary Cherry Focaccia

by Molly Shuster

One of the easiest breads to make at home, this focaccia is light and crisp. A sprinkling of fresh rosemary perfumes the bread, while the turbinado sugar makes a crunchy, caramelized crust.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups warm water, divided
  • 2-1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. + pinch sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cherries, pitted (sweet or sour)
  • 2-3 springs rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar
Rosemary Cherry Focaccia

Elizabeth Cecil

Place 1 cup water and the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer along with a pinch of sugar. Let stand until creamy, 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the flour and mix with a paddle attachment until combined. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let stand 45 minutes.

Add the sugar, oil, salt, and the remaining 1/2 cup water and 2 cups flour. Mix on low until combined, then increase the speed to medium and beat for 5 minutes. The dough will be very wet.

Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Scrape the dough into the bowl and drizzle top with olive oil. Using your fingers, lightly smear the grease over the top making sure every surface of dough is covered. Cover with a clean towel and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.

Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan with olive oil. Scrape the dough into the pan and using your fingers, stretch so that it covers the bottom of the pan. Grease a piece of plastic wrap with olive oil and lightly drape over the pan. Let rise 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 425F. Dot the dough with your fingers to make dimple marks across the top of the dough. Scatter the cherries, pressing lightly so that they rest in the dough. Sprin- kle with rosemary and turbinado sugar. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Place in the oven and throw two ice cubes into the bottom of the oven to create steam. Bake 5 minutes. Throw two more ice cubes into the bottom of the oven and bake until focaccia is a deep golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Yield: 8-10 servings