FOCACCIA SERVED WITH MARSALA AND GRAPE AGRODOLCE WITH MASCARPONE
1 tsp (5 ml) instant yeast
1¼ cups (310 ml) + 1 tbsp (15 ml) water, divided
3 cups (750 ml) bread flour
3 tsp (15 ml) salt, divided
5 tbsp (75 ml) olive oil, divided
1 tbsp (15 ml) fresh rosemary leaves
¼ cup (60 ml) halved red grapes
1 cup (250 ml) mascarpone cheese
MARSALA GRAPE AGRODOLCE:
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 medium shallot, finely diced
2 tsp (10 ml) salt
2 cups (500 ml) red grapes
½ cup (125 ml) honey
½ cup (125 ml) white wine vinegar
¼ cup (60 ml) Marsala
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tsp (5 ml) fennel seeds
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in 1¼ cups (310 ml) water. Add flour, 1 tsp (5 ml) salt and 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil. Stir to combine until no dry flour remains. It will be very sticky and wet. Cover bowl with a damp tea towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- With wet hands, grab 1 side of dough and fold it into middle of dough; repeat on remaining 3 sides. Cover and allow dough to rest for 30 minutes. Repeat folding of dough twice more. Then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, grease a 10-in (25 cm) round cast iron pan with 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil. Pour dough into pan, cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Gently stretch dough to fill pan. Cover and allow to rest for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
- Arrange rosemary on top of dough, then gently press grapes into dough. Mix remaining 2 tsp (10 ml) salt with remaining 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil and remaining 1 tbsp (15 ml) water. Sprinkle mixture over dough, then press fingers into dough, all the way to bottom of pan. Repeat to poke holes all over dough. This will form the dimples of the focaccia. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before serving. Place mascarpone in a shallow bowl. Spread around with back of a spoon and top with ¼ cup (60 ml) of Marsala Grape Agrodolce.
- MARSALA GRAPE AGRODOLCE: In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat, add shallot and salt and cook until shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and cook until liquid reaches consistency of thin maple syrup, about 25 to 35 minutes, depending on stove. Watch closely near end to ensure it does not burn. Allow to cool, remove thyme sprig and transfer to glass jar. Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 month. Makes 1 cup (250 ml)