Appetizers Cooking Desserts Miscellaneous

Cherry-Almond Focaccia

This recipe was on the cover of Bon Appetit this month, and I thought it looked delicious. A sweet dough with tart cherries, almonds, raw sugar and a syrup made from the cherry juice on top. Yummm. I made the dough on Friday night and finished the recipe on Saturday morning. Everyone thought it was delicious, from kids to adults. I’m thinking of making another batch to bring to Easter dinner at my dads.

Cherry-Almond Focaccia

Recipe from the April, 2012 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. 

Serves 16

Ingredients
Master Sweet Dough
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups drained pitted tart cherries in light syrup (such as Morello) plus 1 cup syrup (from a 24–28-ounce jar)*
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
3/4 cup sliced almonds (with or without skins)
1/3 cup raw sugar

*Tart cherries in light syrup can be found at some supermarkets and at Middle Eastern markets and sahadis.com.

Preparation
Punch down dough. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet (about 16×12 inches) with 1 Tbsp. oil. Press dough evenly into pan, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45–50 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring cherry syrup and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; let cool completely.


Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 400°. Using your fingertips, press dimples all over dough surface. Drizzle dough with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Scatter cherries over, pressing them gently into dough.


Drizzle reduced syrup over, allowing it to pool into nooks and crannies. Sprinkle almonds over, then raw sugar. Let rise until dough is doubled in size, 15–20 minutes.


Bake until focaccia is golden brown, 20–23 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Master Sweet Dough

Makes 1 pound, 10 ounces dough

Recipe from the April, 2012 Bon Appetit

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (from one 1/4-ounce envelope)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon, melted

Preparation

Heat milk in a small saucepan over medium heat or in a microwave until an instant-read thermometer registers 110°–115°. Transfer milk to a 2-cup measuring cup; stir in 1 Tbsp. sugar. Sprinkle yeast over milk and whisk to blend. Let sit until yeast is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs; whisk until smooth.

Combine remaining 4 Tbsp. sugar, flour, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If making Vanilla Cloverleaf Sweet Rolls, scrape in seeds from vanilla bean. If making Apricot-Anise Tarts, add aniseed.) Add milk mixture. With mixer running, add 1/2 cup room-temperature butter, 1 piece at a time, blending well between additions. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Knead on medium-high speed until dough is soft and silky, about 5 minutes.

Brush a medium bowl with some melted butter; place dough in bowl. Brush top of dough with remaining melted butter; cover with plastic wrap. Do Ahead: Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover with plastic; chill.

Let dough rise in a warm, draft-free area until doubled in size, 1–1 1/2 hours (or 2–2 1/2 hours if dough has been refrigerated).

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