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fruit focaccia three ways

I have needed my hands in dough a lot recently.  I have wondered a lot lately why I chose to be a geophysicist instead of a baker.  I know it has to do with the earth plates crashing together and the analysis of problems.  Bread dough, for me, is just not the same analysis.  There seems to be a lot more dough around here lately.

I read Nigel Slater's Ripe.  I like it because it is half a gardening book and half a cookbook.  Two of my interests in one!  I liked it so much I bought it for my shelf.  That is really rare anymore.

One of the recipes I had to try was his blackberry focaccia.  Of course, I made it my own by using sourdough and having to change it a bit for that but then I started changing the fruit.  Three different fruit combinations and three wonderful focaccias.  One, we ate as dinner it was so good.  The next, we ate over days.  The third, I used half the dough for a pizza type focaccia and the other for fruit.  Disappeared rapidly.  This is just a wonderful way to use fruit and a tiny bit of sugar to make a dessert (or snack or breakfast or tea) that is so full of flavor.

fruit focaccia

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup flour

4 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 cups water

6 - 8 ounces blackberries, or 4 ounces blackberries and 1 roasted apple, or 2 peaches

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablesoons sugar, fine granulated or brown depending on the fruit or flavor you wish

confectioners sugar for dusting.

The night before, mix the starter with 3/4 cup water and 1 cup flour in a large bowl.  Let sit overnight covered or at least 8 hours.  Take out two tablespoons to put in the frig to use as your starter next time.

In the bowl with the leftover starter, mix in the water, salt, and sugar.  Mix in 3 1/2 cups flour.  Gradually add in the rest of the flour until you have a soft dough.  Turn out on to a floured surface and knead until smooth.  Put back into a clean bowl, cover and let rise until double.  If the space is warm, this will take 1 to 2 hours.

Once it is double, turn it out and flatten it out.  Spread half the fruit over and knead gently in.  You do not wish to press out too much gas.  I put it on a baking stone and flatten it out.  Scatter the rest of the fruit on top.  Let rise until double once more.

Turn the oven on to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Drizzle the olive oil over.  Sprinkle the granulated sugar or brown sugar over.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden and crisp on top.  

Let cool enough not to burn yourself and dust with confectioner's sugar.

This one is blackberry.

This is blackberry and roasted apple.  I put the roasted apples in the dough and the blackberries on top.

This is the peach.  I used brown sugar as the sugar on top before baking.

These make my life happy.  I was thinking that if I could find some nicely ripe plums or figs I might just have to try those.  Or fig with pancetta.  This is the problem.  I just keep going!

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