Red Grape & Fennel Seed Focaccia

My focacce have no claims to Italian authenticity. They date from the time when we were developing a range of flatbreads to add variety to the breads we had on offer to customers. They were designed to fit 11 inch pizza tins. They are handy because you can get away with a two hour prove as opposed to the usual three and a half and so can be sneaked into the nooks and crannies of the baking day.

Mix all the dough ingredients and knead using your normal method. If you’re new to baking check out the Sourdough pdf under the Library Menu.

Form into a rough ball, place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover. Allow to ferment for about four hours stretching each hour for the first three hours. This is not essential but will improve the dough structure.

Alternatively ferment overnight in the fridge.

Roughly shape the dough into a ball. Oil a pizza tray or similar, place the ball in the centre, folds down, and press out into a circle – not too far – the final diameter will be about ten inches – press it out about half way.

Cover and rest for an hour.

Press the dough out until approaching its final size – not all the way because adding the topping will press it out further.

If the grapes are large cut them in half lengthways. Press them into the dough cut side up – keep small grapes whole. Cover again and leave for a further hour.

Preheat the oven to 250C. Oil your hands and press the grapes into the dough with the flat of your hands. With oiled fingers dimple the dough to stop it ballooning in the heat of the oven. Sprinkle the dough with a good scattering of fennel seed and a little sugar. Bake for 20-25 minutes reducing the temperature to 200C after 10 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack.

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