This delicious focaccia makes for a fabulous breakfast or brunch bread. Ring the changes with whatever fruit is in season. Blackberry and apple, apricot and almond, banana and blueberry, cherry and chocolate, pear and grape. The combinations are endless and they’re all scrumptious.
For the dough:
625g all purpose flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups warm water
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
2 heaped teaspoons salt
For the topping:
6 or 7 nectarines
1-2 punnets raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon Brandy, Rum or Angastora Bitters
1 teaspoon cinnamon
250g tub of Ricotta Cheese
Rosemary, Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sea salt to finish
Make the dough the night before: Combine the olive oil, warm water, yeast and honey in a large bowl. Stir well to dissolve the yeast and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Measure out the flour and salt and stir to combine.
When the yeast is frothy, start adding the flour gradually stirring with a fork until all the flour is used and you have a raggedy dough. Place the dough in a large bowl that has been coated with olive oil. Turn the ball of dough in the oil to coat, then cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours. (I did 15 hours with no harm).
When you get up the next morning, take the dough out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature while you prepare the fruit.
Cut the nectarines into 1cm wedges and place in a bowl with the sugar, cinnamon and brandy. Stir well and set aside till ready to bake. I add the raspberries just before I need them because they are reasonably delicate and also, I don’t want to stain the nectarines with raspberry juice.
Preheat the oven to 200 deg Celsius. Oil your hands and take the dough out of the bowl. Give it a few kneads (1-2) minutes then press out onto a paper lined roasting dish. Oil the paper with some olive oil. If you press the ball flat and then leave it to rest for 10 minutes or so, you will find it doesn’t spring back quite so much. Keep pressing gently until the dough fills your roasting dish (approx 30x40cm).
Once the dough is stretched out, cover the surface with little scoops of ricotta. Then add the raspberries to the nectarines and layer them over the ricotta. Leave any excess juice behind. Sprinkle over fresh rosemary leaves and bake the focaccia for 25 to 30 minutes, until the underside is dark golden brown. Cover with foil if the fruit is starting to burn.
Remove from the oven and brush with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.