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Tuscan Foccacia with Grapes

This recipe is a bit of work, but I must tell you that you will never experience anything quite like it. You'll find yourself celebrating the harvest season annually by baking this Italian treat.

2 1/2 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons Chianti wine
2 teaspoons Suzanne's Specialties Maple Rice Nectar
1/2 cup warm spring or filtered water
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup semolina flour
1/2 cup extra virgin olive or avocado oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 cups Concord or wine grapes
1/2 cup granulated coconut sugar

Stir together yeast, wine, rice syrup and warm water in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Let stand about 10 minutes, until the yeast is bubbly. Mix flours together. Stir in 1 cup of flour (the mixture will be lumpy), cover bowl with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 40 minutes. 

Stir in oil, 1 1/2 cups of flour and sea salt and mix until a sticky dough forms. Flour a dry work surface and knead dough (gradually adding up to 1/2 cup more flour to keep dough from sticking) until dough is elastic, but still soft, 8-10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a large, oiled bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly to release any air trapped in the dough. Cut the dough in half. Roll out 1/2 of the dough, (keeping the other 1/2 covered) with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rough 10-x 12-inch rectangle. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 10 x 15-inch baking sheet with sides and gently stretch dough to cover as much of the pan as possible. Scatter the dough with 1/2 the grapes and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the coconut sugar.

Roll out remaining piece of dough to match the first and lay it on top of the grapes, stretching to cover them. Scatter remaining grapes over the top and sprinkle with remaining coconut sugar. Press grapes gently into dough. Cover pan with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the foccacia on the middle oven rack until well-browned and firm in the middle, about 45 minutes. After baking, loosen the sides with a spatula and transfer from the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8-10 servings. 


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