Concord grapes are one of the wonderful foods that late summer brings. A farmstand up the road from me always has a few quarts this time of year and I usually get one just to eat. The taste takes me back to my childhood at my grandparent’s house on the farm. They had a Concord grape arbor right next to the house and though Grandma made jelly and jam us grandkids were free to eat as much as we wanted. They have such a fun texture, pinch the end and the pulp slips right into your mouth then, real careful, feel for the seeds with your tongue and spit! So when I saw this recipe for Grape Focaccia with Rosemary on Smitten Kitchen I decided I had to try it!
I headed to the farmstand up the road to see if they had any Concord grapes yet. Hurray, there they were in all their purple spendor! I assembled the ingredients and spent a Sunday afternoon making focaccia for the first time. It wasn’t hard, especially if you have a mixer with a dough hook, but the rising does take time. I only borrowed this recipe so click over to Grape Focaccia with Rosemary for the full recipe on Smitten Kitchen. I did take some photos along the way, so you can see how it all progressed.
First of course you’ll be mixing water, yeast and milk then add olive oil, flour and salt. I bought this really nice KitchenAid Mixer a couple of years ago and can you believe this is the first time I have used the dough hook? So easy, I’ll definitely be using it more in the future. You’ll only be using 2 cups of flour so you’ll need the small bowl.
After kneading for 8 minutes scrape the dough into a bowl brushed with olive oil, brush the top with more oil and leave to rise for 1-1/2 hours, until it doubles in size. That will leave you plenty of time to seed the grapes.
This is the only labor intensive part of the job. Use a sharp knife and just flick the seeds out with the tip. You’ll be eating plenty while you work, they are so yummy! You need only a cup and a half, leaving plenty for you to eat and maybe some other people if you’re in the mood to share.
After the first rise punch down the dough, turn it out onto a floured board then divide the dough into 2 balls. Put the balls on an oiled pan or two and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Then pull each into a circle and allow to rise another 1-1/4 hour. It will be lovely and puffy as above. Looks like I need a bigger I’m pan. I know my pan looks bad but it bakes great – I bet you have one just like it. Maybe Santa will bring me some silicon baking sheets for Christmas! Now you get to decorate your focaccia…
… sprinkling with grape halves, rosemary, coarse sugar and coarse salt. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes and voila!
Grapey, salty/sweet goodness on crusty bread. Your house will smell wonderful, too.
We decided this looked like dinner and added some beef stick chunks made by Sand Farm, Gala apple slices from apples purchased at Secor’s Farm Market and cheddar cheese slices. And of course, focaccia made with the lovely Concord grapes from Klutznik’s Market up the road.
So if your mouth is watering and you have some Concord grapes (or know where to get some), click on over to Smitten Kitchen’s web site for the complete recipe. You will love her writing and her photos are much better than mine but I’m sure, thanks to her clear instructions, my focaccia tasted just as good!
Note: Later I found some seedless Concord grapes in a local grocery store. Hmmmmm, may taste as good but you lose the fun of spitting the seeds at your little brother!