Fresh Fruit Focaccia

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Fresh Fruit Focaccia

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Published prior to 2008

This dessert pizza is a recipe we’ve been fooling with for over a year now. It started out with a much sweeter dough, but that overpowered the fruit filling. We think we’ve finally achieved what we were looking for, a slightly sweet, light-textured dough that lets the flavor of the fruit and toppings be the star. Some of us think that the chocolate chips should be left off, but the contingent that likes chocolate with fruit wins out, so you be the judge.

Note: This is a very soft, sticky dough to knead by hand; if you have a bread machine or an electric mixer, use it! If not, butter or spray your hands and work surface with a non-stick pan spray to avoid kneading in too much flour.

1 3/4 cups (7 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or Mellow Pastry Blend
3 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) potato flour
2 tablespoons (3/8 ounce) Baker’s Special Dry Milk
2/3 cup (5 3/8 ounces) water
1 egg white, yolk reserved
2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon orange zest OR 1/8 teaspoon orange oil*
2 teaspoons vanilla*
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) soft butter

*Or substitute 1/8 teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia

1 egg yolk (reserved from above)
1/4 cup (2 ounces) light cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) sugar
pinch of salt
1 cup (1/2 pint, 4 1/2 ounces) fruit or berries (pitted, sliced cherries; blueberries; raspberries, or hulled, sliced strawberries work the best)*
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped pecans
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips or the flavored chip of your choice (optional)
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) coarse sugar or pearl sugar, to sprinkle over the top

*Large fruit should be sliced thinly; small berries may be left whole.

Manual/Mixer Method: Place all of the dough ingredients, except the soft butter, into a mixing bowl, or the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix—by hand, or with the flat paddle—till the dough becomes cohesive. Add the soft butter, and knead for 10 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a greased bowl, turning to coat, and let it rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until it’s doubled in bulk

Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients into the bucket of your bread machine, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Check the dough with about 10 minutes left in the final kneading cycle; it should have formed a ball, but should be very sticky. Adjust the consistency as necessary with additional flour or water. Allow the machine to complete its cycle.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface; as mentioned, it’ll be quite sticky, but should be pliable. Knead it briefly, form it into a ball, and roll it into a 14-inch circle. Transfer the round to a lightly greased baking sheet or pizza pan, and let it begin to rise while you prepare the topping.

Topping: Mix the egg yolk, cream, vanilla, sugar, and salt till smooth. Once the dough has risen a bit and is beginning to look puffy, layer it with the fruit, then sprinkle with the nuts and chocolate (if you’re using it). Dimple the dough all over with your fingers; wetting them first will help.

Drizzle the egg yolk and cream mixture over all, then sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake the focaccia in a preheated 375°F oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bottom is lightly browned and the cream mixture looks set. Remove the focaccia from the oven, and serve it slightly warm, while the chocolate is still gooey. Yield: about 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 1/8 of focaccia, made with blueberries, 108g): 294 cal, 12g fat, 6g protein, 28g complex carbohydrates, 14g sugar, 2g dietary fiber, 43mg Cholesterol, 188mg sodium, 219mg potassium, 66RE vitamin A, 4mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 44mg calcium, 103mg phosphorus, 6mg caffeine.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XIII, No. 5, Summer 2002 issue.