Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cherries and raisins with the boiling water; let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the fruit, reserving 1 cup of the soaking liquid; set the fruit aside.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the soaking liquid; set aside.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the beater paddle, combine the flour, granulated sugar, yeast, salt, and cinnamon; mix just to combine. With the mixer on low speed, add the soaking liquid/olive oil mixture and the fruit. Mix until the fruit is evenly distributed, but the dough is still tacky, about 3 minutes.

  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for 1 minute.

  5. Prepare your choice of two 8" round pans or one 9" x 13" pan: pour 1/4 cup of the olive oil into the 9" x 13" pan, or divide it evenly between the two round pans. Place all of the dough in the larger pan, or divide it evenly between the two round pans.

  6. Grease your hands and spread the dough out as much as possible without tearing it.

  7. Grease your hands and spread the dough out as much as possible without tearing it.

  8. Cover the dough and let it rest, pressing it out every 10 minutes until it fills the pan; this may take up to about 40 minutes. Then let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, place a baking stone in your oven and preheat it to 425°F.

  9. Just before baking, grease your fingers and press dimples into the risen dough. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and sprinkle the Demerara sugar over the top. Set the pan(s) directly on the stone and bake until the focaccia is deep golden brown on the top and bottom, 25 to 30 minutes.

  10. Remove from the oven and transfer from the pan(s) to a rack to cool. Cut into wedges or squares using a pizza wheel or serrated knife, and serve warm.