I already hear you thinking “Kati, the photos are nice but isn’t your blackberry rosemary focaccia a little overbaked (read burnt)?” And I hear you. I like my photos too. But the answer to the second part is “no”. Though when I took the focaccia out of the oven I also thought I went a little too far with my desire to add some crunch to the otherwise more velvety texture of most focaccia breads. And then I panicked for one second and the next I google “Is there such a thing as crispy crunchy focaccia”. Turns out, that’s how the original focaccia is supposed to taste like. Well, almost.
Because most of the original or traditional focaccia recipes want you to put a good amount of olive oil in the bottom of the pan. The result is a flavorful and crunchy focaccia. Nancy Silverstone’s (James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Chef) basic focaccia recipe is the proof. She travelled all the way to Italy to learn how to make a great Italian focaccia.
So while you can decide if you want your next focaccia to be crunchy or not (scroll down to the recipe if you want to start right away), let’s keep on chatting a little more, shall we? I’ve said it before and I say it again but kneading dough is very therapeutic to me. Also, in comparison to many other recipes I never feel as accomplished as I dough with bread. There is just something magical about the whole process of the right ingredients at the right time, spending minutes just massaging the dough and then patiently waiting for the dough to rise.
I do appreciate these recipes and moments more and more. There used to be a time when all I wanted was a quick meal. At the expense of taste and variety. So I would have some sort of veggie stew or stir fry every single day. The second I left my own kitchen and went out for dinner, lunch or breakfast I would indulge in everything I didn’t eat at home. So it’s not that didn’t appreciate good food. I just didn’t see much value in actually taking time to prepare a meal. This blog has taken my mindset to a whole new level. I still won’t stand in the kitchen for hours. And I still cherish quick and easy yet flavorful recipes. But every now and then I bake bread, make pasta from scratch or take the time to make my own pizza dough.
It’s my kind of meditation. Something I’ve also been wanting to get back at for the longest time ever but you know. Life and one’s weaker self. So instead I knead dough. And I spend less time online and on Instagram. Because the less time I spend scrolling and browsing the web, the more inspired I am. Isn’t that a funny situation. Platforms like Instagram were created to seek inspiration and yet it’s often draining and exhausting. At least when you want to be active and share your content.
Inspiration is all around us. I kind of have to relearn that again. The other day I took my daily walk and passed by the fruit vendor who was selling the juiciest and biggest blackberry. I bought a few boxes and by the time I got home I somehow knew that I wanted to make Blackberry Rosemary Focaccia. It’s like the ones with cherry tomatoes just a little fruitier. I checked Pinterest if someone had done that combination before and I couldn’t find any recipe. So here we go, an internet recipe inspired by the offline world 🙂
Italian Crispy Blackberry Rosemary Focaccia
- 300 ml / 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- 1 package / 7 g active dry yeast
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 500 g / 4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil + 3 tbsp and more for drizzling
- 2 tsp flaked salt
- 6-7 big blackberries
- 3 spring fresh rosemary
- To active yeast, combine sugar, lukewarm water in a small bowl and add yeast. Let it sit for 10 min or until yeast is foamy.
- Place flour and salt in a large bowl, add the yeast mixture and 2 tbsp of oil. Gently stir with your hand until it forms a dough. On a floured surface knead for 8-10 min.
- Return dough to bowl, cover and let it rest for 60 – 90 min or until it’s double in size.
- In the meantime, wash and finely chop the rosemary and mix with 3 tbsp of olive oil. Let it sit until dough is ready.
- Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.
- Get the dough out of the bowl and divide in two parts.
- On a floured surface roll it out into a large rectangle until the dough is 1.5 cm / 0.5 inch thick.
- Cover the dough with a towel and let it sit for another 30 min.
- In the meantime, thinly cut the blackberries crosswise into 3 – 4 slices.
- Preheat oven to 220 °C / 400 °F.
- Remove towel and use your fingers to poke deep dents. Press the blackberry slices into those dents.
- Drizzle the loaves with the rosemary oil and spread it with a brush or your fingers. Sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Bake for 20 min but turn up heat very high the last 3-5 min. Be careful not to burn it 🙂
- Slice and serve warm.