THIS IS NOT A DESSERT! You will undoubtedly get very excited when you see the blueberries and think – Oh Boy, something akin to pie! NOT!! This FOCACCIA WITH BLUEBERRIES is indeed a type of bread which can be served successfully with salad, grilled meats and fish etc. This focaccia offers a savory use for the beautiful seasonal blueberries we all enjoy. Yes, there is a slight natural sweetness to the blueberries, but it is offset by the cheese and lack of added sugar to make a delicious bread alternative to your meal. It is incredibly delicious and will be the surprise at your Italian table.
This is a great way to use your fresh blueberries, and I emphasize that this is NOT a sweet bread or dessert by any means. The blueberries really work in this and give a terrific twist to your tried and true focaccia.
A word about Focaccia: Focaccia is an excellent start for anyone who is interested in dabbling in bread making. It is easy to make and does not require a long kneading time. It is almost foolproof. Also, it is quite versatile in that you can make almost any type you might like and have fun changing the flavor by adding different herbs and ingredients to suit your taste. It gives the false impression that you spent hours in the kitchen preparing it, after engaging in some complicated method of creation. This is utter nonsense, as you will see, by trying the recipe!
Fontina is a very creamy soft cheese made from cow’s milk and is both nutty and earthy in flavor. It melts easily and creates an oozy delicious cheesy flavor to any dish in which it is used – a good reason for its frequent use in fondue. Fontina is made mainly in the northern regions of Italy, especially the Alpine regions. It is much stronger in flavor in Italy than the Fontina made in other countries.
So “gather ye blueberries while ye may”along with yeast, and Fontina, and after plucking some fresh sage from the garden, head straight to the kitchen for the performance which will earn you the title of Queen for a Day among your family and guests.
FOCACCIA WITH BLUEBERRIES
Makes: one 9 x 13 pan of focaccia
Prep: 20 minutes + 1 hour 45 minutes rise time
Bake: about 15 minutes until golden
1 cup lukewarm water
1 envelope Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Honey
1 Cup Flour
1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 3/4 Cups Additional Flour mixed with 1 tsp. Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp. Fresh Sage Leaves chopped small
Drizzle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Grated Fontina Cheese
1 Tbsp. Chopped Fresh Sage Leaves
Begin by mixing the water, yeast, and honey in a bowl, and letting it sit for about 5-6 minutes.
Mix in 1 cup flour and the 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil, letting it sit again for about 5-6 minutes.
Then add the 2nd addition of flour (1 3/4 Cup) with the salt, and 2 Tbsp. Sage Leaves.
Open your hand with your fingers apart and swirl the mixture until it comes together as in biscuit making. Knead for about 5 minutes until it becomes a ball of smooth dough. You can add a touch more flour if needed but not too much.
Rub the ball of dough with a couple of drops of olive oil and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel and set aside for the first rise for about an hour and 15 minutes.
Then punch down and remove from bowl spreading the dough with a floured hand in a 9×13 oiled pan. Dimple the top with your finger. Cover again with a towel and let it rise a second time for about 30 minutes. The second rise will not be as great as the first.
Drizzle with the Extra Virgin.
Then sprinkle the blueberries on top.
Sprinkle the grated Fontina and the 1 Tbsp. chopped sage over the top.
Finally sprinkle with a little coarse salt.
Bake at 450 degrees for about 12-15 minutes until golden on the top.
Slice before serving. Give it an extra drizzle of Extra Virgin. This is always best eaten the same day although the leftovers are divine!
FOCACCIA WITH BLUEBERRIES is not difficult to make, and the result is beautiful to serve, offering a very different bread idea.
PARLA COME MANGI!
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