The ancient Italian bread 'focaccia' is thought to be named for the words for 'focus' or 'hearth' in Latin and Greek.This bread delights with slices of fresh fig bathed in a lemon-sugar mixture and baked until crisp. Crème fraiche is the finale.
1 (0.25-ounce) package active dry yeast or 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup olive oil
6 ripe figs, thinly sliced
1 fresh lemon, juice squeezed and peel grated
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Crème fraiche for accompaniment
- Lightly grease or oil a large mixing bowl; set aside.
- Add warm water (105 to115°F / 40°C to 45°C) to a small bowl; sprinkle yeast over surface of water. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil (reserve remainder) and stir. Allow mixture to sit for about 5 minutes or until yeast foams.
- Meanwhile combine flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add yeast mixture. Stir for 2 minutes, or until well combined. The dough should be a bit sticky and pull away from sides of bowl. Add more flour if necessary.
- Lightly flour a flat surface, place dough onto surface, kneading for 1 minute. Roll dough into a ball; place into prepared (large) bowl. Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise for 1 hour at room temperature until doubled in size.
- Remove dough from bowl; knead it once more on a lightly floured surface. Return dough to bowl, cover and allow to sit for another 10 minutes.
- Cut dough into 6 pieces and shape into balls. Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll dough into small rounds. Let dough rounds sit for another 10 minutes.
- In a medium bowl combine fig slices, juice and grated peel from lemon with sugar. Brush focaccia with remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Fan fig slices on top of each focaccia.
- Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven for 20 minutes, or until focaccia is golden brown. Cool and cut into wedges. Serve topped with crème fraiche.
Makes 6 servings.