Focaccia Finesse

Baking season is right around the corner and we thought it would be good to get warmed up with a little bread making. Little did we know, our friend Cambrea of @cambreabakes was a sheer genius when it comes to focaccia and has created a masterpiece, all starting with our grape nectar. Find out below how she uses Bored-O Blanc to make the focaccia of dreams and [BONUS] with a great make-ahead tip to cut day of proofing time!
 

focaccia

 

Our first attempt at focaccia making and we are so glad we had the guidance of the lovely, uber talented Cambrea. Cambrea was initially drawn to our two original blends: Bored-O Blanc and Bored-O Rouge and has experimented with them in her kitchen in many creative ways. We were especially enlightened to see her use our grape nectars in the form of bread making. As she states, she "uses the nectars every time [she] make breads and doughs now and won't ever go back!!" Her nectar of choice for bread-making is Bored-O Blanc wine grape sugar, as it has the most neutral flavor, but also a rich and warming finish. 

Cambrea also has used our Bored-O Rouge sugar alternative to prepare her Summer Fruit Galette (pictured below). Her talent and finesse with our grape nectars is mesmerizing and her attention to ingredient details as well as aesthetics has us craving more! Not only is she a trained pastry chef and grew up in a family of bakers, but she takes all of the food photography for her gorgeous website and social media. We highly recommend checking out her brilliance on her site!

Cambrea Bakes Galette

 

But on to the bread! Cambrea chose to make a preferment dough the day before, which saves a lot of time on proofing the day of baking. If anyone else is saying "what the **** is a preferment dough?", don't be worried! It's just a small amount of dough, simply made the day before with a portion of the warm water (but not too warm so the yeast doesn't die), yeast and flour left to ferment the night before, and will eventually go into the final dough. Make sure to do this step ahead of time for ideal final texture and flavor of your focaccia, as it is a step that is not always listed in many other focaccia recipes.

The magic comes in when the final dough is prepared the next day. The rest of the ingredients are combined, including the Bored-O Blanc Grape Nectar. Our sugar alternative's role in this recipe can be summed up perfectly by Cambrea: "I decided to use the nectar in the focaccia because of its light and citrusy flavor. The lower sugar content allowed the focaccia to rise slowly and develop more flavor in the dough." She simply mixes them all in the mixing bowl of her stand mixer, as seen below. 

focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar
 
 
She then mixes the dough on Speed 2 until it balls together, than increases to Speed 3 for two minutes (left). At this point, the dough is smooth and elastic, but not too sticky (right).
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar   
 
  
She then oils her baking pan very well (either square or round, left), removes the dough from the dough hook and folds it over itself a couple times (right). She leaves it in the pan and covers it with plastic to proof for about an hour.
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar   focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar
  
 
Like all good things, the dough takes time to rise. After an hour when it has nearly doubled in size, she uncovers the dough and pulls it apart and folds it back on itself four times to release the air (left). She flips it over and recovers the pan with plastic to proof 10 additional minutes (right).
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar   focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar
 
 
At this point, the dough is ready to prepare for baking. Cambrea stretches the dough to the edge of the pan with her fingers (left), then creates tiny air pockets with her fingers (right). She is also adding the heated oil, rosemary, and garlic mixture to the top of the dough with her hands as she is stretching, since the dough is sticky.
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar   focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar
 
 
Make sure to properly oil (it may feel like too much, but just add a little more!) before putting it in the oven. This is what her final dough in pan looks like (below).
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar
 
 
Leave the bread in the oven until it looks like this delicious golden brown goodness. And look at that rise - incredible! Cambrea told us she loved the focaccia so much, she made a second batch as soon as the first was gone!
 
focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar   focaccia bored-o blanc grape nectar

  

Cambrea, we are so honored that you chose our grape nectars to make your creations and we hope you continue to find new and exciting uses. We hope you at home take a professional's input to heart and try out your next dough recipe with our wine grape nectar as your sugar alternative. You can also find all of the highlights from her focaccia making experience on her Instagram here.

Cambrea was also so kind to say, "The grape nectar is honestly the best sweetener, so good i could just eat it with a spoon!" We couldn't agree more and hope you try out her recipe for your next socially distanced #DinnerParty

 

FOCACCIA FINESSE

Difficulty

Medium

Ingredients

MAKE AHEAD THE DAY BEFORE (Preferment Dough)
  • 1 3/4 c flour (measure out flour with a SPOON into the measuring cup, do not scoop directly from the bag otherwise your dough will be touch and dry!)
  • 3/4 c + 1 Tbsp luke warm water (~100F)
  • 1 tsp yeast
MAKE THE NEXT DAY (Final dough and bake)
  • 3/4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 c luke warm water (~100F)
  • 1 Tbsp Bored-O Blanc California Grape Nectar
  • 1/2 c Preferment Dough
  • 1 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh rosemary and roasted garlic cloves (optional for topping)
  • 1/8 c parmesan cheese (optional)

Preparation

MAKE AHEAD THE DAY BEFORE

  1. In a container, add the flour first, then yeast and water and mix to combine. 
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.

MAKE THE NEXT DAY

  1. In your stand mixing bowl, add water and yeast first to combine, then add grape nectar, oil, salt, preferment dough (there will be extra) and cheese (optional). 
  2. Mix with a dough hook on low (Speed 2) until the dough comes together. It will be sticky. 
  3. Turn up the speed slightly (Speed 3) and let it mix for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove the from the bowl and place on a very well oiled baking pan (Cambrea used a round cake pan and recommends oiling VERY well).
  5. Fold the corners of the dough into the middle, so that is forms a uniform smooth ball. Then flip it over, press it down slightly and cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Leave to proof for one hour at room temperature, or until it doubles in size. 
  7. Uncover the dough and lightly press it down to release the air bubbles. Stretch out the four sides, pulling it up and then laying it on top of itself. Flip it over and recover to proof it for another 10-30 minutes.
  8. In the meantime, heat some olive oil with rosemary and garlic (we prefer roasted garlic) in a pan to infuse. Cool the oil slightly and place it near your dough working station. 
  9. Uncover the proofed dough again and press the dough to form it to the shape of the pan. Make sure to oil your hands as the dough will be sticky. Continue pressing the sides outward until the dough is stretched out to the shape of the pan. 
  10. Stick your fingers in the dough to get the "holey" look. Sprinkle with additional olive oil mixture and cheese (if desired). Cover the dough and preheat the oven to 425F.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the top is a light golden brown color.
  12. Take out of the oven cool before cutting.
  13. Enjoy your fresh made focaccia!

Get Your Grape Nectar Today!

 


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