Sweet Focaccia with Fruit

Source: Kate Leahy, Wine Style

Recipe Type: | Seasons: ,

One of my favorite things about dessert wines is how they can taste as though they contain an extravagant combination of citrus zests, toasted nuts, spices, and wildflowers, all bathed in honey and acidity. This recipe serves as a backdrop to explore dessert wines from outside of Europe, such as late-harvest Gewürztraminer, Moscato, or Semillon from the West Coast, Chile, and Australia, or ice wines from Canada or New York State. Baking fruit on top of focaccia gives the bread a caramelized sweetness that complements late-harvest wines but doesn’t outshine them. You can be flexible with the fruit depending on what’s in season, from cherries in late spring to sliced peaches, fresh figs, or seedless grapes as the year progresses. Pair with nutty, subtly sweet cheeses, like Cypress Grove’s Midnight Moon or aged Gouda.

Makes Two 10-Inch Focaccia | LATE HARVEST WINE


3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (440 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon instant yeast
11⁄4 cups (300 ml) room-temperature water
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
2 teaspoons kosher salt

2 cups fruit (such as pitted cherries, seedless grapes, sliced peaches, or halved fresh figs)
Generous 1 tablespoon granulated sugar or coarse turbinado sugar
Rosemary sprigs for topping (optional)
Flaky sea salt (optional)


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the flour and yeast. Add the water and 1 tablespoon of the oil and beat on low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 1 minute. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape any bits of dough off the paddle. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate.

Remove the towel and attach the dough hook to the mixer. Add the kosher salt and mix the dough on medium speed, stopping to reposition the dough as needed to ensure it kneads evenly on the hook, until smooth, about 4 minutes.

To make the dough by hand, in a large bowl, stir together the flour and yeast, then stir in the water and oil with your hands until a shaggy dough forms. Cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest for 20 minutes to allow the flour to hydrate. Dust a work surface lightly with flour, put the dough on top, and sprinkle with the kosher salt, rubbing it into the dough. Knead by pressing the heel of your hand into the dough and dragging it back, repeating this motion until the dough feels smooth to the touch, about 5 minutes.

 Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2 hours.

Brush a half-sheet pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Dust a work surface generously with flour. Dislodge the dough from the bowl and put it on top of the flour. Cut the dough in half, tuck the cut edge under, and pat each piece into an oval or rectangle 9 or 10 inches long and 7 inches wide, ensuring that the dough doesn’t stick to the work surface. Transfer the pieces to the prepared pan, spacing them 1 inch apart. Cover with a towel and let the dough rest for 30 minutes at a warm room temperature. (The top of the dough may get a little dry, but that’s okay.)

Using your fingertips, press the dough deeply to form dimples, spaced about ½ inch apart. Cover the dough again with a towel and let rise for 30 minutes at a warm room temperature.

While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 450°F. If using a baking stone, place it on the center rack of the oven before preheating.

After the dough has risen, put the fruit on top, pressing in the pieces to adhere. Brush the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with the sugar. If desired, distribute a few rosemary sprigs and a few pinches of flaky salt evenly across the top.

Bake the focaccia until the fruit juices have started to caramelize in places and the edges are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Let the focaccia cool on the pans and then eat warm or at room temperature. Leftover focaccia should be eaten by the next day or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat frozen focaccia in a 400°F oven until hot.

Reprinted with permission from Wine Style: Discover the Wines You Will Love Through 50 Simple Recipes by Kate Leahy, copyright © 2021. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Erin Scott.

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