Blackberry Mascarpone Focaccia with Basil

We wanted to sneak in some summer berries before apples and pumpkin take center stage (and also take over the internet). This delicious focaccia bread is based on a recipe from Edd Kimber’s beautiful new cookbook, One Tin Bakes; his version uses fragolina grapes and rosemary. But I had blackberries in my fridge that needed to be used, some leftover Master dough, and my basil plant is currently larger than life, so Blackberry Basil Focaccia was born.

This focaccia is sweet: it’s dolloped with mascarpone and sprinkled with sugar, and the results are amazing. You will want to eat this the day it’s made, and I highly recommend digging in while it still slightly warm.

Blackberry Mascarpone Focaccia with Basil

Inspired by Edd Kimber’s One Tin Bakes

For the mascarpone topping

1/2 cup [4 ounces] Mascarpone

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a small bowl, mix the mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla together until combined.

For the focaccia

1 1/4 pounds dough, Master recipe, from New Artisan Bread in Five

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup blackberries, chopped

4 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Pour two tablespoons of olive oil into a quarter sheet pan (a 9 x 13 pan will work, too) and use a pastry brush or your fingers to to rub it all over the base and up the sides of the pan. Place the dough into the pan, coating the bottom with oil, then turn the dough over so that both sides are coated in oil. Using your fingertips, gently spread the dough into the pan in an even layer. If the dough resists, let it rest a few minutes and try again, until the dough is nestled into the pan and into the corners. Lightly cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 425F. Gently dimple the dough with your fingertips.

Scatter the blackberries evenly over the dough, then sprinkle the turbinado sugar over the top (it will look like too much sugar).

Dollop the mascarpone mixture over the dough, and then drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Bake the bread for 18 to 25 minutes, or until light golden.

Scatter the basil leaves over the top of the hot bread. Move the pan to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove the focaccia from the pan and let cool on a wire rack (this helps it stay crisp).

Cut the bread into squares and serve. Best eaten the same day it’s made.

Cheesy, Spinach and Egg Boat

Once in a while I make a decision that seems like a fantastic idea, then it terrifies me and then proves to change my life. Agreeing to write Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day with Jeff in 2005 was one such moment. Recently, I gave my dad a gift that falls into the same category. He has been going into the BWCA (Boundary Waters Canoe Area) on the Minnesota/Canada border for decades. He’s gone alone, he’s taken my brothers, he’s taken my sons, but I have never gone. To say I am not a camper is an understatement. I like memory foam and a thread count on my sheets that you can’t buy at REI. So, when I asked him to take me camping in the BWCA, he was thrilled and booked the date before I could change my mind, which I have considered many times. I am so excited, slightly terrified and I’ve heard many people say this is a trip of a lifetime. I have no doubt I will come back a changed woman.

My dad came over to start planning our big canoeing adventure, so I figured a cheesy, spinach and egg boat was a fitting lunch. This savory flatbread is featured in our The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book, made with our whole wheat master recipe. Today I made it with brioche dough and it was fantastic. It’s a really fun flatbread, that is easier than you think to make and will jazz up a breakfast, lunch or brunch. It may or may not change your life, but it will add joy! (more…)

Homemade Matzoh in 18 Minutes Flat – mixed, rolled and baked!

Homemade Matzoh | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

This week is the start of Passover and there will be a lot of matzoh consumed. Does anyone really love the taste of matzoh? I would guess not, unless you have a penchant for eating cardboard. I have very fond memories of eating matzoh with my grandparents at Passover, however it wasn’t the taste as much as the tradition. But, that doesn’t have to be the case if you make homemade matzoh. It is one of the easiest and fastest flatbreads there is. In fact, it is dictated by Jewish tradition that matzoh be made in 18 minutes. The Jews had 18 minutes to flee Egypt and therefore didn’t have time to let their bread leaven. They mixed the dough and baked it right away. This recipe makes 6 good-sized matzoh, which is just the right amount for a small gathering and you’ll be able to mix, roll and bake in 18 minutes flat. If you need more than that, I recommend getting your friends or family to help with the rolling and have a couple of baking stones on the ready. Obviously this won’t be Kosher for Passover, but if you are okay with that, it is the BEST matzoh you will ever eat. Even if you can’t partake during Passover, I recommend you try homemade matzoh another day.

And, I suggest everyone, of any faith, or none at all, try this bread, just because it is fantastic!

(more…)

Garlic Fougasse

Garlic Fougasse | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

This is the season of soup. It’s cold outside here in Minnesota and there’s nothing better than a cup of hot soup. Oh, and there’s all that leftover Turkey to deal with and the beautiful butternut squash proliferation at the grocery store. To go with all that soup you’ll be making, there’s nothing better than homemade bread. This fougasse is a traditional French flatbread. It is both crispy, due to all that crusty surface and tender on the inside. It’s like a fancy breadstick. Because it is a flatbread, it is faster to make, since you have such a short resting time. My husband made a big batch of butternut squash soup from Amanda Paa’s new book Smitten with Squash. To go with the aromatic soup, I added lots of chopped garlic to the bread dough and the result is fantastic. (more…)

Focaccia Bread, Two Ways!

meyer lemon + thyme focaccia | bread in 5

My family loves eating bread, but some evenings, after school, work, and afternoon activities, there isn’t much time to bake a whole loaf in time for dinner. We recently re-discovered focaccia bread, however, and it has been a quick way to put bread on the table.

Focaccia is terribly delicious; it’s a perfect accompaniment to pasta or soup, and it even makes great afternoon snack. While focaccia can be topped with all kinds of ingredients, we prefer ours rather simple: onions and rosemary scattered on an olive oil-dough flatbread. We even keep the ingredients light to promote nice browning, and the results are a well-flavored bread with a crisp crust. If you’re feeling more adventurous you can try our Meyer lemon-thyme version; Meyer lemons are much sweeter than regular lemons and are a delicious option.

(more…)

The Flatbread Braid, New Video: How to Braid a Flat Circle

Braided

Zoe did a great post last month on a traditional braided loaf (made with peasant dough). I thought now might be a nice time to do a new video (it’s way at the bottom of this post), showing one of my favorite techniques, the flatbread braid. Flat or traditional tall, these techniques also work great with challah or brioche dough (but you need to bake those lower temp (350F) because of the egg and sweetener in the challah or brioche). As in the photo, you can turn around a straight braid to make a very festive ring, and I topped it with egg wash and poppy seeds. This dough is about 50/50 whole wheat and white flour, which is a wheatier version of the Light Whole Wheat (you don’t have to use the “old” dough). The 50/50 recipe appears in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day(more…)

Olive Oil Flatbread with Asparagus and Caramelized Onion Spread

olive oil flatbread with asparagus and caramelized onion spread | bread in 5

The asparagus season is short, and since we’re on the very tail end of it, working it into a flatbread seemed like a good idea. Technically this might just as easily be a pizza, since there is sauce, some cheese, and a heaping of vegetables. Either way, it’s a delicious dinner. The caramelized onion spread is sweet, and adds a nice backdrop of flavor. The asparagus is peeled into ribbons, and this technique helps them bake easily, leaving a tender bite and a subtle flavor. Goat cheese lends just a bit of tang, and if you happen to have chives growing in your garden, topping it all off with chive flowers makes a beautiful presentation.

(more…)

Thanksgiving Leftovers Torta

Thanksgiving leftovers

No matter how big your Thanksgiving feast is or how many people are gathered around your table, chances are there’s more leftovers than you know what to do with. Here is a way to use the extra turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, plus anything else that graced your holiday table and make it into something new. We feature an Italian Torta recipe in Artisan Pizza in Five, but why not swap out the layers for all those leftovers? It is tasty and gorgeous and goes together in a flash if you are cleaning out the fridge of all those half empty tupperware containers. (more…)

Flatbread Sandwiches: Cool Kitchen, Hot Summer Meal

Here in Minneapolis we have been having a heat wave, and while grilling out can be a great way to keep the kitchen cool, some days it’s just too hot to even do that. So we came up with a quick and easy meal to help beat the heat, a dinner that just requires some stove top time and easy prep.

(more…)

Fougasse, stuffed or plain: New how-to video

Thanks for being patient with my roasted red pepper obsession.  Above, dropping the scorched peppers into a bowl to steam (see last week’s post on roasting your own peppers).  But now the embarrassing part:  I shot the video on a different day from pepper-roasting time, so I stuffed the fougasse with with tomato and cheese.  So it’s really fougasse in the pizza margherita style.  But you get the picture, or at least, the video: