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Cherry-Almond Focaccia

Cherry-Almond Focaccia is a soft and fluffy focaccia topped with sweet cherries and a delicate crunch from almond slices. Make this sweet focaccia for dessert or a special breakfast.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Course: Bread
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: almond, braided bread, cherries, yeast
Author: Lora

Ingredients

  • FOCACCIA
  • 1 1/3 cups warm tap water about 110 degrees
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • TOPPING
  • 2 cups drained pitted tart cherries in light syrup such as Morello plus 1 cup syrup (from a 24–28-ounce jar)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds with or without skins
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar I used turbinado sugar
  • quantities of cherries almonds, and sugar to taste

Instructions

  • DOUGH
  • In a small bowl, add the water and sprinkle the yeast on top of the water.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of the oil and whisk together. Set aside.
  • In large mixing bowl, add the flour and 3 teaspoons of salt; whisk together or mix together on low speed in your mixer.
  • Add the yeast mixture and about half of the flour mixture.
  • Stir with a rubber spatula until it is combined. Attach the dough hook to your mixer and add the remaining flour. Mix on low speed for about three minutes. If the dough seems to be too dry, add warm water a teaspoon at a time until you obtain a softer dough.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl (when I put the dough in the bowl I swish the dough around the bottom of the bowl and then flip it over so all of the dough is covered in a light film of oil).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature until doubled in size (about 1-1 1/2 hours).
  • Punch down dough. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet (about 16x12 inches) with 1 Tbsp. oil. Press dough evenly into pan, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.
  • Loosely cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel; let rise in a warm, draft-free area until puffed but not doubled in size, 45–50 minutes.
  • CHERRY SYRUP
  • Meanwhile, bring cherry syrup and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, until mixture is reduced to 1/3 cup, 8–10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a small bowl; let cool completely.
  • Arrange a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 400°. Using your fingertips, press dimples all over dough surface. Drizzle dough with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil. Scatter cherries over, pressing them gently into dough.
  • Drizzle reduced syrup over, allowing it to pool into nooks and crannies.
  • Sprinkle almonds over, then raw sugar. Let rise until dough is doubled in size, 15–20 minutes.
  • Bake until focaccia is golden brown, 20–23 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.