Sourdough Focaccia with pickled grapes, speck and thyme is a deliciously crusty and chewy flatbread with a light crumb and big bursts of flavor from the bold toppings.
I have two words for you — Picked Grapes! Wow, they are my new obsession. I’m so happy that Sneha, our hostess for today’s BreadBakers event, chose this creative topic. She asked us to use grapes, dried or fresh, baked in the bread of our choice.
Looking for inspiration, I Googled around for savory recipes using grapes. I came across a number of recipes, mostly for salads, using Pickled Grapes. I was intrigued.
I made a quick batch, altering the mix of spices to my taste, and put them in the fridge for the night. I tasted them the next day and it was love at first bite. I can’t wait to try pickled grapes in all sorts of other dishes.
You’ll notice that the grapes in the photos are speckled. Although I got the grapes in our farm share, this is not a special variety of grape. According to the farmer, the speckles were due to the hot and rainy growing season. But the speckles didn’t affect the flavor at all. In fact, I kind of like they way they look like little specked eggs.
I thought a salty/fatty topping would accent the tangy/sweet flavor of the grapes, so I added some chopped speck. A little fresh thyme for a fresh herbal note was the perfect final touch.
Because of the sweet, sour and salty combination, I think Focaccia with Pickled Grapes and Speck is a perfect brunch dish. A slab of this bread would be wonderful next to scrambled eggs or an omelet.
Helpful hints for making Sourdough Focaccia with Pickled Grapes:
- Make the pickled grapes 1-2 days before you’re going to bake the bread. They can be made up to a week in advance.
- It is possible to mix this dough by hand, but it’s much easier on a stand mixer. If mixing by hand you can use a bench scraper or plastic bowl scraper to help lift and move the dough.
- I used a sourdough bread as the base of this focaccia. If you don’t have a sourdough starter you can follow the bread recipe in this post instead. For future recipes I urge you to either buy or make a starter of your own. The flavor and texture difference is worth the effort, believe me.
- My starter is replenished with equal volume of water and flour (e.g. 1/2 cup water & 1/2 cup flour). That makes my starter 166% hydration. It is the texture of pancake batter. You might need to adjust the amount of flour used in the recipe based on the hydration of your starter.
- I found the following schedule worked really well for this 2 day recipe: I mixed the dough in the afternoon/evening of day one (say a Friday or Saturday). I let it sit at room temperature (with the hourly folding and flipping) until bed time.
- I put the dough in the fridge for the night and took it out early in the morning because I wanted to enjoy this bread for breakfast. If you want to bake the bread for later in the day just take the dough out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before the time you want to serve the bread.
By breakfast time I had warm, fresh Sourdough Focaccia with Pickled Grapes & Speck. Heavenly!!!
Thanks to Sneha of Sneha’s Recipe for hosting this event. Check out these other fabulous bread recipes featuring grapes in all forms:
- Buccellato di Lucca from Gayathri’s Cook Spot
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread from Food Lust People Love
- Cinnamon Raisin Rolls from Ambrosia
- Golden Raisin Walnut Bread from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Mini Raisins Buns from Sneha’s Recipe
- Roasted Grape and Pear Kuchen from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Red Wine Rosemary Bread from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs
- Sausage and Cambozola Pizza with Arugula and Grapes from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Sourdough Focaccia with Pickled Grapes and Speck from Baking Sense
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
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