Focaccia with Cherries, Honey and Thyme

Focaccia with Cherries, Honey and Thyme

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Servings: 8

Although we would never turn down a good cherry pie, there are so many other ways to showcase these popular stone fruits, including this sweet-and-savory focaccia. We dot the top of the flatbread with cherries, then finish it with a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of fresh thyme after baking. A cherry pitter will make fast work of pitting the fruit.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 1/4 cups (1 lb. 14 oz./850 g) bread flour
  • 2 1/2 cups (20 fl. oz./625 ml) room-temperature water (70° to 74°F/21° to 23°C)
  • 3 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) warm water (95°F/35°C)
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. kosher salt
  • 7 Tbs. (3 1/2 fl. oz./105 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh or thawed frozen cherries, pitted
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Honey for drizzling
  • Fresh thyme sprigs and leaves for garnish

Directions:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, room-temperature water and 1 1/2 tsp. of the sugar and beat on low speed until a shaggy dough forms, about 3 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape down the dough hook and sides of the bowl as needed to incorporate all of the flour. Cover the bowl with a towel and let stand while preparing the yeast mixture.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. sugar until combined. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the towel from the mixer bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the yeast mixture and beat until the liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add the kosher salt, increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is very elastic and sticky, about 5 minutes. It will pull away from the sides of the bowl but will remain attached to the dough hook and the bottom of the bowl.
  • Coat the inside of a large bowl with 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Scrape the dough into the prepared bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 2 1/2 hours.
  • Coat a rimmed baking sheet (about 18 by 13 inches/45 by 33 cm) with 2 Tbs. of the olive oil.
  • Fold the dough over itself twice in the bowl to deflate slightly. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Using oiled hands, gently stretch the dough out to the edges and corners of the pan. If the dough springs back toward the center, cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes, then repeat to stretch the dough. Cover the pan with oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  • One hour before baking the focaccia, remove from the refrigerator and let stand in a warm spot for 1 hour.
  • Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C).
  • Remove the plastic wrap from the pan and drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil. Using oiled fingers, press your fingertips firmly into the dough to make deep dimples over the entire surface. Arrange the cherries on top, alternating them with the dimples and pressing the cherries down slightly into the dough. Sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt.
  • Bake until the focaccia is deep golden brown all over and the cherries have collapsed slightly, 20 to 25 minutes; halfway through baking, lightly drizzle the dough with more olive oil.
  • Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let the focaccia cool for 10 minutes. Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with more flaky sea salt, and garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and leaves. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 8.
  • Williams Sonoma Test Kitchen

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