Focaccia is a slight modification of pizza dough, baked in a flat pan, topped with sea salt and sometimes herbs. My local Safeway has a jalapeno and asiago focaccia which is highly addictive (my version will follow soon) . Focaccias are great on their own, or split , stuffed with meats and cheeses and grilled to make great paninis!
These little nuggets are crusty on the outside, tender and chewy on the inside and sweet from the dried fruits! The dough is a modified version of my pizza dough recipe. These bites are best served hot/warm. Simply pop a cold one in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before serving. Any leftover bites can packed up in a ziplock bag and frozen.
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/4 cup chopped dates (about 3-4)
2 tablespoons orange liquor, such as Grand Marnier
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
Toss together first 4 ingredients in a small microwavable bowl , microwave on high for 45 seconds, stir and cool to room temperature.
Whisk flour, yeast, salt and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and water, stir together with a spatula for a few seconds , knead with a dough hook for about 3-4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Dump dough onto a counter, combine dried fruits and knead until all fruits are incorporated into the dough. Shape into a ball, place in a large bowl (brush the inside of the bowl with some reserved olive oil), wrap with a clean kitchen towel , place in a warm spot in your kitchen and let rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until double in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
Dump risen dough onto a counter, divide into 12 equal balls , place each ball in a muffin cup, cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for another 30 minutes. Brush top of dough with the remaining olive oil , sprinkle sugar , bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden . Remove from oven , let pan cool on a wire rack.
Serve focaccia bites hot or warm with the best salted butter you have on hand .
Makes 12 bites