Hello friends! It feels I’ve been avoiding this space for the longest time… but I’m bringing focaccia! A sweet, raisins studded, soft and dreamy focaccia. Am I forgiven?
Truth be told, this isn’t a recipe I developed myself. I didn’t get my hands into the dough either. Instead, I politely asked the boyfriend to perform his baking skills in front of the camera, thus allowing his whining girlfriend to take plenty of pictures and film a video, too.
Shall we appreciate for a moment the beauty of male arms and hands working with bread dough? I think there’s something utterly fascinating in them. Not only because they’re my fiancé’s, of course.
I tasted this focaccia once, when Domenico baked it for the first time for his mom and brought me a piece. She used to eat a sweet focaccia with raisins and honey as a child – that’s where the inspiration for this recipe comes from.
The original recipe calls for white flour, caster sugar and whole milk. I (politely, of course) asked the boyfriend to use some spelt flour instead, as well as almond milk in place of cow’s, and use coconut sugar for the outer, crunchy and sweet layer. We’re after a health food blog, of course, aren’t we?
We were so focused on the shooting part, that we forgot to add salt to the dough. But you should. And it will be delicious. I’m sure you know by now that salt does add to the sweetness of baked goods or other desserts, so you definitely don’t want to leave it out even though the recipe is sweet.
Speaking of sugar, the dough itself isn’t sweetened (that’s because we should’ve added salt). Raisins and a generous sprinkle of coconut sugar are to be worked into the dough, resulting in a sweet, oozing caramel that bursts in your mouth with flavor. And the whole thing will be so addictive, you’ll have a hard time stopping at one piece.
If you don’t feel very comfortable with baking, fret not. This dough is very forgiving, and everything will happily leaven and develop flavor as the focaccia bakes.
You can adjust the flour and water ratio as you go. Just trust your hands. After a few minutes you should be able to tell if you’re doing it right or not, because the dough will gain strength and start cleaning the bowl while you knead it.
You should feel it smooth, elastic yet soft. If it feels tough, add a little more water or milk. On the other hand, if it keeps glueing to your hands, add a little flour.
My favorite part? The sizzles and oozing juices that welcome you when you’re about to pull the focaccia out of the oven. And the smell of freshly baked bread, with a hint of subtle sweetness coming from the caramelised sugar, and the aromatic notes from the olive oil.
Shall we bake together?
Oh! In case you missed them, here’s yet another food tale. I just couldn’t resist. Having a model and cook to work with is a luxury over here – for personal works at least. It doesn’t happen often… better take advantage of any chance!
Do you like to bake? Share your experience with me on instagram, or comment below if you liked this recipe. I’m also on pinterest, bloglovin’, food52, and YouTube. See you there!
A sweet take on focaccia, with the complex flavor of spelt flour, a full load of raisins and a luscious brown sugar + extra virgin olive oil coating.
- 250 g unrefined bread flour
- 150 g spelt flour
- 100 ml almond milk, unsweetened
- 1/2 sachet dry yeast
- lukewarm water, as needed
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 4 tbsp water
- 50 g brown sugar
- 100 g raisins, soaked in water
To a small bowl, add yeast, 1 tsp brown sugar and enough warm water to dissolve the mixture. Let sit for a few minutes.
Add flour to a large mixing bowl. Moisten with almond milk, then add in the yeast mixture, 2 tbsp olive oil and work the dough into a soft yet elastic ball, adding more warm water as you go if it feels tough. Add salt, then knead for 10 minutes.
Oil a baking pan very well.
Place focaccia dough straight into it and shape it to form sort of a square with your fingertips. Cover with a damp towel and let proof at least four hours in a warm place.
Place raisins to soak and soften in a bowl of hot water for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200 C.
Carefully remove risen dough from the pan and oil the surface once again.
Using your fingertips, work the focaccia to cover the whole tray.
In a small bowl, whisk together oil and water, then pour the mixture onto the focaccia, massaging with your fingertips.
Sprinkle brown sugar and raisins on top, and gently press them into the dough.
Pop the tray into the oven and bake until the top is golden brown and sizzling, about 30 minutes – but check for doneness at 20′!
Let cool, then slice and serve.