The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Poolish Focaccia (Fruited)

This lovely bread is as versatile as they come.  Sweet or savory, take your pick.  I have never had a problem with this item.  It can turn an ordinary bread pizza into an extra special delivery.  Dimpled with a soft interior, you can bake it to crust as you wish, but take heed:  Easy does it when working with dried fruits.  I had a few causalities with my Chilean raisins, but I picked the bad boys off and served up the others, very happy that I had included them in my adventure.

Today found my neighbor having surgery, and therefore, housebound and recuperating.  I knew I wanted to send her a treat, but it wasn’t until I was building formula’s in my kitchen yesterday that I decided on a fruited option.  The Bread Baker’s Challenge, is the inspiration of Nicole, .   We gather to pursue the goal of baking our way through Peter Reinhart’s lovely book, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice .  Peter is master baker, instructor and author.  Visit his site,

Knowing that I’d be using tablespoons of olive oil in the dough (I did dimple the top of the bread with 1/2 cup of butter, choosing it over an additional amount of olive oil), it was a mental dance with taste flavors that helped me to decide upon my choice of fruits.  I didn’t want anything  fighting or challenging that lovely virgin olive oil taste within the interior.  So, as I settled into sleep last night, playing a game of what-ifs with flavor combinations, I stumbled upon my fancies of fruit and butter. 

I’ve baked Peter Reinhart’s Focaccia too many times to count, always choosing to make the initial recipe from, The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, but this bake was my first attempt at his poolish version.  This did not disappoint and will find itself amongst future bakes.  By creating a poolish, retarding and using it in a second or third day bake, you find yourself unlocking flavors beyond those of the same day focaccia bread(s).

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Forming the dough into a rectangle with the aid of a few folds.  Pretend that this is rectangular in shape.  Okay?  ;)

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Lord, have mercy upon me. 


Is there anything more beautiful than fruit, nuts and chocolate?


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This is the landscape of my dreams:

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It ain’t burnt, it’s toasty, roasted and gooey with chocolate in spaces that fill places.  :)

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Forget the Kit-Kat bar.   Give me focaccia!

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The almonds were toasted atop the stove in a tablespoon of butter, slowly.  Once they began to expand a bit, I added a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.  All-in-all, I toasted those little babies for about 40 minutes.  They were then cooled and forcefully hit upon their noggins with a rolling pin.  (They were hiding in a plastic bag, but the rolling pin found them.  Oops…Ouch! )



Winging it with fruit, nuts and chocolate

  • 2 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate (Ghirardelli)
  • 4 Calimyrna figs (chopped)
  • 10 dried California apricots (chopped)
  • a small fist of Chilean Flame raisins
  • another fist, this time a gathering of cinnamon-sugar/toasted almonds (crushed & broken)

~ by coffeegrounded on September 4, 2009.

3 Responses to “The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, Poolish Focaccia (Fruited)”

  1. Wow! Amazing combination with the chocolate, nuts and fruit. Am very tempted to re-do this one since my first try was merely so-so.


  2. I will have to try this combination. I have already made two versions of this bread. Now, it will have to be a third. Great imagination.


  3. That is such a thoughtful gift for your neighbor. It looks amazing. Great combination of ingredients and the chocolate is the glue that hoilds it all together. Brilliant!!


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