I'm Elyse. Some of my most vivid and cherished memories are around a table with friends and family, and I want that for you, too.
What are you in the
Can I share something super “inside” about this whole food blogging thing? There are weeks when I feel really good about a recipe: It tests well, is fairly straightforward, and gets the thumbs up from both me and Andrew. But, that momentary burst of happiness comes and goes when I realize that now I need to photograph said recipe.
While I consider myself a fairly creative person, I am not a natural at much of anything. This means I often end up in a ‘fake-it-til-you-make-it’ cycle where I get progressively more frustrated with myself for never feeling like I ‘made it’. This is my relationship with photography. I’m constantly feeling like none of my images are “right” and behind the curve in this ever-expanding food blog business. It can all be a little disheartening.
Part of me genuinely wishes I could just treat the internet like my IRL friends where I simply text them a recipe, followed by “SO GOOD!” and then, they make it. No pretense required. Just unfiltered deliciousness.
Now, before I get too down on myself, I have to remember that no one asked me to do this and that all these little challenges are good for me. Plus, the part I like—the recipe writing—I genuinely love. It legitimately fills my cup, even if no one sees it.
That brings me—finally—to this week’s recipe: Blackberry and Nectarine Focaccia.
Making Blackberry and Nectarine Focaccia
This bread is THE thing to bring to a spring/summer brunch. It is salty and fluffy with bursts of fruit and sprinklings of herbs and extra salt—making it the ultimate breakfast bread. Double bonus points if you cut the loaf crosswise and add brie, prosciutto, arugula, and balsamic vinegar—a truly out of this world sandwhich.
If you have ever been intimidated by bread baking, start here. You basically mix your ingredients the night before, allow them to ferment, and then flop the whole thing onto a well-oiled sheet tray before one last rise. No muss. No fuss. If I’m hosting Sunday brunch at 10, I like to start the dough at about 6 pm the night before. That way I can get it stretched around 8 am, in the oven at 8:45, and cooling by 9:20—freeing me up for any non-bread related brunch baking.
Our recipe today is adapted only slightly from Samin’s beautiful recipe for Ligurian Focaccia on Salt Fat Acid Heat. Her recipe is quite frankly, perfect. And if you have a bowl large enough and aren’t interested in putting fruit in your bread, do yourself a favor and give it a try—she’s the GOAT for a reason!
Whether you eat this as an open-faced sandwich or in hunks, dipping it into olive oil and balsamic, I hope you enjoy! If you are looking for other bread recipes, give these a try:
Sweet, salty, and fluffy, this focaccia has it all! Bring it to your next brunch for the ultimate side dish.
For the focaccia:
300g lukewarm water
1/2t active dry yeast
400g all purpose flour
1T kosher salt
25g + 4T extra virgin olive oil (plus more for topping)
1/2 a nectarine
1T granulated sugar
4 sage leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
For the brine:
3/4t kosher salt
In a medium bowl, whisk together the water, yeast, and honey until the honey has dissolved.
In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Pour the yeast/honey mixture in along with the 25g of olive oil. Stir with a rubber spatula, cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel, and let sit for 12-14 hours.
Once the dough has fermented, spread 3T of olive oil onto a baking sheet. Use your hands to release the dough from the bowl, fold it over itself, and gently plop it onto the sheet. Pour 1T of olive oil over the dough and begin gently stretching it until it reaches about 1/2 inch in thickness. (If the dough proves to not want to stretch, let it rest for about 10 minutes and try again.)
Make the brine by whisking together the water and salt until the salt has dissolved.
Use your fingers to make the classic focaccia indents by pushing your fingertips in at an angle all over the dough. Pour the brine over the top and allow it to sit in those wells you just made. Cover with a clean dish towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 45 minutes.
While the dough is resting, chop your blackberries into halves (quarters if they’re large) and slice your nectarine (while enjoying the other half as a snack). Add your fruit to a bowl and sprinkle sugar ontop, giving it a quick stir/mash to release some of the juices. Let sit while your dough finishes its rest.
At 30 minutes into the proof, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Adjust the rack to the center. If you have a baking stone, pop it in there. If not, you can flip over a second baking sheet and achieve a similar effect.
When you are ready to bake, arrange your fruit on top (reserving the liquid that pooled at the bottom of the bowl). Finely chop your sage and rosemary and sprinkle the herbs over the dough as well.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
The moment it comes out of the oven, drizzle a little more olive oil on top and sprinkle some extra salt on for good measure. Use a spatula to gently release the focaccia from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes before digging in.
Optional: Use the reserved berry/nectarine juice by whisking it into some balsamic. Add this berry balsamic to a plate of olive oil for a truly great dipping sauce.
Is the yeast on this right? It’s the same as Samin’s but half the water and flour
Hi! Sorry for the delayed response. Yes, I keep the 1/2 teaspoon of yeast. I have found that it creates a few more bubbles inside the finished product, which I like since I’m a BIG fan of that chewy texture. However, typically 1/4t of active dry yeast to every 500g of dough is a good rule of thumb for stuff like focaccia and pizza dough, so I imagine you could totally get away with using less. I hope this helps!