This amazingly light bread has a thin crisp top crust with a fine layer of of aromatic rosemary and sweet grapes. Its delicately flavored moist, tender crumb; its top is golden and sparkling with crystals of salt and sugar. Serve with good cheese, like Gorgonzola or Roquefort, it makes a perfect cheese-and-fruit course. Or snack on a warm slice with espresso in the afternoon, a glass of wine in the evening.
Note: If you can’t get Concord grapes, substitute red or black grapes.
- 3/4 cup (177 ml) warm water (105° to 110°F)
- 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) milk, slightly warmed
- 1 1/2 tsp (6 grams) sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp (5 grams) active dry yeast
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp (3 grams) pink Himalayan salt
- 6 – 8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups halved Concord, red or black grapes, seeded
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary needles
- 2 Tbsp. (8 grams) raw or another coarse sugar
- 2 tsp coarse sea salt
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together the water, milk, sugar, and yeast. Let the mixture sit until foamy, about 10 – 15 minutes. Add the flour, salt and two tablespoons of the melted butter to the yeast mixture and mix well on low. Attach the dough hook, raise the speed to medium-low and knead the dough for 8 – 10 minutes longer.
Brush a large bowl with a generous amount of melted butter. Scrape dough into the bowl and brush the top with additional oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a cool place until it doubles in bulk, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Press the dough down with a floured hand. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and divide it into two balls. Brush a large baking sheet (or two small ones) with melted butter, place the balls of dough on it and brush the top with more butter. Set it aside for 20 minutes, lightly covered with a damp kitchen towel. After 20 minutes, dip your fingers in butter and press and stretch each ball of dough into a 8 to 9-inch circle. It will be dimpled from your fingers. Cover again with the damp towel and let it rise for another 1 1/4 hours in a cool place.
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush tops of dough with remaining butter and top the grapes, rosemary, coarse sugar and coarse sea salt evenly over the dough. Bake for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and puffed around edges.
Let cool before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Inspired by Claudia Fleming “Last Course“