- 2 1/4 cups water room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dry yeast
- 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour plus
- 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup seedless red grapes rinsed, patted dry
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus
- Additional olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- Yellow cornmeal as needed
- 1/4 cup coarsely-chopped walnuts
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar see * Note
- Coarsely-cracked black pepper to taste
* Note: Also called turbinado or demerara sugar; available at natural foods stores and most supermarkets.
For Dough: Combine 3/4 cup water and 1/4 teaspoon yeast in medium bowl. Add 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour and whisk until smooth. Cover and let stand at room temperature 3 hours. Refrigerate starter at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.
Combine starter, 1 1/2 cups water and 1 teaspoon yeast in large bowl of heavy-duty mixer fitted with dough hook. Beat 1 minute. Add salt and remaining 3 3/4 cups flour. Beat 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and dough hook. Continue to beat until very soft, slightly sticky dough forms, about 5 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes. Scrape dough into large oiled bowl; cover with plastic. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare Topping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine grapes, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1 teaspoon thyme in medium bowl; toss to coat. Turn mixture out onto small rimmed baking sheet. Roast until grapes begin to burst, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on sheet.
Sprinkle large baking sheet lightly with cornmeal. Turn dough out onto prepared sheet. Using floured fingertips, pull and spread dough to approximate 18- by 10-inch rectangle. Press dough all over with fingertips to dimple. Brush dough with additional oil. Sprinkle with grapes, then remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, walnuts, rosemary, and lemon peel. Sprinkle with raw sugar and lightly with coarsely cracked black pepper. Cover loosely with towel; let rise until light and puffy, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake focaccia until golden brown, about 25 minutes. Transfer to board; brush edges with oil. Serve warm or at room temperature.
This recipe yields 12 servings.