Dried Fruit Schiacciata with Rosemary, Orange and Anise

Think of this as focaccia on steroids. It's the mac-daddy of autumn flavors and textures. It combines savory and sweet elements and is a perfect start to a meal or a flawless ending. I like serving this with slightly sweetened ricotta cheese. The leftovers make for a killer breakfast - just warm it up a bit before serving!

Recipe courtesy Hedy Goldsmith
TOTAL TIME: 6 hr 15 min
Prep: 30 min
Inactive Prep: 5 hr
Cook: 45 min
 
YIELD: One 12-inch round
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups medjool dates, pits removed, cut in 1/4's
  • 1 cup dried black mission figs, stems removed, cut in halves
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt, such as Maldon
  • 1 tablespoon whole anise seed, toasted
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Directions

Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. To the oil add the toasted anise seeds, rosemary sprigs and tangerine zest. Allow to simmer, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and infuse the oil until cool, about 30 minutes. Strain and set aside. Can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the oil.

In a large mixing bowl sprinkle the 1/4 teaspoon yeast over 1/2 cup of the warm water at 100 degrees F. Let the biga, or starter, sit until slightly foamy and creamy, 5 to 6 minutes.

Stir in the 4 1/2 ounces bread flour, cover with plastic wrap. Place the biga in a warm area (or at room temperature) and let the dough rise until bubbly and doubled in size, about 2 hours.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, add the remaining 1/2 cup warm water and sprinkle the 1/2 teaspoon yeast over it. Let sit 5 minutes until creamy. Pour in the biga, all but 3 tablespoons of the infused olive oil and mix, about 1 minute. Add the 7 ounces bread flour, the chopped rosemary, sugar and salt. Mix the dough at low speed until it comes together, about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest, about 20 minutes.

Mix the dough on medium speed until it is elastic and smooth, 5 to 6 minutes. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set the dough in a non-drafty area and allow to double in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Punch down the dough, remove from the bowl and press the dough into a circle, about 12 inches in diameter. Place the dough on a lightly-oiled 12-inch-round pan or a lightly-oiled sheet pan. Press with fingertips into the dough making indentations.

Drizzle some of the reserved 3 tablespoons oil over the entire dough. Set aside the remaining oil.

Evenly distribute the cranberries, dates and figs over the dough. Lightly cover with a damp towel and allow to rise, 20 to 30 minutes. The dough will almost double in size.

Sprinkle the turbinado sugar, toasted anise seeds and sea salt over the fruit. Drizzle the dough with the remaining infused oil, place in the oven and bake until the internal temperature reads 190 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, 35 to 40 minutes. The bottom of the dough should have color and good structure.

Remove the pan from the oven, lift the schiacciata and place it on a cooling rack. Brush with the remaining infused olive oil. This is best served warm!

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