Almost Blueberry Pie: Sourdough Focaccia With Chocolate And Blueberries

This was a totally experimental bake. Based on no recipe (getting used to that) and merely determined by my desire to explore the limits of sourdough, when having no limits is what I really expect from it (and sometimes from myself).

So here is what I did. I took a pretty large amount of bubbling liquid leaven and mixed it with the typical ingredients used for a sweet dough: eggs, milk, sugar, and butter. Added some chocolate drops. Spread over some butter, cinnamon and sugar. Filled with fresh Swedish blueberries now in season -thank you Ornella for inspiring me to use fresh fruit with sourdough- and prayed the Gods for a rise.

Looks like the miracle happened, notwithstanding this was the final attempt to use my old oven before ordering a new one. Tough decision that I have been postponing as this gubbe (old folk in Swedish) was still capable of baking some amazing stuff. But, alas, I have to surrender to the evidence: only the upper part of the oven is functioning. The bottom part is dead. May rest in peace. So if you wonder why of the uneven color in my sweet focaccia (white on the bottom and very brown on top), here you go.

Looking forward to repeat the experiment with a functioning oven. And in case you own one, here is the method.

SWEET SOURDOUGH FOCACCIA WITH CHOCOLATE AND BLUEBERRIES

you need

dough: 330 g liquid leaven*, 1 egg+1 egg yolk (76 g), 280 g milk, 680 g bread flour (I used stone ground organic), 60 g sugar (I used unrefined organic), 60 g butter, 2 teaspoon powdered vanilla sugar, pinch of salt, 3 handful chocolate drops.

filling: 70 g butter, 70 g sugar, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon powdered vanilla sugar, 350 g fresh blueberries.

plus 1 egg, 1 tablespoon milk, for the egg wash; melted butter for the final touch (after baking).

*liquid leaven: the night before baking, take out 34 g (1.2 oz) of 100% hydration active sourdough starter and mix it with 204 g (7.2 oz) water plus 165 g (5.8 oz) of bread flour. This can be used 12 to 16 hours later.

how to

combine the levain, the milk and the eggs, then add the sugars and the flour. Knead by machine for 3-4 minutes (by hand for about 8 minutes) at low speed. Let rest covered with plastic wrap for  1/2 hour. Uncover, add the butter at room temperature in pieces and knead for further 4-5 minutes at slightly higher speed. Take out of the bowl and knead in by hand the chocolate drops.

Place in a deep bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 and 1/2 hours. Line two deep baking dishes of the same size and shape, one with parchment paper (put butter in the pan, the parchment will adhere perfectly to it) and the other with a kitchen towel. Divide the dough in two parts, with one part being somewhat bigger than the other, and spread with your hands the bigger dough piece in the pan lined with parchment paper (that is going to be the bottom of the focaccia). Do the same with the smaller piece of dough in the pan lined with the kitchen towel. Cover with plastic foil and let rest for 2 hours or until you observe a consistent rise. Preheat the oven to 230 degrees.

Prepare the filling by whisking the butter at room temperature with the sugars and the cinnamon. Uncover the risen dough pieces and gently spread the cinnamon butter over them.

Place the blueberries (make sure they are not wet) only over the bottom dough piece (the one lying on parchment paper).

With the help of the kitchen towel, remove the dough piece without the blueberries (the one that will have to go on top) from the baking dish and flip it over the other dough piece (the one covered with blueberries). The cinnamon butter should be on the inside. Now seal with your hands the edges of the filled focaccia.

Make an egg wash whisking 1 egg with a tablespoon of milk and gently brush the focaccia with it. With the tip of your fingers make some little holes in the dough.

Bake at 230 degrees (Celsius, 446 Fahrenheit) for 10 minutes, then lower to 190 degrees (Celsius, 374 Fahrenheit) and bake for further 20 minutes. Passed this time, remove the focaccia from the pan and bake for further 20-30 minutes (depending on the oven) with the top covered with foil (so it won’t burn).

As soon as the focaccia is out of the oven, brush with melted butter. It will make the top softer and shiny.

CONSIDERATIONS: It is now one year that I started this blog. And one year since I started to be interested in baking bread. And it is also one year since I started my own sourdough culture…. which now can also make pies. We all loved this focaccia-pie and I had to seriously fight to take a picture of the first slice (which you can see above). Next time, hopefully with a functioning oven, I will add more chocolate drops. Blueberries go so well with chocolate… but what really doesn’t?

This bread will participate to the weekly collection of yeastspotting. Thank you Susan!

CONSIDERAZIONI: E’ passato un anno da quando ho cominciato a scrivere questo blog. E un anno da quando ho iniziato ad interessarmi alla panificazione. Ed ancora un anno dalla nascita del mio lievito naturale… che ora puo’ anche farmi lievitare i dolci. Questa focaccia dolce e’ piaciuta a tutti, ed ho dovuto faticare non poco per convincere la mia piccolina a farmi scattare una foto della prima fetta, ancora calda di forno. Come ho scritto sopra (ahime’ solo in inglese), il mio forno e’ definitivamente rotto e cuoce solo sopra. Oggi, per far dorare anche la parte inferiore della focaccia, l’ho dovuta re-infornare a pancia in sotto… domani ordino un forno nuovo. Nel frattempo mi godo un’altra fetta dell’ultima creazione del mio vecchio amico. Un’uscita di scena da grande attore.

Con questa ricetta partecipo alla collezione di ricette di cucchiaio e pentolone.

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Comments

  1. This LOOKS and sounds amazing! Can’t wait to make it~ SOON!

    • Hi Mary, I am glad that you liked this sweet focaccia and thank you so much for your enthusiastic comment. Please, let me know about the outcome when you try making it.

  2. You made that without a recipe?! I am so impressed! One day I hope to be comfortable enough with bread to just experiment like that and end up with something so beautiful :) The blueberry layer looks amazing.

    • Hi there Korena, thank you for the visit and your kind words… you are a 5 stars baker and I believe you could definitely go your own way with bread. It is really exciting trying.

  3. Bravissima! It always is good to try new things, create new recipes. This sweet bread is perfect with a good butter. Congratulation: 1 year blogging and baking!!!!!

  4. Wow.. this turned out just gorgeous.. nicely browned, it must have tasted fantastic!!

  5. Mamma mia che bella questa focaccia, avrei avuto voglia di mettere un dito nell’impasto crudo e assaggiarlo!

  6. Your sweet fruit focaccia looks terrific. Congratulations on blogging and baking for a year. You have and very enjoyable blog.

  7. What a great idea! The focaccia looks gorgeous!

  8. I’m happy you’re back from vacation! This looks amazing. I love the picture of the dough with all the holes! I had no idea that you’ve only been blogging for one year. And that you’ve been bread baking for the same time! I really thought (and still think) that you’re some kind of bread baking expert. Sourdough is always kind of tricky. At least for me! I spent a lot of time trying to make German Vollkornbrot but I could never get it as good as the stuff from the store (I think they must add syrup or something).

    I can’t believe you made these without an actual recipe! Very impressive. :) Love the berries in it.

    • happy to be back as well. that picture is my favorite too, just after brushing the egg wash. incredible how much one can learn in one year on a subject truly loved. still far from being an expert though, but thanks a lot :) German Vollkornbrot? Next time please post the recipe, really intrigued by German bread. xox

  9. una focaccia con i mirtilli e cioccolato! che bella!! questa è un’altra delle cose che devo fare! i crakers fatti con farina di mais! non so se li hai visti, qualke modifica per via delle misure non mi sn trovata cn il mio misurino, nonostante i cup! ma di poco, ad ogni modo erano troppo pochi! spariti! ottimi davvero! segno anche questa! ciao cara!

  10. With seasonal berries and beloved chocolate, this is one very special and delectable foccaccia.

  11. Amazing!!! You bake with confidence and sans recipe? you are genius. This is so beautiful. I like the combination of the chocolate, cinnamon filling and the blueberries… oh my word!!!!

    Between you and my brother in law, suffice it to say that baking is innate to Italians. He does bake his bread without measuring it and always comes out pretty darn good. Although my sister did learned the “free style” way but his is way better ;)

    • Pia, this was such a cute comment, thank you (genius? c’mon but love you for that). to use me (and your brother in law) as a reason to believe Italians are born bakers is just so sweet. I don’t know if that is true, but when I think of it, two of the most difficult baking creations ever were Italians… panettone and colomba, that is. those two scare even a “daring baker” as me :) xox

  12. Ma che meraviglia hai sfornato? Bravissima, mi piace un sacco!!!!

  13. Looks delicious! I have to try making my own natural yeast so that I can bake something this good!

  14. Ohhh, this looks so good. What an amazing combination. And no recipe? You’re incredible!

  15. Congratulations on your year! This bread looks so delicious. Hope you get your oven soon so you can continue to bake. I turned to baking on my grill this summer, it has been so hot. So far, things have turned out well.

  16. AnnaMagnani says:

    I have a question about the oven temperatures. Both 230 and 190 are lower than my U.S. oven will go and I’m not even sure they would actually bake the focaccia. So the temps don’t seem like Fahrenheit, but maybe too hot for Celsius? Are they Celsius, and I need to convert them? Thanks. I love your blog

    • hi Anna, sure, those were Celsius degrees :) I have just added also the Fahrenheit equivalent to my last two baking posts. I generally always add the Fahrenheit values but this time I have been a little lazy (must be the summer!). thank you so much for asking about it! ciao and let me know how you like the recipes if you try them.

  17. stupenda! brava per il tuo lievito, io non mi ci metto proprio perchè so che lo ammazzerei sul nascere, porello!
    grazie per la ricetta tutta da provare!

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