Cherry and Walnut Flatbread

Cherry and Walnut Flatbread
  • Difficulty:

    3
  • Prep Time:

    2h 35m
  • Total Time:

    3h
  • Servings:

    8

Description

Cherries and walnuts elevate focaccia to the upper limits of tastiness. Try this bread with a salty, soft cheese. You can make this dough the day before. If you choose to make the dough ahead, place it in the refrigerator after you knead it and let it rise overnight.

Ingredients

  • ⅔ cup whole milk
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup white sugar, plus pinch for yeast and 3 Tbsp. for glaze
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, plus more for greasing (room temperature)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 2 cups tart cherries in light syrup, drained and pitted, syrup reserved
  • 1 cup reserved cherry syrup

Directions

  1. Heat the milk to between 100° F and 110° F in a saucepan. Take the saucepan off the stove and sprinkle the yeast over the milk along with a pinch of sugar. Allow the yeast mixture to foam for 2-5 minutes.
  2. Transfer the yeast mixture to a large bowl and whisk in the butter and egg. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of the sugar, the flour and pinch of salt.
  3. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the yeast and egg mixture into the well, and stir it into the dough a couple of times.
  4. Add the walnuts to the dough mixture. Stir the mixture until a loose, ragged dough forms.
  5. Dust your work surface with flour. Turn the dough out onto the floured surface and knead until it's soft and springy, 6-7 minutes.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball. Butter the inside of a large mixing bowl and place the dough ball in it. Butter the top of the dough and cover it loosely with plastic wrap.
  7. Let the dough stand in a warm area until it doubles in size, about 1 hour. Punch down the dough afterward.
  8. Butter a large rimmed baking sheet and transfer the dough onto it, pressing the dough flat. Leave about a 1½" border between the edge of the dough and the edge of the pan. Let the dough stand in a warm area until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour. During this time, prepare the glaze.
  9. Add the reserved cherry syrup and 3 tablespoons of white sugar to a saucepan. Simmer the glaze until it reduces by two-thirds, about 10 minutes.
  10. Transfer the glaze to a bowl and let it cool to room temperature. After the dough rises, gently press your fingertips into the dough to create shallow dimples in the surface.
  11. Heat the oven to 400° F. Brush the top and sides of the dough with melted butter and gently press the cherries into it. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the dough and place it in the oven.
  12. Bake the flatbread until golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Let the dough cool on a baking rack for 15 minutes. Serve the flatbread on its own or with a soft cheese like chevre or brie.
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