I make an earnest effort to never be without cranberries. Fresh, frozen, dried and canned. Yes, there is always a can of whole berry cranberry sauce in the pantry. It mixes well with a little mayonnaise and a dab of prepared horseradish to slather on a turkey sandwich. Over the weekend, I roasted a turkey breast so we could enjoy turkey sandwiches. While it was resting and cooling, I stuck this often-made and well-loved cranberry focaccia into the oven.
The timing was perfect!
Cranberry Cornmeal Focaccia
From an ancient Gourmet Magazine
3/4 cup cold water
3/4 cup dried cranberries
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water (105 to 115F)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 tbsp freshly grated Parmesan
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves plus sprigs for topping
In a small saucepan, bring cold water and cranberries just to a boil and remove pan from heat. Let cranberries stand 15 minutes. Drain cranberries into a sieve set over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup of the liquid, and cool. Coarsely chop half the cranberries and set both the chopped and whole cranberries aside.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, stir on lowest speed the yeast, sugar and warm water for a few seconds and let stand 5 minutes until foamy. Add the chopped cranberries, reserved 1/4 cup of the cranberry liquid, flour, cornmeal, Parmesan, 2 tbsp of the olive oil, 2 tsp of the salt, the pepper and the chopped rosemary.
Continuing with the paddle attachment, knead dough 3 minutes, or until soft and slightly sticky. Scrape dough into a lightly oiled large bowl and form into a ball. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise, in a warm place, 30 minutes or until almost doubled in bulk.
Transfer dough to an oiled, well-seasoned 10-inch cast-iron skillet or an oiled 10-inch pie plate and let rise, covered loosely with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375.
Brush dough with remaining tablespoon oil and press the reserved whole cranberries and rosemary sprigs randomly on top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 tsp coarse salt.
Bake focaccia in middle of oven 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.