Chocolate Cherry Dessert Focaccia

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Focaccia

Chocolate Cherry Dessert Focaccia




Combine the warm water, yeast, and 2 teaspoons of the granulated sugar in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Whisk together the mixture by hand until combined and let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.

While the yeast mixture sits, add the flour, cocoa, salt and remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar into a separate medium bowl and whisk to combine.  

After the yeast sits for 5 minutes, turn the mixer onto low speed and gradually add the flour-cocoa mixture. After the dry ingredients are added, increase the mixer speed to medium and beat the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, releasing from the side of the bowl. This typically takes 10 – 12 minutes.

Turn the dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and using oiled hands, stretch the dough into a 10-inch square. The dough will be sticky. Sprinkle the dough evenly with cherries and the chopped chocolate and then knead until they are evenly incorporated – taking no more than 30 seconds. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes and then stretch the dough into a 15 x 10-inch rectangle. Fold the dough into quarters and let rest for an additional 5 minutes.

After resting, place the dough on a well-oiled baking sheet and stretch the dough to fit inside it and stretches to all corners. If the dough springs back and doesn’t stay in the corners, let the dough rest an additional 10 minutes and try again.  

After the dough stretched on the baking sheet, cover it loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until the dough is bubble and tripled in volume, usually just a bit less than 2 hours.

Preheat your oven to 425. Uncover the dough and using oiled fingertips, press indentations across the surface of the dough. Pour the remaining 1/3 cup of olive oil evenly over the top of the dough. Sprinkle the cherry sugar and sea salt evenly across the top.

Bake the bread for 20 to 22 minutes until it is lightly browned and at least 200 degrees in the center when a thermometer is inserted. When the bread is done baking, leave it on the baking sheet and place the sheet on a wire rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.

After the bread has cooled a bit, carefully remove the focaccia from the baking sheet using a spatula and place onto a wire rack to continue cooling. Before serving, dust with powdered sugar and drizzle with vanilla balsamic.