This is for the #twelveloaves bread baking challenge, put together by the Cake Duchess, Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives, and Life’s a Feast. I can’t resist a baking challenge. The idea is to bake one loaf of bread each month, following that month’s theme. The theme for August is bread with summer fruit.
I knew right off I wanted to use Italian plums as my fruit, but I struggled with exactly how. Then the other night, as I was making pizza, it came to me. I set a piece of dough aside, shaped it into a square, topped it with halved, pitted plums, and let it rise while I baked off all the pizzas. When the pizzas were done, I took about 1/2 cup of ricotta, blended it with a bit of sugar, and dropped spoonfuls between the plums. I sprinkled the whole thing with cinnamon and slid it onto the pizza stone to bake.
I have no idea what exactly it is I made. I’m going to go with focaccia because it seems the closest. Whatever it is it is so very good.
Plum Ricotta Foccacia
- 1/8 of the dough for Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l’Ancienne (recipe to follow)
- 6 Italian plums, halved and pitted
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- 2 T. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Begin recipe after removing the dough from the refrigerator and allowing it to warm up for 2 hours.
- Set a pizza stone on the lowest rack in the oven and preheat to 475.
- Shape the piece of dough into a square, roughly 6×6 inches.
- Arrange the plums, cut side down, on top of the dough.
- Allow dough to rest for 1 hour. It will rise slightly, but not dramatically.
- Mix the ricotta with the sugar and drop spoonfuls between the plums on the dough.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake directly on parchment, on a pizza stone for 15 minutes or until bread is golden brown and plums are soft and beginning to release juice.
- Slice and eat warm or at room temperature.
Peter Reinhart’s Pain a l’Ancienne, from the Bread Baker’s Apprentice
- 6 cups unbleached bread flour
- 2 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 3/4 tsp. instant yeast
- 2 1/4 cups + 2 T to 3 cups ice cold water
- Combine all ingredients and mix a mixer for 2 minutes with the paddle attachment. Switch to the dough hook and continue to mix for 6 minutes. The dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl, but not to the sides. Add more water or flour as appropriate to achieve this texture.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and immediately place in the fridge. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the bowl from the fridge and allow it to warm up for 2 hours.
- Proceed with recipe above.