Sunday, May 29, 2016

Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Focaccia

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Hopefully you have great weather and plans to spend time with family. I am nursing a bit of a cold, but hope to get outside for some fun for the holiday. If you are still looking for any last minute picnic/BBQ food ideas, I would like to introduce you to this easy and crazy delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Focaccia.

Focaccia is an Italian flatbread, but the addition of seasonal strawberries and rhubarb really  is a fun twist and great for packing along to the park or for a picnic. Pair this with some fresh squeezed lemonade and caprese salad... and you are good to go!

This marks a special holiday post. Not only is it Memorial Day, but a special Themed edition recipe for The Secret Recipe Club. Yes, that is two SRC posts this month. Be sure to also check out my Lemon Boysenberry Danish post from earlier this month.

For this post I was matched up with Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla. I was really excited about this assignment since I know her from The Book Club Cookbook group, as well as a few others. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you are going to want to give it a look.

I am not even sure where to start.

Camilla posts her fearless culinary adventures and I think she has tried just about everything. From the local, to the rare, or just using what she has on hand, she is cooking/baking up a storm and sometimes even her boys get in on the fun!

I started looking through past recipes an even by narrowing my search to something picnic ready, my recipe wish-list was long. I still want to make this Rhubarb Salad with Beets, Feta and Spring Greens or even this Cuttle fish ink pasta. I imagine it is similar to the squid ink pasta I enjoyed in Japan, but it looked like a lot of fun to make at home!

Ultimately her passion for rhubarb won me over. Seriously. Check out how many amazing recipes she has posted with this ingredient. She is now my hero.

Even then it was hard to narrow down to just one recipe... but the Rhubarb Focaccia eventually won out.

I have a long history with rhubarb. From what I can remember growing up, it was always a staple in my Mom's garden. When we moved, a new rhubarb plant was established. Some original root stock was sent over from my Grandfather's garden. So, once I was firmly planted in a house with a yard, I planted 3 rhubarb plants.

Sadly, the past few year's drought has taken a toll and my plants are not as robust as they used to be. So, I decided to take a page from Camilla's book... I used what I had on hand... namely a whole field of ripe strawberries, and decided to add some to the sweet flat bread.

One thing I love about Camilla's recipes is she isn't afraid to modify or substitute items. That is a skill every cook she have. She is often incorporating items from a CSA box, or using local seasonal items she finds to create her dishes.

This combination of strawberries and rhubarb reminds me of the sauce my Mom would make to pour over our French Vanilla Ice Cream. Yum!

It all starts with a sweet focaccia dough.

If you have never made a focaccia dough, it is super easy! Much less problematic than a risen loaf. It is really okay with being abused and dimpling the dough can be a great stress reliever!

I chose smaller, firmer strawberries since the juicier ones could add too much moisture, then topped my dough with the sliced berries, sliced rhubarb and


Strawberry Rhubarb Sweet Focaccia
adapted from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

You Will Need:

  • 2 c. warm water
  • 1 Tbsp. active, dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 5 c. flour + additional for kneading, as necessary
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil
  • 2 c. (combined) thinly sliced rhubarb and strawberries
  • pearl sugar
  • simple sugar *optional - 1/4 c. sugar, 1/4 c. water + any additional rhubarb
Let the yeast bloom in a cup with the water, yeast and honey. The mixture should become nice and frothy after about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, or stand mixer, whisk together the flour, salt and oil. Knead until a soft dough forms. Only use flour if necessary. The dough should still be soft.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover. Allow the dough to double in size. This will take about an hour, depending on the temperature of your room... and eagerness of your yeast! 

Spray or grease a jelly roll pan. Once the dough has risen, stretch it to fit the pan. Top the dough with rhubarb and strawberries, sprinkle liberally with pearl sugar. Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel. If desired, brush the top of the dough with a little simple sugar. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

After the dough rises a second time, bake it for 30 - 35 minutes, or until the top is golden. Brush the top with additional syrup if desired.

Cool, cut and enjoy!

Now check out the other Secret Recipe Club fun going on this Memorial Day!

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