If you ever have a craving for ever so slightly sweetened rustic bread, this is the recipe. I urge you to read the original post Ilva made as her photograph is much better for one, and there's just something delightful about the way she writes.
To make this recipe you don't need many ingredients. All you need is yeast, flour (AP flour), sugar, salt, milk, almonds and some olive oil. Ilva used a wet yeast, but I used dry yeast. I used marcona almonds and some sweet olive oil from Riviera Ligure.
These were lovely fresh out of the oven and were still very nice the next day.
Sweet Focaccia with Almonds - Lucullian Delights
1 Packet Dried Yeast (5g)
2-3 Tbsp Sugar + some for sprinkling on top of the focaccia
1 Pinch Sea Salt
3 dl Milk
5 dl AP Flour +
50g Marcona Almonds (blanched & chopped)
4 Tbsps Extra Virgin Olive Oil from Riviera Ligure
Step 1: Warm the milk until it's slightly warm to the touch and pour it over the yeast you have put into a preferably plastic bowl. Add the sugar and salt and let it stand while you chop the almonds.
Step 2: Chop the almonds and then put them into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
Step 3: Add the AP flour. Do this 1/2 cup at a time. You may need less or more flour than 5 dl. I used maybe 7dl or more flour. The absorbency of flour can vary from region to region, brand to brand and weather conditions (humidity) can change how much flour you need to get a nice elastic smooth dough. Always trust your eyes and fingers more than amounts noted in recipes.
Step 4: When you have a nice smooth elastic dough, cover it and leave it for 1 hour.
Step 5: Put enough olive oil inside a 21.5 cm x 21.5 cm baking pan and make sure it is covered with a light film of oil.
Step 6: Press the dough into the pan so that it is 1.5 cm - 2 cm high. Cover it and turn on the oven to 200C.
Step 7: When the oven is preheated, drizzle some more olive oil over the dough and sprinkle a generous dose of sugar. The sugar you have put into the dough will not really be apparent so if you want a sweet cake, make sure you sprinkle enough sugar on top.
Step 8: Bake in the oven for 15- 25 minutes or until the focaccia is a golden brown.
Note 1: The amount of yeast is not that important. Don't freak out if your packet of yeast is 3g or 7g. Yeast given the time and right environment will propagate and increase. If you feel the yeast hasn't increased sufficiently, then leave it to rise for longer than 60 minutes.
Note 2: Ilva used a bigger pan, but it worked fine with a smaller pan, i.e. 21.5 cm x 21. 5 cm. If your pan is a little bigger or smaller, don't freak out. Just don't use anything drastically bigger or smaller.
Note 3: Because this is a sweet focaccia, I would choose a mild tasting olive oil with a sweet flavor for use in this recipe. I opted for the extra virgin olive oil that Samuele sent me rather than the local olive oil for this reason. I would use local Spanish olive oil for a savory focaccia.