Breakfast Foccacio

My favorite place to go for breakfast in New York is Balthazar (80 Spring Street). It looks and feels like a French bistro. They serve big bowls of cafe au lait and a panier of fantastic breads! Here is my rendition of one of the breads.


  • 2-1/2 cups hot water
  • 2-1/2 Tbs. yeast
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1/3 cup walnut oil
  • 1 cup chopped dried cranberries (or dried cherries)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

To make the dough, first place in a measuring cup 1/2 cup hot water (115 to 120 degrees) with the yeast and a pinch sugar. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes.

In a large bowl place 5 cups of flour with 1 Tbs. salt. Make a well in the center and in it place 2 cups hot water and half the olive oil. When the yeast mixture is bubbly, stir it into the water then stir in the flour. When the mixture comes away from the edges of the bowl, turn it out onto a wooden board and knead until you have a smooth, firm dough. You may need to add up to 1 cup more flour.

Rinse out the bowl and dry. Lightly grease the bowl and place the round of dough in it, turning so all sides get slightly greased. Cover with a towel and set in a warm place, free of drafts, to rise until double, about 1 hour.

Generously spread a jelly roll pan with oil. Punch down the dough mix in the dried fruits and nuts. With the heel of your hand, spread the dough on the oiled pan. Let rest about 10 minutes. Then sprinkle over the rest of the walnut oil with the rest of the sugar. Put dents all over the dough with your finger tips, let rise 5 to 10 minutes, and bake in the top of a preheated 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden on the bottom and the top. Let cool briefly and cut into fingers.

Makes 48.