Last weekend, it finally worked (it wasn't exactly like the Vancouver version, but still very good), so I wanted to take some notes on what I did, so that I remember for next time.
If using grapes, it's very important to use Concord grapes. Regular supermarket grapes don't seem to have the right flavor and make the dough too wet. I have also tried using apples and that worked very well too.
A mixture of roasted pecans and walnuts worked well. For the grape focaccia, I used them as a topping and many of them popped off during eating. On the apple focaccia, I folded the nuts into the dough -- that worked better.
I used my regular focaccia recipe, with the following modifications:
- Increase sugar to 2 Tbsp
- knead a bit less than usual to make it slightly less chewy. Using a KitchenAid, I kneaded for 3 minutes, rearranged the dough, kneaded another 3 minutes, rearranged the dough, and another minute. All on speed 4.
- After shaping, I pushed the toppings into the dough and proofed for 40 minutes. I pushed the apple slices vertically, not to deflate the dough as much. They became horizontal as the dough pushed them up during baking.
- I sprinkled the top with demerara sugar before baking and skipped the oiling after baking step.
- Bake at 450F instead of 500F and watch out for the bottom burning (since the dough has more sugar).