focaccia bread recipe

Dessert Focaccia

Dessert Focaccia

Focaccia is a wonderful Italian flat bread. Baked in a jellyroll pan, it is about an inch thick, and is often used in savory dishes with cheese and other toppings. It is also sometimes split to make sandwiches. When I make focaccia, I often add sauteed shallots, garlic and fresh rosemary.

This time I made a lightly sweetened version. It only has 1/2 cup of brown sugar in it total- but gets a lot of natural sweetness from the dried fruit and orange juice.

Loaded with dry fruits it is a great dessert, but could also be served for breakfast or brunch. If you have some dried fruit you were looking to use in something- this is a great recipe for that.

It is moist, and has a wonderful flavor and texture. You can leave it plain once baked, or add a powdered sugar glaze.

Dessert Focaccia

3 cups assorted dried fruits (cherries, raisins, currants, cranberries, prunes or blueberries)

2 c. orange juice

1 packet yeast

1 t. sugar

3 ½ c. flour

2 t. salt

1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar

½ t. cinnamon

¼ t. nutmeg

6 T. cold butter, cut into bits

In a bowl combine the fruit and orange juice and let stand 20 minutes. Drain fruit, reserving 1 cup of the liquid. Heat liquid until it is lukewarm. In the bowl of an electric mixture combine yeast with warm juice and sugar and let stand 5 minutes. Add flour, half the brown sugar, seasonings and butter and mix until dough is well-mixed. Knead dough with dough hook for 5 minutes, dough will be sticky. Add fruit and mix until evenly blended. Transfer dough to floured work surface and just roll around to coat with the flour. Place in oiled bowl, turning to oil top. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a warm place to double, about 11/2 hours.

Note: At this point, if you would rather, you can punch the dough down and wrap it, then chill it overnight. Bring to room temperature before continuing.

Press the dough into an oiled 15×10 inch jellyroll pan and let it rise, loosely covered, for about 1 hour. Dimple the dough using your fingertips and sprinkle with the remaining brown sugar. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for about 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Note: The focaccia is just fine the way it is, but you can drizzle it with a powdered sugar glaze, or dust with powdered sugar. It makes a great breakfast dish, or the base for fruit shortcake,. If you wish to use large pieces of fruit like apricots, pineapple or mangoes, dip scissors in oil and use them to snip the fruit into smaller pieces. I sometimes also add 1/2 c. chopped nuts to the dough when I add the fruit.

Note: Any focaccia made with fruit, vegetables, meats or cheese should be refrigerated. Also, baked focaccia can be wrapped well and frozen for a couple of months. Just defrost in the wrapping and then warm a little, if desired.

Focaccia with Herbs

Focaccia with Herbs

Focaccia with Herbs

Focaccia is a tasty Italian flatbread that can be enjoyed as is, or can be topped with cheese, meats and vegetables, like pizza. I made this one with my own pizza seasoning blend of herbs but you can play around with other flavors.

Focaccia with Herbs

4-4 1/2 c. flour
1 packet quick-rising yeast
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt
1 3/4 c. hot water
2 T. olive oil
1½ T. Pizza Seasoning*
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 c. minced shallots

In a medium bowl combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Add hot water and stir until a smooth batter forms. Stir in the remaining ingredients and enough flour to form a sticky, soft dough. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel and allow to rise for about 30 minutes. Dough should double. Punch dough down and place on work surface. Cover with the bowl and allow to rest 10 minutes. Grease a jellyroll pan. With oiled fingers press dough into the pan. Dough will have imprints from your fingers. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Bake in a preheated 400-degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting. Makes 1 loaf.

Pizza Seasoning

3 T. basil

2 T. oregano

1 T. fennel seeds

1 T. crushed red pepper flakes

1 T. dried minced onion

Combine all ingredients and store in a cool, dry place. Use to flavor sauces, breads and more.

1 t. minced garlic

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