Pear & Rosemary Focaccia
The smell of focaccia baking takes us right back to the little neighborhood Italian restaurants we went to as kids — the ones that delivered a seemingly endless supply of bread, hot from the oven, and taught us to love those deep wells of olive oil.
In honor of winter and all the sweet holiday gatherings to come, we’ve topped this easy recipe for focaccia with fresh rosemary and very thin slices of pear and fennel. All those goodies weigh the bread down a tiny bit — in a good way! It comes out of the oven tender on the inside, golden brown and super crispy on the outside. A pinch of flake salt is the perfect finish: it tastes amazing with the rich olive oil and sweet, sweet, pears.
We love making Pear & Rosemary Focaccia for friends and family. It makes a delightful appetizer for a winter wine tasting — people will light up when they see it. All you need is a little saucer of balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping. Warm focaccia is also a great way to glow up a one-bowl meal, like butternut squash and bucatini or a simple farro and pomegranate salad.
Pear & Rosemary Focaccia
In a medium bowl, whisk together the active dry yeast, honey, and lukewarm water. Let sit for 5 minutes, until bubbly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, salt, and yeast mixture. Using a rubber spatula, mix together until a shaggy dough forms and starts pulling away from the sides of the bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add 4 tablespoons of the extra-virgin olive oil and gently turn the dough over to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temp for 6 to 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator until doubled in size.
Using 2 forks, take the farthest edge of the dough and fold it to the center of the bowl. Give it a quarter turn and fold it into the center again. Repeat the process 7 more times.
Grease a 9x13” sheet pan with butter and pour 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in the middle.
Place the dough in the middle of the pan and pour the olive oil from the bowl on top. Let the dough rest, uncovered, in a warm place for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425º. Lightly oil your hands to prevent sticking, then gently stretch the dough out to the size of the sheet pan. Dimple the focaccia all over by pressing your fingers fully into the dough.
Layer the pear slices on top of the dough in even rows, overlapping them slightly, and scatter the fennel sliced on top. Finish with the chopped rosemary, flaky sea salt, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the focaccia from the pan and cut it into squares. Serve with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetít
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