The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

A sweet focaccia

pumpkinpapa's picture

A sweet focaccia

I made a delicious sweet focaccia with granny smith apples sprinkled with thyme and sugar. Incredible flavours coming together. It went over very well with family and friends. I think next time I will use a more tart apple.

Thyme scented apple focaccia 

I also made a wonderful strawberry rhubarb pie with a crumb topping. I love rhubarb and mine is coming along nicely in the garden.

Strawberry rhubarb pie 


bwraith's picture


Those look great. Yeah, I'm a fan of these sweeter focaccias too. I posted a blog entry on sourdough raisin focaccia, which is another similar thing. I sliced peeled pear cubes into a focaccia dough once, too. They broke up and integrated somewhat with the dough, but it was very good.

Can you tell me, did you put those apples on there just before baking? Do you have to be careful about burning the apples? I haven't tried fruit on top like that.


JMonkey's picture

PumpkinPapa, that's a great looking loaf. Same question as Bill -- apples on before or after the bake? If you have the time to tell how you made it, I'd love to see it.


pumpkinpapa's picture

The apples were pressed into the surface, then sprinkled with thyme and sugar right before they went into the oven.


Here is the recipe adapted from one by Anita Stewart in The Flavours of Canada which in turn is adapted from Terra Breads in Vancouver.


  • 250 mL warm water
  • 0.1 mL instant yeast
  • 250 mL organic bread flour


  • 500 mL + 60 mL water, at room temperature
  • 150 mL canola or hazelnut oil (Hazelnut oil is very expensive, $15.00 per 250 mL)
  • 15 mL salt
  • 5 mL instant yeast
  • 1.5 L organic bread flour
  • 4 medium tart apples, unpeeled and each sliced into 16 wedges
  • 10 mL minced fresh thyme
  • 30 mL finely chopped roasted hazelnuts (optional)
  • 90 mL sugar

Mix the sponge ingredients in a small bowl, cover, and let sit for 3 hours or until bubbly.

Transfer the sponge to a large bowl and stir in the water, 100 mL of the oil, salt, yeats, and flour. Mix until it all comes together evenly then turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat, cover and let sit until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Remove dough from bowl and separate into 4 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into an oval about 1 cm thick. Place ovals onto lightly oiled parchment paper lined sheet pans, brush with remaining oil then cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes. Preheat oven for 450 F and place a steam pan in oven.

Press apple wedges into surface of dough, sprinkle with thyme, sugar, and hazelnuts (if using). Place 125 mL boiling water into the steam pan then mist the tops of the loaves with water and place on middle rack in oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown then remove and let cool on racks before serving.


I think next time I will use the hazelnut oil and the roasted hazelnuts.

Bwraith the pear pieces would melt into the dough quite easily as their flesh is quite delicate, I've seen pear pies quickly become sauce :(, I must try you sourdough raisin  recipe. There is a bakery in Toronto called Ace Bakery and they make a cranberry focaccia I've been meaning to try, except that the loaf is smallish and costs more than $5.00 CAD. I'm told it makes incredible french toast when served with roasted banana's. 

mountaindog's picture

Love the look and sound of that apple focaccia, I've got to try that...thanks for the idea and recipe!