Fall Foliage Focaccia
Celebrate fall with this festive focaccia! Topped with tons of fresh autumnal produce arranged in a gorgeous treescape, this centerpiece bread is sure to impress! Don’t forget to pair it with your favorite balsamic vinegar or herb butter!
for 12 servings
- ⅔ cup warm water (160 mL)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 ½ cups bread flour (310 g), divided
- 1 ¾ cups room temperature water (420 mL)
- 10 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more for drizzling
- 3 cups all purpose flour (375 g), plus more for dusting
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 medium rainbow carrots, shaved into ribbons
- 2 cups swiss chard leaves (80 g), thinly sliced
- ½ cup brussels sprouts (45 g), trimmed, cut into halves and quarters
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, cut into 2 in (5 cm) pieces
- ½ cup delicata squash (105 g), seeded and cut into half-moons
- ½ gala apple, cut into 1/4 in (6 mm) sliced
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
- flaky sea salt, for sprinkling
- balsamic vinegar, for serving
- Calories 337
- Fat 12g
- Carbs 49g
- Fiber 15g
- Sugar 2g
- Protein 7g
Estimated values based on one serving size.
- In a large bowl, stir together the warm water, yeast, honey, and ½ cup bread flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a warm place for 20–30 minutes, until the mixture is bubbly.
- Add the room temperature water, 5 tablespoons of olive oil, the remaining 2 cups of bread flour, the all-purpose flour, and the kosher salt. Mix well with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula until the dough starts to come together. If the dough is too sticky, cover and let rest for 20–30 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together with your hands. Knead for 5–10 minutes, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking, until the dough is smooth and supple and bounces back when pressed with your finger.
- Coat a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 1–2 hours, until doubled in size
- Remove the plastic wrap and punch the dough down.
- Grease a 18 x 13-inch baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using your hands to spread the oil all around the pan to coat. Transfer the dough to the pan. With oiled hands, gently stretch the dough to fill the baking sheet. (If the dough is resistant to stretching, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 10–20 minutes, then try again.) Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 1–2 hours, until the dough rises to fill the pan, or refrigerate overnight. (Refrigerating overnight is optional, however, it will result in a better final texture and flavor. If refrigerating, let the dough come to room temperature for 30–60 minutes, until slightly puffed, before proceeding).
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Uncover the dough and stretch back to the edges of the pan, if necessary. Use your fingers to dimple the surface of the dough. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Use the carrot ribbons to create a textured tree trunk two thirds of the way up the length of the focaccia. Arrange the Swiss chard at the top of the tree trunk to resemble leaves. Use the Brussels sprouts, including any separated leaves, to fill in the bottom 2–3 inches of the focaccia at the base of the tree. Fill in any gaps in the Brussels sprouts with thyme and rosemary sprigs to resemble tall grass. Layer the delicata squash rings and apple slices over the chard, with some falling from the tree, to resemble fall foliage. Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds around the Swiss chard and falling from the tree, intermingled with the squash and apple slices. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the focaccia and sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Bake the focaccia for 15 minutes, then turn the pan and bake for another 15–18 minutes, until the bread is golden brown in the areas not covered with toppings. If the toppings are getting too dark, lightly cover the focaccia with foil.
- Remove the focaccia from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and drizzle with more olive oil.
- Slice and serve with balsamic vinegar for dipping.
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