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Thanksgiving Focaccia

Whether you call it stuffing or dressing, this traditional Thanksgiving side dish just got a major upgrade. Instead of drying out bread overnight, we skipped that step and stuffed focaccia dough with all of the traditional elements of dressing. It’s got onions, apples, sausage, herbs, and even chicken stock in the dough! It's golden brown and crispy on the outside with a soft interior. So good!

November 10, 2021
Thanksgiving Focaccia
Total Time

15 hr

15 hr

Prep Time

30 minutes

30 min

Cook Time

45 minutes

45 min

Total Time

15 hr

15 hr

Prep Time

30 minutes

30 min

Cook Time

45 minutes

45 min

Ingredients

for 6 servings

  • 5 cups bread flour (625 g)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated chicken bouillon
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant fast-acting yeast
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock (600 mL), warmed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz mild italian sausage (450 g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 green apple, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme

Toppings

  • 10 green apple slices
  • 10 whole fresh sage sages
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 1342
  • Fat 58g
  • Carbs 183g
  • Fiber 15g
  • Sugar 59g
  • Protein 27g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, chicken bouillon, and yeast. Pour in the chicken stock and honey and stir with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms and no dry spots remain.
  2. Grease another large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. The dough should double in size.
  3. Make the filling: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink, 5–6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Reserve ¼ cup of the sausage for topping the focaccia.
  4. Wipe out any excess grease from the skillet with a paper towel. Add the butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the onion, apples, and celery. Season with kosher salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, parsley, and thyme and cook until fragrant, 30–60 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked sausage. Let the filling cool to room temperature.
  5. Assemble the focaccia: Grease an 8 x 13-inch baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using your hands to spread the oil all around the pan to coat. Divide the dough in half and transfer one portion to the oiled pan. With oiled hands, gently stretch the dough to fill the baking sheet.
  6. Spread the filling over the dough, then press the remaining dough over the filling, making sure to seal the edges so the filling is encased between the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 1–2 hours, until the dough rises to fill the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Use your fingers to dimple the surface of the dough. Garnish with the reserved cooked sausage, apple slices, sage leaves, thyme, flaky salt, and black pepper.
  9. Bake the focaccia for 40–45 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bread is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving.
  11. Enjoy!

Ingredients

for 6 servings

  • 5 cups bread flour (625 g)
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons granulated chicken bouillon
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons instant fast-acting yeast
  • 2 ½ cups chicken stock (600 mL), warmed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 oz mild italian sausage (450 g)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 green apple, peeled and cut into ¼-inch (6 mm) cubes
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fresh thyme

Toppings

  • 10 green apple slices
  • 10 whole fresh sage sages
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • flaky sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Nutrition Info

  • Calories 1342
  • Fat 58g
  • Carbs 183g
  • Fiber 15g
  • Sugar 59g
  • Protein 27g

Estimated values based on one serving size.

Preparation

  1. Make the dough: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, kosher salt, chicken bouillon, and yeast. Pour in the chicken stock and honey and stir with a rubber spatula until a shaggy dough forms and no dry spots remain.
  2. Grease another large bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the dough to the greased bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. The dough should double in size.
  3. Make the filling: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking up into small pieces, until no longer pink, 5–6 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. Reserve ¼ cup of the sausage for topping the focaccia.
  4. Wipe out any excess grease from the skillet with a paper towel. Add the butter to the skillet. Once melted, add the onion, apples, and celery. Season with kosher salt and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, parsley, and thyme and cook until fragrant, 30–60 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the cooked sausage. Let the filling cool to room temperature.
  5. Assemble the focaccia: Grease an 8 x 13-inch baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, using your hands to spread the oil all around the pan to coat. Divide the dough in half and transfer one portion to the oiled pan. With oiled hands, gently stretch the dough to fill the baking sheet.
  6. Spread the filling over the dough, then press the remaining dough over the filling, making sure to seal the edges so the filling is encased between the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof at room temperature for 1–2 hours, until the dough rises to fill the pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  8. Remove the plastic wrap and drizzle the dough with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Use your fingers to dimple the surface of the dough. Garnish with the reserved cooked sausage, apple slices, sage leaves, thyme, flaky salt, and black pepper.
  9. Bake the focaccia for 40–45 minutes, turning halfway through, until the bread is golden brown and crispy.
  10. Remove the focaccia from the oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before serving.
  11. Enjoy!

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