November is upon us, and with November comes cozying up in a room with family, constantly discussing… you guessed it, food. This year, Thanksgiving is at my brother’s in Sacramento, the perfect opportunity to unveil one of my persimmon fall focaccia.

This buttery fall focaccia is loaded with autumn fruits: persimmons, plums, and cranberries. The recipe is relatively simple, but does require some time to let the bread rise (the official baking term: proof).  That time is best used to wrangle a few family members to get prepping in the kitchen.  This year, I’m enlisting the younger focaccia helpers to have some fun beforehand, then getting them to ‘punch’ the proofed dough. It’s irresistible, and just a ton of fun.

Fall Focaccia

Now, you might be asking yourself… what’s a Persimmon? It’s your new best friend of course! Each fall, these bright orange beauties emerge at a farmer’s markets near you.  I used Hachiya Persimmons – generally oblong, acorn-shaped, and eaten soft. Hachiyas are more flavorful, but must be eaten at a very specific level of ripeness.  The best way to test for ripeness: taste test!  It’s a right of passage for us home chefs.

Fall Focaccia

Plums and cranberries bring their friends sweetness & acidity to the party. Generally, I always try to always toss an herb into sweets to help my children ‘adapt’ to their presence in all kinds of food, even sweets.  Maybe a tad optimistic, but these hidden herbs usually go unnoticed in pies and other sweets.  I’ve been continuously hinting at the fact that ‘we love green things too’…maybe they’ll eventually come around to it.

Fall Focaccia

The dough for the recipe is easy. A bit of patience required, but use the time for ‘proofing’ to participate in the ongoing family games, get another recipe started, or wait for it…. relaxing! Either way, once the timer goes off, duty calls and to the kitchen you go to give this puffy dough a good punch down.  The credit for this amazing dough comes from a James Beard Foundation Winner & Saveur Finalist named Samantha Seneviratne of Love, Cake.   She is inspiring.

In general, yeasted breads need to rise, or proof, and then get punched down.  It is typical, on the last rise, to ‘shape’ the dough, then let rise one last time before you pop it into the oven

Get your fingers working and kiss this dough with some dimples while gently nudging it to the edges of the pan. If it springs back into its original position, you need to let the dough rest a tad further.  Take a deep breath…it’ll happen! Just give it another 15 minutes, and give it another go.  Think of this dough like a head-strong child that just needs a time-out.  It’ll cooperate soon enough!

Fall Focaccia

Topping this fall focaccia is so fun because the shapes and colors just pop off the top of the focaccia dough. Each time, you’ll create a masterpiece.

I like to sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and off it goes into the middle rack of the oven.  The best part is watching this butter ball transform in the oven into persimmon magic, or aka, best fall focaccia bread ever!

Don’t forget your final butter bath (ok, sprinkle, but a bath wouldn’t turn out badly…)

Recipe Credit: The New Sugar & Spice

Photos by: Maria Hedrick Photography

Fall Focaccia

By TheSweetNerd  ,

November 2, 2017

  • Prep: 2 hrs
  • Cook: 40 mins
  • 2 hrs

    40 mins

    2 hrs 40 mins

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter melted, plus more greasing the bowl

2 cups (9 ounces) bread flour

2 cups (9 ounces) all-purpose flour

1/2 cup sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 cups warm water (105F - 110F)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

Sliced persimmon and plum

Handfull of cranberries

2 sprigs rosemary

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

Directions

1Prep: Lightly butter a large bowl and set aside.

2Wets in a Bowl: Combine the water, 1/4 cup of melted butter, and the egg.

3Mixer: Paddle Attachment - combine bread flour, ap flour, 1/4 cup sugar, yeast, and salt.

4Mixer: Add the wets to the dries with the mixer on low. When dough starts to form, switch out paddle to dough hook. Mix on medium for about 5 minutes (this is kneading the dough). The dough should be sticky and wet.

5Proof 1: Using a bench scraper, put the dough in the prepped bowl. Form into a ball and cover lightly with plastic wrap in a warm area. Let it double in size. 1-2 hours, depending on heat in your house.

6Deflate 1: Tip the proofed ball onto a buttered surface and punch down. Then, do a quick fold into the middle, top, bottom, left, right. Scoop up again with bench scraper and place in a clean lightly buttered bowl and form into a ball.

7Proof 2: Cover lightly with plastic wrap in a warm area. Let it double in size. 1-2 hours depending on heat in your house.

8When it has doubled in size, prepare a 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inch jelly roll pan and spread 2 Tablespoons of melted butter in the bottom of the pan.

9Deflate 2: Tip the proofed ball onto buttered pan. Spread out dough to the edges and let it proof in the pan. (This last proof is called shaping). If you are struggling to get the dough to the edges, let it rest for 20-30 minutes and try again.

10Final Proof 3: Let the dough proof in the jelly roll pan until it reaches near the edge of the pan.

11Separate Bowl: Combine 1/4 cup sugar with 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon.

12Shape: Once the last proof is complete, use your fingers to make dimples. Drizzle an extra 1 Tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with fruit, and add final touch of cinnamon/sugar mixture.

13Bake until golden brown for 20-25 minutes at 450F.

14Immediately, drizzle 2 Tablespoon melted butter over golden brown bread.

15Let cool, cut and serve.

Recipe Credit: The New Sugar & Spice

00:00

Fall Focaccia

2 Comments

  • Focaccia may just be my favorite bread, which for me is a little like picking a favorite child. Loving your beautiful fall spin. And I love seeing you at work in your kitchen. Wish I was right there with you dimpling the dough!

  • So pretty and loving that you used persimmon!

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