Sweet Whole Wheat Focaccia with Pears and Walnuts Recipe (2024)

By Martha Rose Shulman

Sweet Whole Wheat Focaccia with Pears and Walnuts Recipe (1)

Total Time
30 minutes active preparation, and 3⅓ hours for rising and baking
Rating
4(63)
Notes
Read community notes

This slightly sweet focaccia (three tablespoons sugar in the dough and another sprinkled over the top) is quite beautiful and makes a perfect fall or winter bread. It’s great on its own, and also great with cheese. I like to pair it with blue cheese in particular. There are sweet, nutty and savory flavors at play here, with the rosemary-scented olive oil and pears, and the walnuts tucked into the bread’s dimples.

Featured in: A Week of Focaccia

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Ingredients

Yield:1 large focaccia, serving 12

    For the Sponge

    • 1teaspoon / 4 grams active dry yeast
    • ½cup / 120 ml lukewarm water
    • 1tablespoon / 15 g sugar
    • ¾cup /90 grams unbleached all-purpose flour

    For the Dough

    • 1teaspoon / 4 grams active dry yeast
    • 1cup / 240 ml lukewarm water
    • 2tablespoons / 30 grams sugar
    • 3tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • Scant ¾ cup / 100 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
    • ½cup / 60 grams fine cornmeal
    • 2cups / 250 grams whole wheat flour or durum flour
    • teaspoons/ 12 grams fine sea salt

    For the Topping

    • 2teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
    • 2tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • ¼cup / 35 grams chopped walnuts
    • 1pound ripe but firm pears, peeled, quartered, cored and sliced in wedges (about ½ inch thick at thickest point)
    • 1tablespoon / 15 grams sugar
    • teaspoon ground cinnamon

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

264 calories; 8 grams fat; 1 gram saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 43 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 9 grams sugars; 5 grams protein; 288 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Sweet Whole Wheat Focaccia with Pears and Walnuts Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Make the sponge. Combine yeast and water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and stir to dissolve. Whisk in sugar and flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let proof in a warm place until bubbly and doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.

  2. Step

    2

    Make the dough. If using a stand mixer, whisk together yeast and water in a small bowl and let stand until creamy, a few minutes. Add to sponge in the mixer bowl with sugar and olive oil. Add flours (including cornmeal) and salt and mix in with the paddle attachment for 1 to 2 minutes, until ingredients are amalgamated. Change to the dough hook and knead on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes. Dough should come together and slap against the sides of the bowl. It will be slightly tacky. To make dough by hand, combine yeast and water as directed and whisk into the sponge with sugar and olive oil. Whisk in all-purpose flour. Add salt, cornmeal and whole wheat flour, one cup at a time, folding it in with a spatula or a wooden spoon. When you can scrape out the dough, add flour to the work surface, put dough on top and knead for 8 to 10 minutes, until soft and velvety. Return to bowl (coat the bowl lightly with olive oil first).

  3. Step

    3

    Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 1½ hours.

  4. Step

    4

    Shape the focaccia. Coat a 12-x 17-inch sheet pan (sides and bottom) with olive oil. Line with parchment and flip the parchment over so exposed side is oiled. Turn dough onto the baking sheet. Oil or moisten your hands, and press out dough until it just about covers the bottom of the pan. Dough may be sticky. Cover with a towel and allow it to relax for 10 minutes, then continue to press it out until it reaches the edges of pan. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm spot for 45 minutes to an hour, or until dough is full of air bubbles.

  5. Step

    5

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees after 15 minutes of rising (30 minutes before you wish to bake), preferably with a baking stone in it. Combine rosemary and olive oil for the topping in a small pan and heat just until herbs begin to sizzle. Wait 30 seconds, swirl the oil in the pan, then pour mix into a ramekin or a small measuring cup. Allow to cool.

  6. Step

    6

    With lightly oiled fingertips or with your knuckles, dimple the dough, pressing down hard so you leave indentations. Place walnut pieces in the indentations. Distribute pears evenly over dough and drizzle on the oil with rosemary (you will have to distribute clumps of rosemary that remain behind in the cup with your fingers). Combine remaining tablespoon of sugar and the cinnamon, and sprinkle evenly over pears and dough.

  7. Place pan in oven on baking stone. Spray oven 3 times with water during the first 10 minutes of baking, and bake 20 to 25 minutes, until edges are crisp and top is golden. If you wish, remove focaccia from the pan and bake directly on the stone during the last 10 minutes. Remove from oven, remove from pan at once and cool on a rack. If you want a softer focaccia, cover with a towel when you remove it from the oven. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Tip

  • Advance preparation: The dough can be made through Step 3 and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Punch it down, oil it lightly and seal in a plastic bag. You must reshape it into a ball and let it warm up and rise again before proceeding with Step 4. Once baked, focaccia will not keep well, but once it dries out, it’s great lightly toasted in a toaster oven or on the grill (for a treat, melt a little gorgonzola or blue cheese on the top in the toaster oven).

Ratings

4

out of 5

63

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Cooking Notes

SheraM

I made this last night and it was wonderful. The smell when I opened the oven was out of this world. I don’t usually care for rosemary but the way it fit into the other flavors was just right. I tucked tiny pieces of Brie under the walnuts. I will make this again.

Lopezian

Great for fall. Procedure has many steps with 3 rises, plan accordingly. To the rosemary and olive oil, I added a bit of sea salt. I took advice to add brie. I did this after I took focaccia out of the oven. I have made this twice, prefer the softer version when I put damp towel over focaccia while it cooled.

Barb

Tasty recipe! Made as stated but with slightly less rising time & still worked fine. Yes to pairing with blue cheese, especially Rogue Creamery's Rogue River Blue, the world's best cheese, 2019. And with local Rogue Valley "Paragon" pears. Wonderful!

Barb

Use less sugar. Not needed, 2 tsp max in dough.

Marko

Delicious. I didn’t have pears so I used apples. I didn’t have walnuts so I used candied pecan pieces left over from Christmas. To expedite things I stirred the apple slices into the cinnamon sugar instead of sprinkling on top. I sprinkled blue cheese crumbles on top as soon as focaccia came out of the oven. Wow! I used the whole wheat flour but will probably use durum flour next time.

Lopezian

Help me. I have cooked this recipe several times with no problems. I add brie towards the end of the bake. This time my bake did nothing, no rise from the prebake state. The yeast expiration date was okay. The rises went fine. The dough looked okay going into the bake. I use a Miele oven with moisture plus mode for this recipe as without spraying the dough it can get hard during the bake. I used 3 oven sprays during the bake. This tastes good just not hardly any bread...

Christine

This is a fab recipe! I followed it pretty much as written, tho I only used 1 apple and 1 pear. I’d probably use 3 pears or a combo of apples and pears. One could totally play around with the toppings, and I might do that next time I make it. Oh, I didn’t have fresh rosemary, so I just used dried; it worked totally fine!

Lopezian

Great for fall. Procedure has many steps with 3 rises, plan accordingly. To the rosemary and olive oil, I added a bit of sea salt. I took advice to add brie. I did this after I took focaccia out of the oven. I have made this twice, prefer the softer version when I put damp towel over focaccia while it cooled.

Barb

Tasty recipe! Made as stated but with slightly less rising time & still worked fine. Yes to pairing with blue cheese, especially Rogue Creamery's Rogue River Blue, the world's best cheese, 2019. And with local Rogue Valley "Paragon" pears. Wonderful!

Barb

Use less sugar. Not needed, 2 tsp max in dough.

SheraM

I made this last night and it was wonderful. The smell when I opened the oven was out of this world. I don’t usually care for rosemary but the way it fit into the other flavors was just right. I tucked tiny pieces of Brie under the walnuts. I will make this again.

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Sweet Whole Wheat Focaccia with Pears and Walnuts Recipe (2024)
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