This Christmas cranberry focaccia bread has all those fabulous festive flavours in one deliciously tasty easy bake bread you can enjoy with everything from soup to a cheeseboard and so much more.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Focaccia is one of the easiest breads to make and this festive focaccia is no exception.
- You won’t find this cranberry focaccia in the shops so it is something just a wee bit different to serve to family and friends over the holiday season.
- The taste, my Christmas focaccia contains all those fabulous festive favourites from cranberries to rosemary, walnuts and the zing of orange zest.
I love Italian focaccia bread, it really is one of my favourites and goes so well either with a glass of wine or a hearty bowl of soup. While I have shared my recipe for basic focaccia here before I thought I’d ramp things up with this festive focaccia for Christmas.
This cranberry focaccia came about as a way to use up some of the Christmassy ingredients that tend to fill my kitchen cupboards and fridge at this time of year.
I had bits and pieces to use up so I decided to turn a normal focaccia loaf into something truly special and Christmas focaccia was the result!
Ingredients for Christmas focaccia
You can get creative with this festive focaccia recipe and use whatever you have to hand to add Christmassy flavour to this simple Italian bread recipe.
There are very few ingredients in standard focaccia bread, it’s the festive toppings that make this extra special. Here’s what I used.
Flour – Plain bread flour, stronger than standard plain flour.
Yeast – I used just a little packet of that fast-acting dried yeast, so useful to have in the store cupboard.
Salt – You need some fine sea salt to give your festive focaccia it’s flavour.
Liquid – You’ll need some liquid to form your focaccia dough and that means good olive oil and lukewarm water.
Toppings – I’ve gone for fresh cranberries, rosemary (a focaccia favourite!), walnuts for crunch, orange zest for that festive zing and parmesan.
Can you use frozen cranberries?
Yes, you can use frozen cranberries to make this cranberry focaccia recipe. Just defrost them thoroughly first then follow my recipe below.
How to make Christmas cranberry focaccia
If you have never tried bread making before then focaccia is a great place to start.
Start by simply putting your flour in a big bowl and put the salt in one side of the bowl and the fast-acting yeast in the other.
Now mix the salt and flour together in one side of the bowl then the yeast and flour in the other side then bring everything together in a good mix together.
This is to stop the salt from killing off the yeast, mixing the salt into half of the flour makes it kinder to the yeast.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mix and add olive oil and lukewarm water and mix it all together to form your sticky and shaggy focaccia dough.
Take the focaccia dough out of the bowl and knead it on a wooden board for 5-10 minutes till it has turned from that sticky shaggy dough that clings to your fingers (have to say I hate having dough on my fingers) to a beautiful silken smooth dough.
Wipe your mixing bowl with a little olive oil and pop the kneaded focaccia dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film.
Now leave it for an hour while you go and do something far more interesting.
After an hour your focaccia dough will have doubled in size, impressive eh!
Now oil a baking tray about 25 x 35cm and take the dough out of the bowl and flatten it into the tray, stretching it to fill the whole tray.
Cover this with a clean tea towel and leave it for another hour.
Yes, I know this sounds like a lot of time but you aren’t actually hands-on doing anything here and can be getting on with other exciting adventures like drinking coffee, wrapping Christmas presents, calling friends or cleaning the damn house if you feel like it.
One thing you can be doing while your focaccia dough is doing its final rise is to rummage about in the kitchen and bring together all the lovely toppings that make this cranberry Christmas focaccia so special.
Get those cranberries and prepare them by heating them gently in a small pan with a little water and sugar for about 5 minutes just to soften them up and sweeten them a wee bit.
Now for the fun part of making focaccia. Press your fingers into the dough all over to make the traditional focaccia dimples. But instead of simply sprinkling on olive oil to fill those dimples you are going to add your festive focaccia fillings.
Press in the cooked cranberries, tiny sprigs of rosemary, walnut halves and olives all over the focaccia dough.
Sprinkle with the orange zest and parmesan as well as a good wallop of olive oil, salt and some pepper.
Bake your Christmas cranberry focaccia for about 20 minutes till it is gorgeously golden and remove from the oven. Now doesn’t that look gorgeous, all golden and studded with edible flavoursome festive jewels!
While the focaccia is still warm drizzle with some more olive oil. This is where I use my homemade garlic infused olive oil to add even more amazing flavour to this Christmas bread recipe and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt.
Your Christmas cranberry focaccia will keep for a few days in an airtight tin and you can liven it up when it hardens by sprinkling with a little water and popping it into the oven to warm up.
Christmas cranberry focaccia goes wonderfully with a glass of rich red wine on a cold winter’s night while you are cozied up by the fire.
Add some wedges of festive focaccia to a big sharing platter with cold meats and cheese etc.
Serve this delicious focaccia bread with a warming bowl of soup for a comforting lunch.
Looking for more festive baking ideas? Then check these out before you go;
For my full section of festive foodie ideas check out my Christmas Cooking section. Merry Christmas wherever you are.
Finally, if you do try this recipe don’t forget to leave a comment/star rating below as I just love to hear from readers. Want more Larder Love? Then follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter and sign up for my newsletter too of course.
Christmas Cranberry Focaccia
- 500 g strong bread flour
- 7 g fast acting yeast
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- 10 cranberries
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 10 black olives
- 5 walnuts
- 1 tbsp parmesan grated
- 1 tsp orange zest
- Preheat oven to 220C and oil a 25 x 35cm baking sheet
- Put the flour in a mixing bowl with salt on one side and yeast on other then mix in one side then the other and then altogether. Make a well in the centre and add 2 tbsp of the olive oil and 350ml of lukewarm water and mix together to form a shaggy stick dough
- Tip dough out onto table and knead for 5-10 mins till smooth and silky. Lightly oil your mixing bowl and return the dough to the bowl covering with cling film and leave 1 hour to double in size
- Remove from bowl and stretch the dough to fit your baking tray then cover with clean tea towel and leave for 1 hour to rise again
- Makine indents all over dough with fingers and press in the cranberries, walnuts, olives and rosemary. Sprinkle with the orange zest and parmesan and salt and 2 tbsp of olive oil.
- Bake for about 20 minutes till golden. While still hot sprinkle with some flaky sea salt and emailing olive oil