Focaccia is one of my favorite breads. It’s just the perfect combination of fluffy and soft but also the crisp edges. It’s also pretty simple to make which always is a plus when baking. A few years ago I wondered to myself why dessert or sweet focaccia wasn’t a thing, so I made one: Sweet Orange Focaccia and it was delightful. Recently I had been thinking about making another sweet focaccia but wanted to make a fall version. To me, fall is foliage and apple cider and the smell of cinnamon. So cinnamon apple focaccia had to happen!
You might be thinking but focaccia is savory and cinnamon apple is not at all. You’re correct, but I thought about that a lot and remembered I had an almond olive oil that was 75% almond oil and 25% olive oil. The almond oil was the perfect complimentary flavor to apple and cinnamon and the bread just tastes more like dessert while still being very true to original focaccia.
When creating this cinnamon apple focaccia I decided smaller was better, so I adapted my Same Day Small Batch Focaccia into this one which I think is the perfect size for a dessert. You could totally double this though if you wanted a big batch. While this IS a sweet bread or dessert bread, it is NOT overwhelmingly sweet. The bread is only very lightly sweetened and the same with the topping. There is less than a cup of sugar in the whole thing.
Cinnamon Apple Focaccia Key Ingredients
- Apple – Any apple you’d like for the most part will work. I made mine with Cosmic Crisp variety but usually will grab Honeycrisp, Gala or Pink lady apples which all would work as well.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon can inhibit yeast so we don’t actually put any in the dough itself, but the apples are coated in it which covers the entire top of the dough.
- Almond oil – I couldn’t find a link to the type I use, the company may have discontinued it or never started selling it (I received it as a gift) but I would recommend something like this. Just make sure it is one for cooking, as some are only intended for skincare.
- 280 g Bread flour 2⅓ cup
- 1 tsp Instant yeast
- 1 tsp Sea salt
- 2 tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1 cup +2 tbsp water warm
- 3 tbsp Almond oil/olive almond oil blend divided
- 1 large Apple
- 50 g Dark brown sugar
- 1½ tsp Cinnamon
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg
- 3 tbsp Unsalted butter divided, melted
- In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, sugar, yeast, water and 1 tbsp of almond or olive almond oil. Mix with a dough whisk or wooden spoon to create a wet shaggy dough.
- Cover dough with an additional tbsp of oil and cover dough, let rise for 30 minutes.
- During any of the rest times, create your apple cinnamon topping. Peel and dice your apple, and toss with brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Place in a small saucepan and cook on med-low for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Uncover dough and do 4 stretch and folds. Take your fingers under the edge top edge of the dough (12 o'clock position) and pull the dough up and over towards the center/bottom of the dough. Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat, until you have done 4 folds.
- Re-cover your dough and allow to rest for another 30 minutes.
- Repeat the stretch and folds, and then allow the dough to rest for another 30 minutes.
- Transfer your dough to either a 9 inch round or 9×9 square pan lined with parchment if not nonstick.
- Cover dough and allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until the dough has filled out the bottom of your pan. Preheat your oven to 425°F.
- Pour two tablespoons of melted butter over your focaccia dough and dimple the dough by pressing your fingertips down into the dough to the bottom of the pan.
- Lightly spoon your apple topping over the dough, reserving about ½-1 tbsp of the liquid.
- Place your pan on the center rack of your oven and bake for 22-25 minutes. Bread is done when top is golden to dark golden brown and fragrant.
- When bread comes out of the oven, take remaining 1 tbsp melted butter and add ½-1 tbsp of the cinnamon sugar liquid from topping and mix together. Then drizzle over the hot bread.
- Remove bread from pan and onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool before cutting. Enjoy!