Gingerbread Focaccia – Delicious, chewy focaccia bread topped with a layer of sugar and spices and a vanilla glaze. Perfect for the holidays!
I LOVE focaccia bread. Like, a lot.
Focaccia bread is so easy to make, even for beginners (or people who hate baking bread). It needs less time to rise than a traditional bread loaf, and it bakes quickly and easily. Oh and also, it’s delicious.
I made an olive oil focaccia, sprinkled it with a bit of salt, then baked it. I removed it from the oven, brushed it with a little more olive oil, then packed a gingerbread spiced sugar on top and baked it for a few more minutes. It’s so delicious and totally tastes like Christmas. And makes the house smell amazing!
The secret to good focaccia bread is steam. You don’t need a big fancy convection oven with built-in steam jets (although that would be nice and is totally on my Christmas list). All you need is a cake pan and a few ice cubes. The steam is what gives focaccia its crunchy exterior and light, holey, chewy interior.
Just put a few ice cubes in a cake pan, place it on the very bottom rack of the oven, close the door and let the ice melt for one or two minutes, then put the focaccia on the top rack and close the door quickly to make sure all the steam stays in. It’s a super simple trick that makes all the difference in bread baking.
♡ What’s your favorite baking trick (or secret, or hack…)?
- 1 cup warm water (around 110-115°F)
- 1 packet (2¼ tsp.) active dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp. agave nectar
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling (a few tablespoons)
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. ground allspice
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- ½ Tbsp. ground nutmeg
- scant ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. vegan butter, softened
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. nondairy milk
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (fitted with a dough hook), mix water, agave, olive oil, and yeast.
- Add flour and salt and knead dough on a medium speed for two minutes.
- Add dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover loosely, and place in a slightly warm area to rise for 20 minutes.
- Turn bread onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. The one I used is slightly smaller than a normal half-sheet. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil and gently press the dough out to the corners to fill the pan. It's ok if it doesn't fully reach, be careful with the dough and try not to overwork it!
- Place the pan bake in a slightly warm spot to rise for another 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Drizzle the dough with a small amount of olive oil and continue to gently press the dough out to the corners of the pan. Using your fingertips, dimple the bread across the whole top and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.
- Place a small pan on the very bottom rack of your oven and place a few ice cubes in it, then put the dough on the top rack and close the door quickly to make sure none of the steam escapes.
- Bake for 10 minutes. While the bread is baking, make the gingerbread spice by simply combining all ingredients and mixing well.
- Quickly remove the bread from the oven, making sure to not let any steam escape. Brush the bread with a bit more olive oil, then sprinkle the gingerbread spice across the top of the bread.
- Bake an additional 10 minutes until the bread is golden brown and crunchy along the sides.
- Once the bread is cool, slice into pieces and drizzle with the vanilla glaze.
- To make the glaze: combine all ingredients and mix well. I did this in the bowl of a stand mixer; if you try to do it by hand it may end up lumpy.
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