Dolci & Desserts Italian Regional Recipes

Sweet Focaccia

Sweet Focaccia, Focaccia Dolce in Italian, is widely used in Northern Italy and can be made both with seasonal fruit or fruit in syrup as well as dried fruit. Just perfect at the end of a meal or for a brekky, it has a soft dough very similar to traditional focaccia, unlike brown sugar is added instead of salt, and sugar sprinkled on the surface which, after baking, makes a slightly caramelized crust. We also added rosemary for an aromatic hint.

Doses for a rectangular baking tin: 26×30, Preparation: 20 minutes + rising time 2 to 3 hours, Baking: 20 minutes

  • 200 g Italian flour type 0 or strong white flour or Manitoba Flour
  • 100 g of spelt flour
  • 1 tsp of malt powder
  • 2 tablespoons of cane sugar + white sugar for the topping, to taste
  • 100 ml lukewarm water
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 g dry brewer’s yeast to be activated in water + a tsp of sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp mild EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil + a little bit to brush the surface
  • 5 minced apricot in syrup or apricot jam to taste
  • A sprig of fresh rosemary


Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml warm water with a tsp of sugar, stir and allow the yeast to activate and get frothy; it will take about 6 to 10 minutes.

Sieve the flours, add them together in a bowl with a tsp of malt powder, a little at a time add the water with the dissolved yeast and mix with a wooden spoon.

Start to knead now with your hands, add brown sugar, EVOO and a pinch of salt only at the end. Keep kneading until you get a smooth and slightly sticky dough – add a little bit more of water if necessary. Shape the dough into a ball and leave it to rise in a bowl covered with a damp cloth in a warm place or preheat the oven to a very low temperature – maximum 30 C – then turn it off and place the dough in the oven, off but still lukewarm.

Leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size – depending on the temperature, this will take 2 to 3 hours.

Put the dough onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper and roll it out with your fingertips to press little dimples into the dough.
Brush the surface with a bit of oil and sprinkle with brown sugar, scatter the minced apricot pieces over the focaccia – not only on the surface but also on the inside, or spread a layer of apricot jam evenly over focaccia. Add rosemary needles and put it back to rise in the unlit oven, always warm and not covered by a cloth this time, with a small container containing boiling water inside to help the second rising, 30 to 40 mins.

Take the tray out, turn the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6 and bake the focaccia for 20 minutes or until golden brown on the surface – and cooked through on the underside.

Leave to cool on a tray and serve immediately.

How to Store Apricot Focaccia?
Wrap it up in a bread bag or sealed zip-top bag. It will be ok for 2-3 days.

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