focaccia with cranberries

focaccia with cranberries

Focaccia with cranberries from Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles is a celebration. The sharp tasting berry seems only to get used for sauces at Christmas time, but this recipe allows them to shine differently. As they cook, they turn deep red, and the juices streak the dough. The gentle peppery taste of Zejd’s extra virgin olive oil is the perfect combination for these seasonal berries. If you bought an extra packet for the freezer at Christmas time, this is just the recipe to banish the wet grey January skies with.

We thought it was worth adding a second focaccia recipe to our website, the previous one being from Ottolenghi. Partly because focaccia have to be the easiest bread to make. And also because the fruity topping of this recipe goes so well with Zejd’s pomegranate tapenade. If you were given a jar at Christmas, a couple of pieces of toasted focaccia with the tangy olive tapenade is a regal lunch indeed. 

As the focaccia cooks, keep an eye on the cranberries which need to be dark red, but they can burn quickly. So you might need to place a piece of baking paper on top to allow the focaccia its full baking time in the oven. 

Serves 6


for the bread
500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp easy-bake dried yeast (7g sachet)
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbsp Zejd extra virgin olive oil
350ml warm water

for the topping
200g small shallots
2 tbsp Zejd extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs of rosemary, needles removed and chopped
8 branches of thyme, leaves chopped
10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
150g cranberries, fresh or frozen


  1. In a large bowl add the flour, yeast, salt, and the extra virgin olive oil. Stir in the warm water and mix until the dough comes together. Then knead either using the dough hook on a food mixer for 5 minutes or by hand for longer until the dough feels springy.
  2. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, and leave in a warm place for an hour until almost double its original size.
  3. For the topping, peel the shallots, cut them in half and remove the hard bit at the end. Then gently pull the layers apart. 
  4. Warm the extra virgin olive oil in a pan and add the shallots cooking slowly for 15 minutes until soft. Add the chopped rosemary and thyme. Season with black pepper and the juniper berries. 
  5. Stir in the cranberries and remove the pan from the heat. 
  6. In a tin measuring 24cm x 12xm spread out the dough and press down. Reserving the oil from the shallots, add the cranberry mixture on top of the dough. Leave in a warm place for 30 minutes. 
  7. Set the oven to Gas mark 6/ 200 degrees C. With your finger press holes into the risen dough, and trickle in the reserved oil. 
  8. Bake for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on the cranberries, if they look as if they’re turning black, place some baking paper on top to allow it to complete its baking time. Remove from the oven and leave for 10 minutes or so before eating. 

Delicious with Zejd’s pomegranate tapenade and a winter salad with pomegranate molasses dressing. 

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