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Herb Focaccia with Whipped Ricotta & Fig Jam

Be sure to use your favourite olive oil or the best you can get your hands on here, as the bread will benefit. If making ahead, allow bread to cool completely before storing in a paper bag for up to 1 day. If you're going through the trouble to make freshly baked bread, you deserve extra to nibble on, and the recipe makes enough to treat yourself to a snack.


1¼ cups (310 mL) warm water
1 tbsp (15 mL) granulated sugar
2 tsp (10 mL) instant yeast
3 cups (750 mL) all-purpose flour
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped rosemary, divided
1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped sage
1½ tsp (7 mL) salt
1 tsp (5 mL) chopped thyme
⅓ cup (80 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tsp (10 mL) Maldon salt or fleur de sel

1 cup (250 mL) ricotta cheese
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Pinch ground nutmeg
½ cup (125 mL) fig jam
Additional rosemary, for garnish (optional)


  1. For focaccia, whisk together warm water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Let stand for about 4 minutes, until mixture appears foamy. In a separate large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 tbsp (15 mL) rosemary, sage, salt and thyme. Sprinkle flour mixture over water mixture and stir until dough comes together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth.
  2. Drizzle 3 tbsp (45 mL) of olive oil onto a large rimmed baking sheet. Roll or stretch dough into a roughly 10 x 14-inch (25 x 35 cm) rectangle. Transfer to oiled baking sheet, ensure bottom of dough is well oiled, and turn over to coat other side. Cover pan with a parchment and set aside to rise for about 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
  4. Using your fingers, poke dimples in surface of dough at regular intervals. Drizzle with remaining olive oil; sprinkle with Maldon salt and remaining 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped rosemary. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, until golden and crisp. Remove pan to a rack to cool.
  5. Meanwhile, for topping, combine ricotta, milk, salt and nutmeg in a food processor; process until smooth (ricotta will keep, covered and refrigerated, for 2 days).
  6. Cut 12 baton-shape pieces of focaccia, each 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide and 4 inches (10 cm) long. Top each with generous tablespoonful (15 mL) of ricotta mixture, spreading to cover top. Divide jam among focaccia pieces and garnish each with small sprig of rosemary, if desired.

Makes 12


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