Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia |
  • Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia
Posted on December 21, 2015

We are seriously getting down to the wire now with respect to Christmas. As usual, I’m highly unprepared in all areas of my life except for the food.

But this year, I’m trying to embrace my unpreparedness. Instead of having a minor freak-out over the fact that I haven’t bought any presents or hung up any decorations, I’m just going to chill out and enjoy some time with my family and friends.

And if that doesn’t work, I’m going to shove copious amount of carbohydrates in my face until I feel better.

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia |

Whether your Christmas tradition involves brunch, a formal sit-down dinner or an all day grazing fest, you should plan on adding this Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia to the menu. It can be enjoyed at any time of day. And it goes with just about everything else that you might be dishing up. The focaccia itself is thick and chewy. And the topping is irresistibly savory and tart. Which to be honest, is a nice little break from all the sugar that’s be happening lately.

And hello, it’s hella festive looking. Yeah, I just said “hella”.

{insert brilliant segue}

Just so you know, things might be quiet around here for the next few days. I’ll probably stop in once at some point between Christmas and New Years Eve. But I’m going to try and take a little break from work (gasp!). I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday!



Recipe adapted from my Grape and Caramelized Onion Herbed Focaccia

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia

Yield: Makes 20-24 pieces

Cranberry, Caramelized Onion and Fresh Herb Focaccia


  • 1 package (2 1/4 tsp.) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water, 90-105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 1 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • About 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped and divided
  • 3 tsp. fresh rosemary, chopped and divided
  • 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh cranberries (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Add the yeast to the bowl of your stand mixer and pour the warm water over top. Let it sit for 5-8 minutes. Then add the milk, 1/4 cup of the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the kosher salt, the orange zest and 2 tsp. each of the thyme and rosemary. With the dough hook attachment, start mixing on low speed. Gradually add in the 6 cups of flour. Once the flour is incorporated, beat the dough on medium speed for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand on a lightly floured counter top. The dough should be smooth and elastic.
  2. Cover the dough loosely with a towel and let it rise for 1 1/4 – 1 1/2 hours in a large bowl placed in a warm spot. The dough should approximately double in size during this time.
  3. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet with about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. I recommend a 10 X 15-inch pan if you want a thicker focaccia. Or a 12 X 17-inch pan for a thinner focaccia.
  4. Punch down the dough and transfer it to your greased baking pan. Using your hands, push the dough out into an even layer, stretching it all the way out to the rim. If the dough is especially elastic, let it rest for about 10 minutes before continuing to stretch it out. Cover the dough loosely with a towel and let it rise in a warm place for another 45-60 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees. Caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet over low-medium heat. Warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and melt the butter. Add the sliced onions and shallots, stirring to coat them in the fat, then sprinkle with 1 tsp. of salt. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned. If they start to cook too quickly, turn the heat down to low and/or add a little more olive oil. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and cook for 1 minute more. Then remove from the heat and set aside.
  6. With your fingers, poke holes on the surface of the risen dough. Spread the caramelized onions evenly over the top of the dough and then drizzle with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss the cranberries, sugar and the remaining 1 tsp. each of the thyme and rosemary in a bowl. Then scatter them over top of the dough.
  7. Transfer the focaccia to your pre-heat oven and bake about 25-30 minutes. The bread should be golden and some of the cranberries will have blackened in a few places. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 15 minutes. Then using a large, wide spatula, loosen and slide the focaccia out onto a cutting board. Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.
  8. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.


  • Absolutely festive looking Liz! I’m in with the carbs at all times! Have a wonderful holiday!


    • Thank you, Mary Ann! Happy Holidays!

  • Enjoy your break dear! I thought about cramming some posts in before Christmas after today, but why would I do that to myself when I can just chill out? Also, carbs always make everything feel better and presents aren’t really necessary, just give people bread 🙂



  • Simply beautify! I would gladly take 27 slices of this beautiful focaccia!


    • I would gladly send you 27 slices!

  • Liz, enjoy the break!!!! you deserve it!!!!!! and chilling out with family and friends sounds brilliant. I love your hella festive looking cranberry caramelized onion and fresh herb focaccia!!! 🙂


    • Thank you so much, Alice! Happy Holidays! XOXO!

  • Girlfriend, we are in the same exact place as far as the holiday is concerned! And I’m not fretting either.. I’m just rolling with with it and saying screw it. 😉 I am definitely needing a break from all the dang sugar and in need of some cozy carb lovin’! This focaccia is perfection, Liz!!! Love the cranberry, onion and herb pairing! I am going to make this, stay in my jammies and devour it on the comfort of my couch (with a bourbon cocktail). Pinned! Cheers, my dear! xo


    • Ok, I want to come to your house so badly! Jammies, bourbon, carbs and couch = all my favorite things! 🙂

  • Heyyy Liz! I’m with Ya! Carbs all the live long day… one after another! Yesss Please! My pants are already feelin the pinch.. but I’m going to just keep on going! I absolutely love focaccia and the spin you put on this is so festive. I’d take this over any gadget or new stuff any day… ! Food is where it’s at! I want to join you and Chey… all the bourbon, jammies (yoga pants), carbs and COUCH! Y’all know how to celebrate! xo Have a fabulous holiday my dear and enjoy your time off! 😀


    • Yes, the three of us definitely need to have a big pajama and bourbon party sometime very soon! Have a great Holiday, Traci! XOXO!

  • I’m usually so organized for the holidays but this year it completely got away from me! But this focaccia??? Liz this sounds incredible! Merry merry christmas friend!


    • Cheers, Ashley! I hope you have a wonderful Holiday!

  • This focaccia is officially the prettiest thing I’ve seen all day! Seriously gorgeous. I’m pinning this to my must-make list — I’m afraid I’m too swamped to make it for the holidays, but that just means I’ll have to make it for myself sometime, which means more for me!


    • If you make it for yourself after the Holidays, then you don’t have to share and that’s a bonus! Thanks for the great compliments, Willow!

  • Beautiful Liz! To my mind, the best part of the holidays is that it’s such a great excuse for copious amounts of carb consumption! Have a wonderful Christmas 🙂


    • Thanks, Jennifer! Merry Christmas to you and your family! XO

  • This looks amazing! I’m totally down with stuffing copious amounts of this focaccia in my face!


    • Glad you’re on board, Rachel!

  • This looks incredible! I love homemade focaccia with different combinations on it, and this one looks so good. Definitely need to make it soon!


    • I hope you try it out, Stacey!

  • I am making this for Christmas dinner! To go with our king crab legs. I will let you know how much we love it because I know we will!!


    • That’s awesome, Shanna! And crab legs sound fabulous!

  • Can I use whole wheat flour ??


    • Hi Rahul, I haven’t tried it with whole wheat flour yet. Maybe use half whole wheat and half regular all-purpose flour for a first attempt?

  • Wow this looks AMAZING, Liz! I’ve only made focaccia one other time, so I definitely need to change that after seeing this recipe. I love the cranberries and onion on here. I hope you have a very Merry Christmas, friend!


    • Merry Christmas to you too, Gayle! Glad we can be great blogging friends!

  • Merry Christmas, Liz!!! I definitely need to make this focaccia because it look and sounds AMAZING. At least you have your food together – I haven’t even made any Christmas desserts yet!


    • I can’t believe YOU haven’t made a Christmas dessert yet! GAH! It’s tough being an adult and being all organized sometimes. Merry Christmas, Rachel! XOXO!

  • Love the idea of the cranberry-rosemary-shallot-onion flavor combo. I try to stock up on cranberries at this time of year because I like to keep using them even beyond November and December. But this year we keep using them up, hope I can stock up once more before they’re gone! Hope your holiday went well despite the last minute nature of it. I just hate people asking me (starting early in December) whether I’m ready for Christmas. The answer is always going to be no!


    • Thanks, Mary! I know you’ll love the focaccia. I’m trying to stock up on cranberries too this time of year!

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