Black Plum Breakfast Focaccia with Olive Oil Streusel

One bite of this chewy focaccia filled with fresh fruit and covered with a brown sugar olive oil streusel is enough to transport you to Italy for a short visit but eating a whole square with a small cup of espresso for breakfast is more like spending the entire morning there. The locals will line up through the bakery and out into the street to buy these slabs of fruit filled focaccia, sort of like the crowd at Voodoo Donuts in Portland, Oregon. I remember having focaccia for breakfast in Florence after a visit to the Mercato Centrale. We bought everything to create a feast for lunch, wine, cheese, meat, vegetables, fruit, bread, pasta etc. but once I had the little white bag with the sweet, fruity, chewy focaccia in my hand I just couldn’t stop nibbling on it and I really started to lose interest in lunch. When we came back to the apartment and began cooking our lunch I put the bag with what was left of the focaccia on the counter and looked at it longingly from time to time, I know you will always be there for me and you won’t be jealous if I eat other things, thank you for understanding!

While reading ‘Baking For All Occasions’ by Flo Braker the other night I came across this recipe for breakfast focaccia and all the memories of enjoying it in Italy came back to me, I just wish the little white bag was still with me. I found beautiful organic black plums at the market and couldn’t resist using them for the fruit in my focaccia.

I love Flo Braker’s recipe for olive oil streusel but used walnuts in mine instead of the almonds she called for because I had a big bag of walnuts in my pantry that I wanted to use. I was happy with the combination of the black plums and the walnuts but I would definitely try this recipe again with different combinations of fruits and nuts.

This is really a simple recipe with a few short steps but it does require some time waiting as the dough must rise three separate times! You could bake this focaccia late in the afternoon and have it for breakfast or brunch the next day.

Ingredients and Directions for Breakfast Focaccia
Adapted from ‘Baking For All Occasions’ by Flo Braker

Dough
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 & 1/3 cups warm water
5 tablespoons olive oil, preferably a fruity one
3 cups plus 3 to 8 tablespoons unbleached bread flour, I used King Arthurs Organic bread flour
2 teaspoons salt

Olive Oil Streusel
1/2 cup walnut halves
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, preferably freshly grated
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 cups sliced black plums

Directions for making the dough
In the bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the warm water and let rest for about 10 minutes. Add the olive oil, 3 cups of the bread flour, remaining sugar and the salt. Use the dough hook to beat on a low speed for about 12 minutes. Add more flour by the tablespoon if the dough is too sticky. When the dough is smooth, elastic and comes away from the sides of the bowl, stop the mixer and remove the dough, give it a few kneads on the counter. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise until it doubles in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°F

Directions for the olive oil streusel

Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 8-10 minutes until hot, fragrant and just starting to color. Put the hot walnuts in a glass Pyrex measuring cup and pour the olive oil over them. Push the walnuts down so they are fully submerged. Set aside to cool and leave the oven on.
Drain the nuts and place them in a food processor. Sprinkle them with the salt and briefly pulse to chop them. Add the flour, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter, and pulse briefly until mixture is mealy and looks like small peas. Refrigerate the streusel in a small bowl until ready to use.

Directions to form the focaccia

Increase the oven to 375°F Line the bottom of a baking pan with parchment paper and brush with 1 tablespoon of the reserved olive oil from the walnuts. Gently flatten the dough and stretch to fit in the baking sheet. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 60 minutes. When you press your finger into the dough and it leaves an impression, the dough is ready for the topping of fruit and streusel! Brush about 1 & 1/2 tablespoons of the walnut infused olive oil on the dough before adding the topping. Gently press the plum slices into the dough, spacing them evenly. Sprinkle the streusel over the dough, breaking up any large clumps. Loosely cover the pan and let rise about 30 more minutes.

Bake the focaccia for about 40 minutes, until the streusel and the dough are lightly golden. Transfer to a rack and let cool for about 30 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

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Comments

  1. So this has to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring recipes I've come upon in awhile. I love your photographs, and this recipe is so unique. I can only imagine how great this would taste. I wish we could both be in Italy, sharing a piece of this together. Thanks for sharing!

  2. oh my gosh, that looks AMAZING!!!

  3. Ooooh, Patty–so, so pretty! Thanks for the virtual trip to Firenze, too!

  4. Oh Boy, does that look good!

  5. That's a luscious breakfast, looks divine, loved the olive oil Streusel idea.

  6. This looks fantastic! I love plum cakes, plum focaccia is a great idea!

  7. This is a terrific idea. I've never seen a sweet focaccia before. I'll have to give this a try. I hope you are having a great day. Blessings…Mary

  8. What a beautiful looking focaccia, I love black plums!

  9. You know, I don't think I've ever had a sweet focaccia – this looks amazing!

  10. Ooh, a fruity focaccia! I never would have thought of that. I bet this would be good with any fruit. I'm like you, i could totally forgo an actual meal for bread. I love bread!

  11. It's wonderful to see plums used in foods. I love them and think that this would be outstanding. Thanks so much for sharing it!

  12. Hi! Your breakfast foccacia with plums is great :) I am sure it must be delicious…but how to find my time in the morning to bake this ? Maybe one Saturday, or Sunday….

  13. Now isn't that a magic of a good bakers,to be able to bake such wonderful bakery quality breads.Absolutely love the plums and of course olive oil is one my best choice of fats :D

  14. Oh, how original this is. I can see this recipe working overtime with so many other fruit selections too ;o) Yum.
    Thanks for hitting my sweet tooth where it counts ;o)
    Flavourful wishes, Claudia

  15. Oh Patty, I want to go to Italy now!!! The focaccia looks amazing! Your photos are so great. I also heard about the Voodoo donuts in Portland but haven't got a chance to try.

    Good to see you on FB :)

  16. This looks amazing and like something I've never eaten before. Clearly, I need to get my butt to Italy! (Or settle for trying out this recipe while I save up the funds!)

  17. Really original…Perfect for a lazy summer breakfast !!!

  18. simply just grand – I can see why you would nibble on these forever…

  19. I've bookmarked this, Patty. It sounds so good! I like that this focaccia comes with such good memories for you. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Breakfast focaccia sounds so good. What a great way to use plums!

  21. This is the kind of creative cooking that inspires me. Wonderful!

    Cheers!

  22. Thanks for all these nice comments, I really like to bake and it's fun to try new recipes and share them:-)

  23. How CREATIVE! This looks marvelous!

  24. Hey Patty, those black plums are beautiful. I love a juicy plum. I just ate two very sweet, little organic apricots. I wish I had a plum to top it off…
    This looks wonderful. I've never had fruit focaccia but it sounds so appealing and practical too. Ooh, and I'm not going to get started on the olive oil streusel-genius!

  25. What a combination. Focaccia and Streusel….who knew that could turn out so good. Love your blog and pictures Patty.

  26. This looks adorable! I must try this when black plums are in season here.

  27. Looking at this is killing me, knowing it is many months until I can get my hands on fresh plums! Please eat extra for me!

  28. What a splendid focaccia! I love that streusel.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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