Easy Cranberry Pecan Focaccia Rolls

The bread basket is often one of my favorite parts of dining out. I absolutely love when restaurants put as much thought and care into their bread basket as they do the other parts of the menu. The dining experience is about all the details, and a really great bread or other treat can really be the thing that makes the meal memorable.

Over the years, I've come across a bunch of alternatives to the standard roll, but one of my favorites is when restaurants--usually Italian ones--feature different kinds of focaccia, rotating it to match the seasons.

While working on some pizza recipes a couple weeks ago, I found myself with an extra pound or so of dough and decided to turn it into some Fall-inspired focaccia rolls.

I cut the pizza dough into smaller rolls (you can use a homemade pizza dough recipe or buy frozen dough at the store), and then studded it with chopped candied pecans, fresh cranberries, and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

I baked them until puffed and golden, then let cool slightly before tearing in.

The rolls were light, fluffy, with just the right amount of chew. And the combination of tart cranberries and sweet, candied nuts was total perfection.

These would be a really fun addition to a Thanksgiving or Christmas table, and you can really take the idea and run with it, adding other fruits (grapes would be so good, too!) or nuts.

These were even lovely in the morning with a bit of melted butter and a warm mug of coffee.

Love Always Order Dessert?
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Easy Cranberry Pecan Focaccia Rolls
Makes 6 large rolls (can be cut into smaller slices for serving)

1 1/2 pounds pizza dough (homemade or frozen and thawed)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 cup candied pecans
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the dough into 6 even sized pieces and shape into small, flat rounds. Place on a greased baking sheet, with 2-3 inches in between each one.

Brush each roll with olive oil, then press the cranberries and pecans into the dough. Push hard to nestle them into the dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then let sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, until slightly risen. Press the cranberries and pecans deeper into the risen dough if they've popped out slightly.

Bake on middle rack for 20-30 minutes, or until rolls are puffed, fully baked and slightly golden.

Remove from oven and let cool on baking sheet.

Serve whole, or cut into triangles.

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