I have been obsessed with focaccia bread lately. Not sure why. Maybe it’s because I tried eating gluten free for a couple of weeks, and every time I went to Sprouts to look at their gluten free bread selection, I was seriously tempted by these plastic bags of freshly baked focaccia that looked infinitely better than the chilled bricks of bread in the GF cooler.

Instead of just giving into temptation, however, I decided to turn my cravings into a teaching/learning moment: If I wanted focaccia that bad, I needed to learn how to make it.

I tested the first recipe I found online, and it came out really well. A bit simple, but the magic was there.

Then I got to thinking: How could I make this unctuous bread even better, and more seasonally appropriate? What about baking butternut squash into the top?

I pictured the dish in my head, thought about what fresh herbs I could sprinkle on top… I just knew it would be good. I could practically taste it. A quick Google search revealed that I wasn’t the only one to think it sounded like a great idea. Instead of reinventing the focaccia wheel, I decided to just test out a recipe from Food & Wine Magazine for y’all.

This recipe takes a little bit of prep work ahead of time, but the flavor in the end is worthwhile. Also, the original recipe called for honey to be drizzled on top, but since I wanted this bread to be completely vegan, I decided to use maple syrup instead. And it was amazing!

Here’s the full recipe from Food & Wine Magazine if you want to impress your friends and family this holiday season.