Grocery Coupons

Grocery Coupons

Members can print free savings coupons

Brain Health Center

Brain Health Center

Learn how to live smart and stay sharp

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Kindle

Members save on e-
readers and tablets

Caring for loved ones?

Caring for loved ones?

Find the resources you need

Contests and

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation!

Hawaii, the Grand Canyon or an Alaskan Cruise! No purchase necessary. Ends May 31. See official rules.

Most Popular


Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia Recipe

Total Time: Under 4 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Moderate
  • Print
  • Bookmark
  • Recommend
Sunflower Seed Pull-Apart Focaccia

Photo by: Joseph De Leo

This loaf is dramatic to serve, as the sunflower shape pulls apart with ease into tender, springy pieces for individual servings. Coating your fingers with olive oil instead of flour makes the dough easy to handle when shaping. If chestnut flour is available, it is a wonderful nut-scented variation.

Yield: Makes 1 large loaf; serves 12

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup warm water (105° to 115°F)
  • Pinch of sugar or drop of honey
  • 1¼ cups water at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 3¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon aniseed or minced fresh rosemary
  • ¼ cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 dozen oil-cured black olives, pitted, or ½ cup seedless red grapes


In a large bowl, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. Add the sugar or honey, stir to dissolve, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

Stir in the room-temperature water, the 1 tablespoon honey, and the 2 tablespoons olive oil. Using a wooden spoon or a heavy-duty mixer, add 1 cup of the flour and the salt and mix until smooth. Grind the aniseed in a mortar to release the flavors, if using. Beat the aniseed or rosemary into the mixture. Beat in the remaining 2¼ cups flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough comes together in a loose ball.

Using a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the dough hook, or by hand on a lightly floured board, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1½ hours.

Lightly oil a 14-inch pizza pan. Punch down the dough, turn out on a lightly floured board, and knead until smooth, 1 or 2 minutes. Roll the dough out into a 14-inch round and place on the pizza pan. With a glass turned upside down, cut out a 3-inch round in the center of the dough, then with a pastry scraper or knife, divide the outer circle of dough into fourths. Cut each piece into fourths again to make 16 slices. Twist each cut strip over and lay it flat. Brush the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with the sunflower seeds. Stud the end of each strip with an olive or a grape and place several in the center. Cover with a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Bake the bread for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the bread from the pan to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. Pull apart to serve.

Chestnut flour variation: Substitute ½ cup chestnut flour for ½ cup of the unbleached flour.

© 2006 Lou Seibert Pappas

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information includes 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil for brushing.

188kcal (9%)
11mg (1%)
0mg (0%)
1mcg RAE (0%)
0mg (0%)
376mg (16%)
1g (4%)
5g (8%)
2mg (10%)

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

denny's restaurant member discount membership

Members save 15% all day, every day when dining at participating Denny’s restaurants.

Member Benefit Discount Dunkin Donuts Cream

Members get a FREE Donut with purchase of a L or XL beverage at Dunkin' Donuts.

Outback membership benefit aarp festive steak dinner

Members save 15% on lunch and dinner every day at Outback Steakhouse.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.