Focaccia is a great way to enjoy fresh bread without all the work. This recipe features a short 45 minute rise and only a half hour in the oven, so it can be started later in the day and still be enjoyed with dinner.
Of course focaccia is a great accompaniment to soup, pasta or with a supper salad, but you can also slice it in half and enjoy it as a great and unusual sandwich bread. It’s also endlessly adaptable. Use any fresh herbs you like or have on hand. Maybe add a bit of fresh or roasted garlic to the topping. Adjust the cheese to switch it up (asiago, pecorino). Love onions? Throw some caramelized onions on. Focaccia is only limited by your imagination!
Cherry Tomato Foccacia
Summary: Use your favourite fresh herbs to sprinkle on top of the finished bread or if you like, chop them up and add them to the dough to bake them right into the bread (or both!). Garlic or roasted garlic would also be a nice addition to the topping of this focaccia. Basil will blacken if sprinkled on warm bread. If you want to keep it’s bright green colour, wait until the focaccia cools before sprinkling.
- 2 tsp. white sugar
- 2 tsp. active dry or instant yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (a mix of yellow and red is pretty)
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 Tbsp. coarse sea or kosher salt
- Cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh basil (or rosemary, oregano etc) for garnish
- If using active dry yeast: Dissolve the sugar and yeast into the warm water. Set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large bowl or bowl of stand mixer, combine 4 cups of the flour and salt. If using instant yeast, add into flour. Add water (or water with proofed yeast). Add olive oil. With kneading hook, mix, adding more flour as necessary to make a smooth dough. If doing by hand, mix with a spoon then empty onto a floured surface and knead, adding more flour as necessary, for about 5 minutes.
- Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let rise about 45 minutes, or until doubled. Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet with a large piece of parchment paper. Brush paper with olive oil.
- When dough has risen, pat the dough onto the parchment paper, pressing and stretching into a thin rectangle. Brush the dough with more olive oil and place the halved cherry tomatoes on top of the dough. Sprinkle with salt and cracked black pepper and then the Parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil, if you like.
- Bake in a preheated 400 ° F. oven for about 25 – 30 minutes (or until golden and sounds hollow when tapped. Be sure to check the very centre of the bread to be sure it is cooked. If necessary, cover bread loosely with foil if it is browning too much.)
- Allow to cool 15 minutes before slicing. Garnish with chopped fresh herbs.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 1 hour 30 min
Number of servings (yield): 8