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Cherry Tomato Focaccia

Cherry Tomato Focaccia


  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 3h 40 minutes
  • Yield: 10 portions 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Cherry tomato focaccia is a delicious and savoury bread recipe that’s topped with juicy cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil. It’s a popular dish from Apulia, and it’s perfect as an appetizer or side dish, and it’s super easy to make at home!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 300 grams Strong Bread Flour
  • 200 grams Fine durum wheat semolina
  • 330 ml Water
  • 12 grams Fresh brewer’s yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 100 grams Potato (boiled)
  • 12 grams Salt
  • 300 grams cherry tomatoes
  • oregano to taste
  • Coarse salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Boil the medium potato, skin on, in salted water for 30-40 minutes. Once cooked and still warm, mash the potato and set aside 100 grams for the focaccia dough.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine 300 ml of water, sugar, oil, and crumbled yeast. Stir the mixture with a spoon.
  3. Gradually add the flour, semolina, and mashed potato to the mixture. Knead the dough vigorously until it becomes elastic.
  4. Slowly incorporate the remaining 30 ml of water into the dough, followed by the salt. Continue kneading for an additional 10 minutes.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, sprinkle the surface with a little semolina, and cover with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in an unheated oven with the light on, and allow the dough to rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
  6. While the dough rises, halve the cherry tomatoes and season them with a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and oregano. Set aside to marinate.
  7. Once the dough has risen, divide it in half and prepare two 32 cm round pans (or rectangular oven dishes) by drizzling each with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ensuring the entire surface is covered.
  8. Place the first portion of dough into one of the prepared pans, flipping it to ensure both sides are well-greased. Use your fingertips to gently spread the dough from the center outwards, filling the entire pan.
  9. Arrange the marinated cherry tomato halves across the surface of the focaccia, reserving the tomato juice.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 with the second portion of dough.
  11. In the bowl containing the reserved tomato juice, add 4 tablespoons of olive oil, mix, and drizzle the mixture over each focaccia. Sprinkle coarse salt and oregano over the top.
  12. Cover the trays with plastic wrap and allow the focaccias to rise in the unheated oven for 1 hour, resulting in a thick and soft bread.
  13. Preheat the oven to 220°C (fan 200°C) / 425°F/ gas mark 7. Gently press the cherry tomatoes into the risen dough.
  14. Bake the focaccias on the bottom shelf of the preheated oven for 8 minutes, then transfer to the middle shelf and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  15. Remove the focaccias from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving.

Notes

Cherry tomato focaccia is a delicious and versatile Italian bread that is perfect for any occasion. It can be enjoyed fresh from the oven or just as scrumptious and tender the following day.

Using Dried Yeast: If you prefer using dried yeast instead of fresh yeast, you will need 6 grams of dried yeast for this recipe. Follow the package instructions to activate and incorporate the dried yeast into your dough

Storing and Freezing: To maintain its freshness, store the focaccia in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. For longer storage, the focaccia can be frozen and enjoyed later.

Adjusting Yeast and Leavening Times: If desired, you can reduce the yeast amount to half (6 grams) and extend the leavening time to 6-7 hours. Alternatively, prepare the dough the night before and place it in the refrigerator’s lower part (vegetable department). The following day, remove the bowl and allow it to rest at room temperature for 4 hours before continuing with the Apulian focaccia preparation.

For a Flatter and Crunchier Focaccia: Simply roll out the dough, season it, and bake immediately for a thinner and crispier result.

Bakeware Requirements: For this recipe, you will need either two round pizza trays with a 32 cm diameter or two rectangular oven dishes measuring 35 x 23 cm. Choose the bakeware that best suits your preference for the final shape of your focaccia.

Dividing the Dough: If you have smaller round trays, this recipe will yield three 27-28 cm focaccias.

Seasoning and Stuffing Variations: This focaccia can be adorned with not only sunken cherry tomatoes but also garlic cloves, sliced red onions, and black olives for a more flavourful experience. For a simpler version, opt for just the tomatoes. Additionally, this focaccia is tall enough to be stuffed with a variety of fillings like mortadella and provola (traditional Apulian choices), or other cured meats and cheeses.

A Friendly Reminder: Please note that this focaccia recipe should not be confused with pizza pugliese, which is a pizza base topped with tomato, mozzarella, and onion.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Rest Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Category: Baking
  • Cuisine: Italian
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