Focaccia with Tomatoes
Focaccia Bread is fabulous by itself. Add a variety of your favorite tomatoes and herbs and the taste becomes out of this world!
I love using tomatoes of different shapes, colors and types, from heirloom to cherry tomatoes. What a beautiful presentation. I chose herbs that I could pick from my garden. I have a lot of fun maintaining an herb garden and picking herbs for so many of our meals. Many supermarkets carry fresh herbs these days and dried herbs will taste very good as well.
This focaccia freezes well—so make a few extra and put aside.
This recipe is vegan. Feel free to add Parmesan or Romano on top before baking. Recipe is below.
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Focaccia Bread with Tomatoes
4 cups bread flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water
3 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 or 1 packet dried active yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
7 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
2 pounds assorted tomatoes, Heirloom, Roma, cherry and grape tomatoes, all shapes, sizes and colors
Kosher salt for top, as needed
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
3 sprigs fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3-4 fresh sprigs thyme leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
7-8 fresh basil leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3 springs fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried
3” of rosemary leaves fresh, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Chopped fresh chives
3 pans, 9" x 11" or pan sizes of your choice.
Combine flours, water honey and salt in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly for 2-3 minutes, scraping down sides to make sure all of flour is mixed in. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Mix water and yeast. Let stand for 2-3 minutes until it proofs (small bubbles appear). Add to flour mixture and mix until dough forms.
Turn dough out onto clean surface, sprinkled with flour. Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
Add 3 tablespoons olive oil to bowl already used. Add dough and turn to coat with oil.
Let stand covered with cloth or plastic wrap for 2-2 1/2 hours or until dough is doubled.
Prepare baking pans. Coat each pan with olive oil or spray oil.
Deflate dough. Divide into the number of pans you are using. With oiled hands, spread the dough into rectangles and gently place on pans. Stretch to fit edges and corners. With a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut a slight line around the perimeter, about 1/4 inch from the edges. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before you want to bake it.
Preheat oven to 450F.
Drizzle dough with 3-4 of the remaining tablespoons oil. Press fingers into dough to make deep impressions all over the surface.
Cut larger tomatoes into 1/4” slices and halve cherry or grape tomatoes. Arrange decoratively over the surface. Generously brush or drizzle olive oil over tomatoes.
Mix salt, pepper and herbs together. Sprinkle evenly over the tomatoes.
Place trays in hot oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove form oven. Drizzle more oil over tomatoes. Put back in oven for 8-10 minutes or until dough is golden. Remove from oven and cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cut with a pizza cutter or a sharp knife.
If you are going to freeze the Foccacia, it is best to bake in a disposable tin. Cool focaccia to room temperature. Wrap in plastic wrap and then wrap another layer in aluminum wrap. Place in a plastic bag and tie the opening up. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Vegan: Use maple syrup in place of honey
Cheesy: After arranging tomatoes, sprinkle Parmesan and/or Romano cheese over the tomatoes, lightly or heavily according to choice.
Other veggies: Try adding sliced zucchini, bell peppers, hot peppers