Take advantage of summer’s bounty of tomatoes with this bright and beautiful focaccia. I think this makes quite a convincing argument for carbo loading…
At the moment I’m daydreaming about a holiday on the Mediterranean, where I can spend lazy afternoons in pavement cafes on cobbled streets, soaking in the sunlight. For now, though, I will be content with a slice of this focaccia, some deep gold olive oil for dunking and a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt.
A stand mixer with a dough hook makes the idea of homemade bread a lot less daunting. I rarely pick elbow grease over horsepower, but feel free to knead by hand if you have the time. The therapeutic qualities of kneading dough come highly recommended.
Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia
Adapted from Coles Magazine
- 1¼ cups lukewarm water
- A 7g sachet of dried yeast
- 3 cups plain flour
- 2 tsp sea salt, plus extra for garnishing
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing
- A handful of baby tomatoes, different varieties if possible (cut larger tomatoes in half)
- 1 French shallot, sliced
- A handful of pitted olives
- 2 cloves of garlic, roasted (roasting is optional, but really brings out the flavour)
- A few basil leaves, sliced
- Combine the water and yeast in a jug and set aside for about 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Add the flour and salt to the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment, and mix on low speed till combined. Add in the yeast mixture and olive oil and knead on medium speed till the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough will still be very sticky, so oil your hands when handling.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to double in size.
- Once the dough has risen, pre-heat the oven to 200ºC and grease a 20X30cm baking pan. Knock the dough down and knead by hand a few times, then roll into a rectangle and place in the pan. (Remember to oil your hands before kneading)
- Use a mortar and pestle to crush the garlic, then mix with the extra olive oil. Brush the mixture over the dough.
- Top with the tomatoes, olives and sliced shallot and allow to rise for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden. Remove from the oven and place on a rack to cool slightly.
- Serve with extra olive oil and sea salt flakes.