Tomato Olive and Garlic Focaccia

Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia

Easy tomato olive and garlic focaccia is super easy to make, and the best part is there is no kneading to make this crusty, and airy Italian bread. Long and short, focaccia is like a pizza dough, without the topping and cheese! What’s not to like.

less than 5 minutes prep

Simply mix your flour, yeast, salt and water together in a bowl till the flour is incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and rest. That’s it.

This homemade tomato, olive and garlic  focaccia is light, airy, and chewy with a mega crisp crust and is just about the easiest bread you can imagine baking.

We’ve added garlic and fresh rosemary into the dough for maximum flavour and studded the top with cherry tomato halves, kalamata olives and of course, crunchy sea salt flakes and more rosemary.

Few things smell better than the aroma of yeast bread baking in the oven. Add to that the fragrance of the garlic and rosemary and that poor focaccia doesn’t have any chance of surviving much past a few minutes fresh from the oven. Nothing says homemade more than fresh, baked bread. Big yum!

Focaccia 

The word focaccia comes from the Latin word focus which translates as ‘hearth’ or ‘place for baking’.

Focaccia is known and loved in Italy and essentially belongs to the northern shores of the Mediterranean. There are  sweet recipes too with toppings such as honey, raisins, anise, sugar and lemon or orange peel.

baking stone

You definitely need a pizza stone, or tile for making this focaccia bread, to ensure that the focaccia is baked through, with a well-browned, crisp bottom.

The science behind using a stone is simple: the stone conducts and stores heat, which keeps the oven temperature steady, even when the cold dough is introduced.

It’s important to heat your cold stone in the oven for an hour to ensure proper browning and crisping.

If you don’t have a pizza stone you can get a cheap, unglazed ceramic tile to serve as the perfect replacement. Too easy.

unbaked Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia
slide focaccia on an upturned tray onto the baking stone

why warm water?

As you’re working with active dry yeast it’s important to use the warm water to activate and dissolve the yeast. We recommend using a thermometer to check the water temperature which should be between 52-54c (125-130f).

Water that is colder will not activate the yeast, and hotter water will kill the yeast. Simple.

salt flakes

Sea salt is made from evaporated ocean water, usually with minimal processing. Its fat, crunchy pyramid-shaped flakes are the perfect finish for making this focaccia as flakes add crunch, and dissolve on the tongue for added flavour.

Salt flakes are ideal for sprinkling on the top of the focaccia, but if you don’t have salt flakes on hand use fine sea salt, just make sure you halve the amount so the focaccia isn’t too salty. Its really  worth adding salt flakes to your pantry ingredients for moments when you want to change up the salt levels.

bread flour versus plain (all purpose) flour

The main difference between bread flour and plain (all purpose) flour is a matter of protein. Bread flour has a higher protein content than plain (all purpose) flour.

Most breads require higher amounts of protein to produce gluten, those stringy strands that give bread its stretch and elasticity, and when baked its characteristic ‘chew’.

extra virgin olive oil

Extra virgin olive oil gives the focaccia its rich flavour as well as keeping the dough moist. The oil soaks perfectly into those dimples you’ve created with your finger tips, and preserves moisture in the bread.

The olive oil enrobes the entire crust, seeping  down into each pocket and infuses into every bite.

 

rosemary

Rosemary is a delightfully aromatic herb with an assertive and ‘piney’ flavour and both the chopped rosemary, and rosemary needles really compliment the focaccia.

Rub your rosemary with a little oil before putting on top of the focaccia and the flavour will be transmitted onto the dough for more flavour.

pouring oil over the focaccia and rosemary to make Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia
drizzle oil over the focaccia and rosemary then massage the rosemary

why make ‘dimples’ in the focaccia

They reduce the air in the dough and prevent the dough from rising too quickly. The dimples also importantly hold the olive oil which soaks into the bread, but also enhances the crisp crust.

press dimples into the Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia
press dimples into the focaccia using your fingers

other toppings

You can use loads of different toppings for your focaccia in much the same way you would making a pizza, but using less.

  • parmesan
  • pesto
  • sliced Zucchini
  • pinenuts
  • raw or caramelised onions
  • artichokes
  • bacon
  • capers
  • chilli flakes
  • grapes with fennel seeds
  • roasted pumpkin
  • sun-dried tomatoes
  • sage

    Watch How To Make Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia

 

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 scroll down below for the focaccia recipe

 

check out some more winning dough and pastry recipes

no knead bread to serve with shakshuka

click on the link for the recipe…..Quick No Knead Bread

Cheese, spinach and bacon puffs

clic kon the link for the recipe…..Cheese, Spinach and Bacon Puffs

peach frangipane tart

click on the link for the recipe….Peach Frangipane Tart

Bouef Bourguignon Pies

click on the link for the recipe…..Beef Bourguignon Pie

What’s your go-to recipe for bread making? We would love to hear from you in the comments below when you make this easy tomato olive and garlic focaccia.

 

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Tomato, Olive and Garlic Focaccia


  • Author: Recipe Winners, recipe adapted from Jenny Can Cook
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes, plus 1 hour 10 minutes rest time
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 8 pieces

Description

When we made up the dough for this recipe we looked at each other and thought there’s not enough dough to make anything other than a small focaccia, plus it just didn’t feel right.

How wrong we were. It was crispy, chewy, and soft inside with the rosemary and garlic clearly shining.

We honestly couldn’t photograph it fast enough before we totally scoffed half of it, there and then.

This is a winner. Thanks Jenny.


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water at 49 – 52c (120 – 125f)
  • 68 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1012 kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to brush the focaccia with
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary rubbed with a little oil,ds or dried rosemary to garnish
  • 1 teaspoon salt flakes to sprinkle on the top, or 1/4 teaspoon of fine salt

Instructions

  • add flour, yeast, rosemary, garlic and salt in a medium sized bowl and stir to combine
  • pour in water and stir with a knife till mixture is combined and all of the flour is incorporated- mixture will be thick
  • cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour
  • while the dough is proving place pizza stone on middle shelf of cold oven
  • turn oven on to 260c (500f) on bake, not fan – allow oven to heat the pizza stone for an hour before baking
  • after dough has rested for the hour scrape it onto a lightly floured surface
  • sprinkle with a little flour
  • knead dough 12 turns, using a scraper if needed – see video above
  • place dough on a baking sheet lined with baking paper (or a pizza paddle if you happen to have one)
  • press into a 25cm (10 inch) circle
  • cover with a tea towel and let it rest again for 10 minutes
  • remove teatowel and press your finger tips all over to the dough to make the dimples
  • brush with extra virgin olive oil and rub rosemary sprig with olive oil
  • lightly press tomato and olives into dough
  • place sprigs of rosemary here and there
  • sprinkle with salt flakes
  • slide focaccia and baking paper onto pizza stone 
  • bake for 10-12 minutes or until base is golden and top is golden brown (use a pair of tongs to check the base colour)
  • remove from oven and slice into pieces
  • serve with a bowl of fruity extra virgin olive oil
  • enjoy!

Notes

  • foccacia is best eaten on the day of baking
  • Category: baking
  • Method: bake
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: tomato, olive and garlic focaccia, focaccia, Italian focaccia, rosemary focaccia, focaccia bread, easy focaccia

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