Roasted Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread
Soft and pillow, crispy edged roasted tomato and olive focaccia bread is the perfect addition to any soup, or dinner plate.
Learning to bake bread can be intimidating, but rest assured this focaccia is simple, and packed of flavor. You will never need to buy it again. I’m not sure what I like most about it, if it’s the fluffy interior, the crispy practically fried edges and crust or the ability to customize the flavors with anything my carb loving heart desires!
Last Christmas Ben bought me a copy of Paul Hollywood’s Bake cookbook. We had been deep into a binge of Great British Baking Show and one of my favorite things to do is bake bread. Well, he bought me a copy of Bread Daddy’s book and I started marking the recipes and flagging all of my must-trys.
Focaccia Bread, What Is It?
Now I’ve made this super delicious roasted garlic sourdough focaccia recipe before, but wanting to test it along side Paul Hollywood’s made sense. He’s the carbv master after all, with that icy blue stare. There are a few things different between American written cookbooks, and United Kingdom written books, I did my best to follow his instructions but some clarity is needed and little nuances of directions left to chance.
But what is it? It is a flat leavened dough that is baked in an oven. You can also make pizza out of it! Rome is famous for pizza bianca. It can be served as a side, or used as sandwich bread. It is through and through an Italian bread, and can be round, rectangular, or square shaped. Most people know it for it’s lovely dimpled texture, chewy texture, and crispy edges due to the oil it is baked with and then drizzled with.
Ingredients for the Best Focaccia Bread
The ingredients for this focaccia recipe are simple, like with most breads it’s base ingredients are flour, water, salt, and yeast. This also includes olive oil and herbs, too.
- Bread Flour
- Instant Yeast
- Olive Oil
- Kalamata Olives
- Red Onion – or shallots
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Garlic Cloves
- Dried Oregano
- Olive Oil
- Flaky Sea Salt
How to Make Roasted Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread
The thing about a perfectly dimpled and fluffy focaccia bread is time. Even though it’s a simple dough, a few techniques will help you achieve perfect results.
In a large bowl, or a stand mixer bowl, mix together all of the bread ingredients – from bread flour, salt, instant yeast, olive oil and water. This will create a rough dough.
If you are mixing this by hand, do a pull and fold in the bowl until the dough becomes slightly elastic. Rotate the bowl 90 degrees each time you pull and fold the dough back in on itself. Do this for about 2 minutes.
Next you can either turn out the dough on a floured surface, or using the stand mixer, you can knead the dough for 5-7 minutes, 2 minutes on low and then the remaining time on medium low speed with a dough hook, until a smooth and fully elastic ball forms.
Proofing Your Focaccia Bread
Place the dough back into a greased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature, or in a proofing oven, for about 2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
When it is ready and proofed, heavily oil a 9×13″ baking dish, I use this lasagna pan, and pour the dough into the pan. Using your fingers, press the dough out until it reaches all edges and corners of the pan. Cover it again and allow it to rise for another hour or hour and a half.
Alternatively you can make this on a baking sheet, which will create a thinner bread. Adjust the baking times as necessary.
To decorate the focaccia dough, slice the shallots or red onions, and cherry tomatoes, and halved kalamata olives, and press them all evenly throughout the dough. Sprinkle the top of the dough with dried oregano or pizza seasoning, and the flaky sea salt.
Bake your bread in a pre-heated 450 degree oven. Bake it for about 20 minutes, or until it is a deep golden brown on top. When it comes out of the oven, immediately drizzle it with additional extra virgin olive oil and place the pan on a wire rack to cool completely.
This homemade focaccia bread will make you see stars.
Focaccia art has been a total hit on the likes of Pinterest. It makes a gorgeous canvas for making edible pictures using vegetables and various herbs, finishing with a drizzle of extra-vigin olive oil. Making picture perfect dishes is easy with this!
If you’re not into creating edible art, you can just mix in variations of herbs of fluffy bread. Or you can also use it as a pizza dough.
Popular Flavor Variations
- Roasted Garlic Focaccia
- Roasted Tomato Basil
- Rosemary Focaccia bread
- Grape and Rosemary
- Fig and Balsamic Glaze
- Peach and Prosciutto and Parmesan Cheese
- Caramelized Onions and Mushroom
- Za’atar Onion and Pomegranate
What To Serve with FocacciaPrint
- 4 cups (500g) Bread Flour
- 1 tsp Table Salt
- 3 3/4 tsp (10g) Instant Rise Yeast (approximately 1 1/2 standard US packets – each are 2 1/4 tsp)
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil, plus 1/4+cup more for oiling pan
- 1 1/2 cup (370g) Warm Water
- 1/2 cup Pitted Halved Kalamata Olives
- 1 small Red Onion, thinly sliced – or large shallot
- 10–12 Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 Tbsp Dried Oregano, or King Arthur Baking Pizza Seasoning (my favorite)
- 1/2–2/3 cup Olive Oil, for post-baking Drizzle
- Flaky Sea Salt
- In a large bowl, or stand mixer with a hook attachment, mix together all dough ingredients until a rough and ragged dough forms. Turn off mixer, and using a pull and fold method in the bowl, stretch the dough with one hand and then fold over and press back into the bowl. Rotate the bowl and repeat about 10 times.
- Return the mixer to the stand, and knead the dough on low for about 2 minutes, and then medium-low for another 5, or until a smooth dough forms. You can also knead the dough on the counter for about 10 minutes by hand.
- Drizzle the bowl with olive oil, and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to proof for about 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Use remaining 1/4 cup of oil to brush around a large baking dish, or my favorite 9″x13″ lasagna pan. Pour dough into the pan, and using fingers press the dough to the edges and corners. Cover the pan with plastic wrap again and allow to do a second rise for about 90 minutes.
Topping & Baking
- While the second rise is going, preheat you oven to 450 degrees to ensure your oven reaches the appropriate temperature.
- Slice onions (or shallots), and cherry tomatoes. Set aside.
- Remove plastic wrap from the lasagna pan or baking dish, and using your fingers create indents and dimples into the dough. Evenly press the onions, cherries and olives into the dough.
- Drizzle dough with additional olive oil. Sprinkle with oregano, or Pizza Seasoning and sea salt.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. When the focaccia is removed from the oven, immediately drizzle it with additional olive oil. Move to a wire rack, and allow it to cool.
Based on Paul Hollywood’s Ultimate Focaccia from Bake cookbook
Keywords: focaccia, bread, Italian, baking