Tomato Focaccia

It was a dream come true, my love for bread, and tomatoes, slapped into one. It would have been really good if I read through the entire recipe before rushing to make it.Possibly even thinking it out as well, like I normally plan things. No, not this time, I was just too exited to try it! 

It came out great, don’t get me wrong but I screwed up about 3 times. First I measured the flour wrong, then I decided because I was just so lazy enough not to want to wash a bowl I kept the yeast sponge in the measuring cup. If you know what a yeast sponge is, you are shaking your head at me right now, or even possibly laughing because you know what happened! The sponge, started rising like it should, only it went well over the rim of the measuring up, all over the cutting board where I had it and all over the floor. You know what doesn’t clean up a yeast sponge really well? A cleaning sponge, no joke, totally sticky mess!

Here’s a tip for this bread,  besides not leaving the yeast sponge in a small bowl or measuring cup (think like a four cup bowl, or mixer bowl) You need to press the garlic into the dough like the tomatoes when it’s time to put them on the dough. If you don’t press them in, or at least for me, they got pretty brown and weren’t edible. The few that got stuck in the dough were very tender and wonderful, so just FYI, press garlic in with the tomatoes!

Tomato Focaccia

Ingredients

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon honey or sugar
3/4 cup lukewarm water (110 – 115 degrees)
1 cup room temp water
2/3 bread flour
4 cups white flour (all purpose)
1/4 cup whole wheat
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup sliced garlic
1 pint assorted small tomatoes- Cherry, Sweet 100’s or currant Tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese.

Directions

 Sprinkle the dry yeast over the lukewarm water. (Measure it in a measuring cup then pour it into a  medium sized bowl ) Let is sit for about  5 minutes then stir in the honey or sugar. Allow it to sit for another 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add the bread flour and combine to form the sponge
 Rest for 30 minutes, the sponge will rise a lot during this stage.
In another bowl combine the white and whole wheat flours together along with the salt. Make a well then add the finished sponge. Add 3/4 cup of oil, and remaining  cup of water. Mix until combined. Once it’s mixed, dump the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wouldn’t take very long at all. (5 minutes should be good)  Place the dough in a well oiled (just spray with Pam) and cover with plastic. Let it rise in a warm spot until it doubles in volume. It will take about 1 1/2 hours. Do not rush this rise.

While you wait for the bread to rise. Warm 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the garlic and cook until tender. Set aside to let cool. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Brush a cookie sheet with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the dough in the center then using your fingers to spread it out till it reaches 8×12 inches. Do not roll this out.

When the dough has just started to rise again (I waited about 5 minutes for the dough to rest, not sure if the directions meant anything else, but it worked fine with me.)  Scatter the cooled garlic and olive oil over the top. Place the tomatoes on the surface of the dough pressing slightly into the dough to fix them into place (I’d press the garlic in too so they don’t get so brown or burn)Allow the dough to rise again, it will take anywhere from 15-30 minutes shouldn’t be any longer.

Bake until slightly browned, 30 minutes in the 350 degree oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and bake for 10 more minutes. This recipe came from a friend, if I find out where she got it, I’ll add that!

Enjoy!!

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