Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia

Is this quarantine situation boring you out of your wits? Then why not use your free time to try something new? Maybe something like this recipe of Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia. 

What is Focaccia? 

The Focaccia is an Italian flatbread that can be used as a side dish or as a part of the meal itself. It is primarily made of yeast, flour, and olive oil. It is also said to have a lot of similarities with pizza crust in terms of taste and texture. 

Sounds delicious, right? Well, consider yourself lucky because the recipe we have here for you takes this bread to the next level by adding two of Italy’s food staples – tomatoes and basil. The ingredients needed to make this aesthetically-pleasing bread are so easy to find that most of them might actually already be in your pantry. Are you interested? Then here’s how you can make it. 

Ingredients: 

  • 5 to 5 ½ cups of flour
  • 2 cups of cherry tomatoes 
  • 2 cups of warm milk (Preferably between 110° to 115°)
  • ¼ cup of canola oil
  • ¼ oz. of active dry yeast 
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil 
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil (thinly sliced) 
  • 2 tablespoons of cornmeal
  • 4 and ½ teaspoons of sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon of salt 
  • 1 teaspoon of coarse salt 
  • 1.8 teaspoon of pepper 

Steps: 

  1. First thing you need to do is combine the dry yeast and milk in a small bowl, stir until it dissolves. 
  2. Get a large bowl and put in your canola oil, 2 cups of flour, yeast mixture, sugar, and salt then mix them all together on medium speed. Add the rest of your flour while beating the mixture to form a stiff dough.   
  3. Throw some flour on the surface where you will knead your dough. Next, get the mixture from the large bowl and start kneading it until it’s smooth and elastic. This process should take you between 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Get another bowl and grease it with butter or oil. Place your dough at the very center and turn it upside down, so the top part is now greased as well. Cover the bowl in clean plastic wrap and put in a warm spot so it can double in size. This should take around 45 minutes or so. 
  5. While waiting for the dough to rise, get a pan and fill about two-thirds of it with water and then bring it to a boil.  
  6. Next, get your cherry tomatoes and cut an “X” at the bottom of each one of them. Then with the use of a slotted spoon, drop your tomatoes into the boiling water for about 30 seconds or until their skins start to loosen up. 
  7. Remove the tomatoes from the pan and quickly place them in ice-cold water. When they’re cool enough, start removing their skin and put them in a clean bowl. Pour some olive oil and gently toss the tomatoes in it. 
  8. Preheat your oven to 425°. 
  9. Grease two baking sheets and sprinkle some cornmeal. Set aside after. 
  10. Take your dough out of the bowl and place it on a surface covered with flour. Then punch it down to release the air.
  11. Cover your dough in a kitchen towel and leave it for about 10 minutes.
  12. Divide your dough into two parts and shape them into rectangles – about 12 x 8 inches each –  and place them into the baking sheets you’ve prepared earlier. 
  13. Press your fingertips all throughout the dough to create shallow pockets. Pour the tomato mixture at the top and sprinkle it with pepper and the coarse salt. Place the dough in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until it rises. 
  14. Once it does, pop the dough in the oven and bake until it’s golden brown. This should take around 15 to 18 minutes. 
  15. Take it out, slice it up, and serve.    

This Cherry Tomato and Basil Focaccia is perfect whether you pair it up with your favorite pasta, soup, or even stew. In fact, you can also eat it as it is!