This fluffy Italian flatbread is the perfect family-sized recipe for your next get-together, impressing both the eyes and the taste buds. Find more of our best bread recipes in our 2018 Breads Collection Special Issue, here.
Cherry Tomato Focaccia Bread
Makes about 12 servings
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) water (70°F/21°C)
- ⅛ teaspoon instant yeast
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1¼ cups (284 grams) water (85°F/29°C)
- 4½ teaspoons (9 grams) instant yeast
- 4 cups (500 grams) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (56 grams) olive oil
- 2 tablespoons (24 grams) granulated sugar
- 5 teaspoons (15 grams) kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons (42 grams) warm water (80°F/27°C)
- 2 tablespoons (28 grams) olive oil
- ½ medium red onion (55 grams), thinly sliced
- 1 dry pint (270 grams) cherry tomatoes (see Note)
- 2 tablespoons (4 grams) fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) coarse kosher salt
- 1 (8-ounce) ball (226 grams) fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- For poolish: In a large bowl, stir together 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (255 grams) water and yeast. Add flour, and stir thoroughly by hand until smooth and there are no dry bits of flour remaining. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 14 to 16 hours.
- For dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine poolish, 1¼ cups (284 grams) water, and yeast. Add flour, olive oil, sugar, and salt. Beat at low speed until dough starts to pull away from sides of bowl, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Turn out dough onto a floured surface, and knead until smooth. Test dough using the windowpane method (see Pro Tip on page 84). If dough is not ready, knead a couple more times, and test again. Grease a large bowl with olive oil. Place dough in bowl, and rub a little oil on top of dough. Cover surface of dough with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) for 1 hour.
- Spray a rimmed 18x13-inch sheet pan with cooking spray; brush with olive oil.
- Turn out dough onto prepared pan, and gently stretch to completely fill bottom of pan. If dough is tight and will not stretch completely, let dough rest for 5 to 10 minutes, and then try again. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Uncover dough, and dimple using your fingertips. You want your fingertips to touch the bottom of the sheet pan but without tearing through the dough. Cover and let rise until dough is level with sides of pan, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
- For topping: Sprinkle dough with 3 tablespoons (42 grams) warm water; drizzle with oil. Add onion, tomatoes, rosemary, and coarse salt.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Add sliced mozzarella, and bake until cheese is melted and focaccia is golden, 5 to 10 minutes more. Immediately transfer focaccia to a wire rack. Enjoy hot out of the oven, or let cool slightly and serve warm. Focaccia is best the day it’s made, but leftovers can be reheated in the oven the next day.
The weight of the tomatoes may vary based on the size of each tomato used. You can also use grape tomatoes.