Cherry Tomato & Basil Focaccia
This delicious cherry tomato and basil focaccia bread has a soft crumb texture, that is topped with virgin olive oil, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and coarse sea salt.
Focaccia from Italy is a type of yeasted bread baked flat or in a disk shape. What’s great about focaccia is that it is so versatile and you can use different toppings every time. Check out some ideas in the variations section of this page.
This focaccia is great on its own, as an appetizer with a glass of wine or served as an accompaniment to a meal.
This recipe is easy to make but does take some time. It requires making a poolish, which is the process of fermenting flour, water and a very small amount of yeast for a few hours (the night or morning before) prior to incorporating it into the final dough. The poolish helps to develop the final flavour and texture and also helps in preserving the bread for longer.
For this recipe all you need are these 7 ingredients:
- Strong bread or all-purpose flour (BL80)
- Fast action dried yeast
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt fine and coarse
- Cherry tomatoes
- Fresh basil
This recipe is very versatile and you can have fun trying your own different flavour twists!
Here are a few topping suggestions:
Tomatoes, olives, pesto, onion, sundried tomato, wild garlic, basil, rosemary, chives or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
What flavour combination would you choose for your focaccia recipe?
Let me know in the comments!
Using fresh or dried yeast
I try to include both fresh and dried yeast quantities in all my recipes, but if you need further guidance on the type and quantity of yeast to use in a recipe, please read my guide: Using fresh or dried yeast
Tip: never let salt and yeast come into direct contact, as this will kill the yeast.
- Mixing bowls
- Digital scales
- Measuring jug
- Measuring spoons
Serving: one cherry tomato and basil focaccia slice
Nutrition information can vary for a recipe based on factors such as precision of measurements, brands, ingredient freshness, or the source of nutrition data.
I strive to keep the information as accurate as possible but make no warranties regarding its accuracy.
I encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Storage and Freezing
This Focaccia is best eaten on the day of baking.
Freezing: This bread can be cut into portions and defrosted in a hot oven for 10 minutes.
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- 200 g water (room temperature)
- 200 ml strong white bread flour or all-purpose (BL80)
- 2 g fresh yeast (1g fast-action dried yeast)
- All the poolish from before
- 100 g water (room temperature)
- 5 g fresh yeast (2g fast-action dried yeast)
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 300 g strong white bread flour or all-purpose (BL80)
- 2 tsp fine sea salt
- 100 g cherry tomatoes
- 20 leaves fresh basil
- 1 tbsp flaky or rock salt
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- The Poolish: In a medium mixing bowl, add the water, yeast, and flour and mix until well combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
- Cover with cling film and leave to ferment at room temperature for 8 to 10 hours. This is ideal to make prior to going to bed and leaving overnight.
- Dough: To a large mixing bowl or food mixer bowl, add the poolish made the day prior, the water, olive oil, yeast, and the flour.
- Using a food mixer: Gradually mix the ingredients at a low speed, until all the flour leaves the side of the bowl and you have a soft, sticky dough. Form a dough ball.
- Making by hand: Knead the dough on a work surface for 2 to 3 minutes to incorporate the ingredients. The dough will be sticky. (Do not add any flour to the work surface)
- Continue to knead the dough for 5 minutes to work the gluten until you are left with a strong, elastic dough ball.
- First prove: Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large clean bowl and place the dough into the bowl. Cover with cling film or a damp cloth and leave to proof in a warm place until tripled in size. For me, this usually takes 60 minutes in a warm environment.
- First knockback: Lightly oil your work surface and turn the dough out onto it.
- Stretch out the dough into a 25 x 35cm rectangle.
- With the rectangle facing with the short side on top, take the top 2 corners and pull them down 2/3 of the rectangle.
- Then take the bottom 2 corners and fold over the top of the dough to the top.
- Turn the dough 90° and fold the right side over 2/3 of the dough and then the left side over the top of the dough. Turn over the dough.
- Place the dough back into the bowl and cover with cling film.
- Second prove: Prove the dough this time for 60 minutes at room temperature.
- Second knockback: Repeat the process as you did in the first knockback.
- Third prove: Prove the dough this time for 30 minutes at room temperature.
- Shaping: Onto a large chopping board place a piece of parchment paper and coat with a little olive oil.
- Third knockback: Repeat the process as you have for the previous knockbacks. In the final stage when the dough has been folded and turned over, place the dough onto the parchment paper and lightly press into a 20 cm x 30 cm rectangle.
- Loosely cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave to prove for a final 30 minutes.
- Preheating: Place a baking tray in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 230°C fan / 480°F / Gas 10
- Toppings: Use your fingertips to press the surface of the focaccia to expand the focaccia into a 25 x 35cm rectangle.
- Top with your favourite ingredients (see notes for ideas) and then finally sprinkle the top of the focaccia with the coarse sea salt and drizzle some olive oil over the top.
- Baking: Pull the parchment paper with the focaccia onto the baking tray in the oven. Bake the focaccia for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove the focaccia from the oven and place it on a wire cooling rack.