This delicious tomato focaccia is a sure crowd pleaser every time. Why? Well for starters it’s a step up from basic focaccia. There is a little tomato in the dough and it’s stuffed with prosciutto and provolone cheese.
I know some people back off on recipes that call for yeast. This focaccia recipe does not call for blooming the yeast prior to using it. You just simply weigh out the yeast and add it directly to the water to dissolve it and then proceed with the recipe. It doesn’t get much simpler than that when it comes to using yeast. One more thing about this stuffed focaccia is the fact that it’s very eye appealing. Therefore it makes for a nice addition to your dinner table or for special occasions where you want to definitely impress your guests.
Delicious Tomato Focaccia with Prosciutto and Provolone Cheese
(serves 5-7 people)
- 500 grams (3-1/4 cups) of all-purpose flour
- 5 grams (1-3/4 teaspoons) of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 400 grams (1-1/2 cups + 3 tablespoons) of lukewarm water
- 1-1/2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 10 grams (1-3/4 teaspoon) of salt
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/2 pound of sliced provolone cheese
- 3/4 pound thinly sliced prosciutto
- A liberal amount of coarse salt to lightly season the top of the focaccia just before baking it.
- Measure 1/2 cup of lukewarm water from the 500 grams of water and dissolve the tomato paste in it.
- Add the yeast and sugar to the remaining water and stir well to dissolve them.
- In a large bowl add the flour, olive oil, and salt.
- Using a spatula or wooden spoon stir in the dissolved tomato paste.
- Now add the water mixing with the wooden spoon or spatula.
Tip: Add the water in two to three additions. This dough should be sticky. DO NOT add more flour and do not overmix.
- Once all the water has been incorporated use a spatula to lift the dough 2-3 times to aerate it.
- Now cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place it in a warm draft place in your kitchen. Let rise for 30 minutes.
Tip: I usually place the dough in the microwave or oven to rise.
- After it has risen use an oiled spatula once again to lift up the dough and fold it on top of itself three to four times as you turn the bowl.
- Now cover and let it rise again for one hour.
- After the second rise lightly oil your hands and work surface.
- Turn the dough onto the work surface and divide it into two equal parts.
Tip: Remember this dough must be sticky do not add more flour. Instead, work it with your oiled hands and greased spatula.
- Now form the two separate dough masses into a quick rough oval shape.
- Oil a sheet pan and place one dough ball on it and lightly pat it out with the palm of your hands.
- Make sure you stretch the dough just as far as it will go without tearing it and even all over.
- Add a layer of prosciutto and top it with a layer of provolone cheese.
- Then add a final layer of the prosciutto and top with the second layer of dough.
- Carefully lift and stretch the remaining dough to completely cover and enclose the cheese and prosciutto.
Tip: Once the top layer of dough is set over the provolone and prosciutto make sure to tap well all around the edges to completely attach the bottom and top doughs to securely enclose the stuffing.
- Now let the dough rise one more time for 30-40 minutes.
- During this phase preheat your oven to 475°F
- After it has risen carefully with your fingertips dimple the top layer of dough.
Tip: Go gently with your fingertips across the top of the focaccia to not remove too much air.
- Now sprinkle the top with the coarse salt and chopped rosemary.
- Carefully place the focaccia in the oven and cook it for 20-25 minutes.
- It should be nice and colored on top and the bottom should lift right up with a spatula.
- Remove the tray of focaccia from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Then running a spatula under the entire focaccia remove it from the baking tray.
- Place the focaccia on a cutting board and cut it into slices or wedges.