Focaccia is something that everyone enjoys and has their favorite kind. This recipe is delicious and not very difficult to make. Tomatoes, olives, fresh oregano, and good extra virgin olive oil are all it takes to make this delectable and eye-appealing focaccia. You know what they say? We eat with our eyes first!
I used an assortment of cherry, grape, and vine-ripe tomatoes. Each has its own distinct flavor and helps to create a colorful and very appetizing topping for this focaccia. Additionally, I used a Sicilian olive called Castelvetrano. These olives have a vibrant green color and a nice mild meaty texture. They are considered to be one of Italy’s most popular olives. They hold up well during the cooking of the focaccia which helps enhance the stunning presentation even more. I suggest using multi-colored cherry and grape tomatoes. Not only does each add an element of different flavor they also add vibrant mouthwatering colors.
This type of flatbread is perfect as a snack, to take on a picnic, to enjoy with a glass of wine, to add to your breadbasket, or as a hors d’oeuvres for a dinner party. It also makes for a nice light lunch alongside your favorite salad. Personally, this focaccia has become one of my favorites and maybe after you make it it will become one of your favorite focaccia breads too.
Sicilian Olive and Tomato Focaccia
(Makes a 14′ by 9′ focaccia)
- 5 cups of all-purpose or 00 flour
- 1 tbsp of salt
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1.25 cups of warm water
- 4 tsp of active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Tomato & Olive Topping
- 4-5 vine ripe tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups of assorted cherry and grape tomatoes
- 1 tbsp of fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 15-20 Sicilian Castelvetrano olives
- salt to taste
- In one cup of lukewarm water add the yeast, sugar, and one tablespoon of flour.
- Stir well and cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap
- Place it in a warm draft-free place in your kitchen for about 10 minutes.
Tip: I like to place the yeast in my microwave or oven to proof it if their not in use.
- While the yeast is proofing rinse off all tomatoes and pat them dry.
- Remove the stem end from the larger tomatoes.
- Squeeze the large tomatoes with your hand over a strainer with a bowl underneath to catch the juices.
Tip: You will not need the tomato juice for this recipe. Save it to make a vinaigrette, a tomato sauce, etc. Or, quite simply drink it and carry on with the recipe. :)
- Cut the smaller tomatoes in half.
- Count out your olives and set them aside with the tomatoes.
- Once the yeast has proofed add the flour to a large bowl.
- Pour in the yeast mixture and stir well.
- Now dissolve the salt in the remaining water and add it to the bowl with the tablespoon of olive oil.
- Bring it all together in the bowl with a wooden spoon or your hands.
- Lightly flour your work surface and place the dough on it.
- Knead the dough constantly for about 10 minutes.
- Once the dough is smooth and soft form it into a ball.
- Lightly oil the mixing bowl with olive oil and place the dough in.
- Brush the top of the dough ball with a little olive oil and then a sprinkle of flour.
- Cover it with a kitchen towel and place it in your microwave or oven to rise for one hour.
Stretching & Baking
(Preheat oven to 475°F)
- Grease your baking tray very well with olive oil.
- Once the dough has proofed place it on the greased tray.
- Evenly press it to completely cover the tray.
- With your fingertips lightly dimple the dough being careful not to create any tears.
- Sprinkle a little olive oil over the dough and with your hands spread it evenly across.
- Now add a layer of the crushed vine ripe tomatoes across the entire focaccia and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Decorateivly add the halved tomatoes cut side down.
- Finish by adding the olives and sprinkling the oregano over all.
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the top and head to the oven.
- Place the tray on a rack in the middle of your oven.
- Let cook for 20-25 minutes.
Tip: At the end of 20 minutes use a spatula to lift the focaccia so you can see the bottom. It should be cooked and golden in color. If not cook it for the additional five minutes.
- Once fully cooked let it cook for five minutes and then remove it from the baking tray.
- Serve it warm or let it cool completely.
- Cut it with a serrated knife and enjoy!
Follow these simple steps
1) Wash the tomatoes, remove the stems from the larger ones, and cut the little tomatoes in half.
2) Count out the olives. Now crush the larger tomatoes with your hand over a strainer that is inserted in a bowl.
3) Proof the yeast as described above in the instructions. Then add it to the flour.
4) Knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable. Then form it into a ball.
5) Once the dough has risen for an hour and a half press it on the baking tray. Then decoratively top it with the tomatoes and olives.
6) Bake in a preheated 475°F oven for 20-25 minutes.