I was at our local gourmet grocery store where they had a stand selling “gourmet” focaccia that was topped with local seasonal heirloom tomatoes, locally produced mozzarella, and fresh basil. It looked delicious but was priced so high I could not talk myself into buying one. Instead, I went through the store and bought my own similar ingredients and went home and made my version of this focaccia which was twice the size of theirs for half the price. I also added pine nuts to my focaccia as I thought they would add a nice crunch. If you cannot find small heirloom tomatoes, you can use large ones sliced, or simply use really ripe tomatoes of any type.
I also substituted two cups of the all-purpose flour for white wheat flour to increase the nutrient value of this bread but if you would rather use entirely all-purpose flour that would work just as well. You may not need as much water if you use just all-purpose flour instead of a mix of flour as I did.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
- 1 1/2 Cups Warm Water
- 4 to 4 1/2 Cups All-purpose, Unbleached Flour (Or Two Cups White Wheat Flour And Two Cups All-Purpose)
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 10 Small Heirloom Tomatoes, Halved
- 6 Fresh Basil Leaves
- 1 Cup Cubed Mozzarella
- Coarse Salt
- 1/4 Cup Pine Nuts
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, yeast and enough water to create a soft dough.
- Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon and then your hands.
- Transfer to a floured work surface and knead by hand for about 5 minutes or until smooth.
- Place in a well oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down and place on an oiled baking sheet, forming into an oval or circle.
- Space the tomatoes evenly across the surface of the focaccia, then sprinkle the basil leaves, and pine nuts.
- Push the mozzarella cubes into the dough.
- Dimple the top surface with your finger tips, and then drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with coarse salt.
- Let rise another 15 to 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until golden.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.