Garlic Focaccia – A Scrumptious Bread with Grape Tomatoes and Herbs
On a normal day my cooking starts with the main dish and then clubbing the same with the accompaniments according to the taste and cuisine. But there are times I cook in reverse gear too that is to plan for the accompaniment first and then look out for the main dish to go along with it. This scrumptious Italian bread Focaccia is one such recipe I planned & baked after my whole lentil and mint soup was ready. Quite easy to bake this loaf was my obvious choice, since it takes less rising time than any other yeast breads. And having grape tomatoes in hand added the extra zing to the final baked loaf.
A perfect breakfast treat and a delicious snack Focaccia is a simple, easy and scrumptious Italian baked bread and resembles flat bread. Versatile and quick to bake Focaccia which is a close cousin to Pizza can be given various makeovers with herbs, veggies, spices and flavorful oils.
- 11/2 cup wholewheat flour
- 1 cup refined flour
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 2 cups of halved grape tomato/cherry tomato
- 2 tsp. dry rosemary or any herb
- 1 tbsp. minced Garlic
- 1/2 tbsp. chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp. coarse rock salt
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp salt
Method: Wash and slice the grape tomatoes into half. Keep them aside. Peel the garlic and chop it finely. Take a small bowl and pour 2 tbsp. of warm water in it. Add sugar and the yeast in the water. let it sand for 10 minutes till it starts to froth.
Take a large vessel and add both the flours in it. Make a well in the center and add the frothy yeast mix in it. Use your hand and mix the flour gently, it will be quite sticky at this stage. Add extra flour and turn on to a flat surface and knead it for 5 minutes.
Take a large bowl and grease it with olive oil. Place the dough in the greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Keep it aside to rise for about 1 hour or more till it doubles in size.
I normally don’t keep Focaccia for second rise, but you can keep it for second rise if you wish. I am happy with the results of first rise.
Preheat the oven at 200°C and grease a flat baking tin. Flatten the risen dough over it by stretching it till the end of the baking tin. Poke small hole using your thumb at regular intervals.
Add the sliced grape tomatoes in each hole. Sprinkle the minced garlic, rosemary or any herb and rock salt evenly over the bread. Drizzle rest of the Olive oil over the loaf.
Bake the Focaccia for 25-30 minutes till it is golden at the top and sounds hollow when tapped.
Baked grape tomatoes and crunchy rock salt is the limelight of this bread. I am going to increase the quantity of grape tomatoes in my next bake
The olive oil infused grape tomato and garlic Focaccia with whole Lentil and mint soup is certainly a scrumptious dinner I had in recent times!
- I never used rock salt in Focaccia before, but am glad that I did in this loaf and am in love with the crunchy feel it gives to the loaf.
- Use fresh herbs if you can, basil, thyme, oregano are great in this bake.
- Try crushed black pepper instead of chilly flakes for another spicy flavor.
- Focaccia is a wonderful picnic and party food.
- Don’t be miser when using Olive oil for this gorgeous bread. It really makes a huge difference.
- Replace the refined flour with wholewheat and you may not find much difference in texture (slightly dense) but will get a huge shift towards healthy bake.
- I normally don’t keep my Focaccia bread for second rise, but you can keep it for second rise if you wish.