Colorful heirloom tomatoes, fresh basil and rosemary, extra virgin olive oil and lots of sea salt. Now that’s my type of bread! If you loved focaccia before, you’re really going to fall in love with it after you follow this super easy and delectable recipe!
The first focaccia is thought to be from the ancient Greeks or early Northern Italians. It was cooked on a hearth by an open fire and the bubbles produced while baking were poked with knives; resulting in the notorious bumpy crust we all know and love today. Focaccia was also originally unleavened. During Medieval times focaccia was eaten at Eucharist. It was brought to America by Italian immigrants along with lots of other classic Italian foods!
Heirloom tomatoes are not your average tomato variety. Traditionally, heirloom tomato seeds were collected from each harvest from the best plants and passed down through generations. But with the need for more tomatoes over the recent years there have been four categories created that encompass heirloom varieties. Family heirloom tomatoes are the authentic heirloom tomatoes, the seeds are kept and have been passed down through generations. Commercial heirlooms were created around the 1940’s or must be at least 50 years old. Created heirlooms are tomatoes that are crossed by two parent plants (at least one must be an heirloom) and seeds are cross bred for multiple years. Mystery heirlooms are a product of cross pollination from bees, birds or other natural sources!
Heirloom Tomato Focaccia
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant active yeast
- 1 3/4 cups warm water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups olive oil (divided)
- 3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, combine yeast, water and sugar. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine, flour, the 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Add the yeast mixture (it should be bubbly now).
- With a dough hook, mix ingredients for 5-6 minutes. If dough is sticky (NOT tacky) add 1/4 cup of flour at a time until it is only a little tacky!
- Turn dough out onto counter and knead a few times into a ball. Coat the inside of the mixer bowl with olive oil, return the dough to the bowl, cover and let sit in a warm place for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, pour a 1/2 cup of olive oil onto a half sheet tray. Empty dough onto sheet tray and coat both sides in olive oil. Push dough out to all sides and corners, pressing fingers into the dough (make sure you push through to the bottom of the tray!)
- Cover tray with plastic wrap and let sit another 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Top focaccia with heirloom tomato slices, rosemary and basil. Sprinkle salt and pepper over top and drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil over top.
- Bake for 30 minutes, the top will be lightly golden!
This focaccia is crunchy and light, the sweetness of the tomatoes goes great with salt and fresh herbs!