Focaccia is one of my favourite breads. It's so versatile, you can top it with a variety of flavours, and best of all it's the perfect bread to dip in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is one of those breads that you can just sit and work your way through the whole loaf with a group of friends, chatting, dipping and enjoying every bite. Add some olives and a few glasses of wine and it's a perfect night! This Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia is inspired by my love of fresh aromatic rosemary and juicy sweet cherry tomatoes. I go through two punnets of little tomatoes every week - I eat them with everything! This focaccia bread is also vegan friendly as it's not made with any animal products, so everyone can enjoy this delicious bread!
Ingredient Tips & Equipment Information
- Strong bread flour is the best option for bread as it is high in protein which assists in the forming of gluten - a protein that creates the rise in bread, as well as creating the lovely bread texture that we all know and love. You can also make this recipe with regular plain flour, the bread may just rise a little less.
- A good quality olive oil is the best kind of oil to use for focaccia, but you can also use vegetable oil or another plain oil that doesn't have a strong taste like canola or sunflower oil. If you do want to add some extra flavour to your bread you could try an infused oil, like garlic for example.
- The water should be lukewarm or tepid, this essentially means room temperature water which is around 18C to 23C. It's important not to use hot water that's above 30C as this will most likely kill the yeast and your bread will not rise.
- If you are kneading the dough in your stand mixer, pop it into the bowl of your mixer and set it on a low speed with the dough hook attachment. Leave it to knead for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and supple, and comes away from the side of the bowl.
- For more information on bread making, including a guide on how to knead by hand and lots of tips and tricks, check out my White Bread Loaf recipe.
- Although I provide cup measurements, I highly recommend weighing your ingredients out using digital kitchen scales*. It is the most accurate way to measure ingredients and will ensure the best results. Digital scales are very low cost and can be purchased for around £12 ($16.50) .
- For teaspoon (tsp) and tablespoon (tbsp) measurements, please use measuring spoons* and not the type of spoons you eat with. Again this will ensure accuracy and provide the best results.
For the full recipe with measurements, head to the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
Put the strong white bread flour, yeast, salt and fresh rosemary into a bowl. Stir it together, then add the water and olive oil to bring the mixture together into a dough.
Using an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment, knead for 10 minutes. Or knead by hand if you prefer. Place the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and put it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Knock the air out of the dough and pressed it out onto a baking tray using your fingers. Press the cherry tomatoes into the dough. Cover it loosely with cling film and a tea towel and leave it to prove for 30 minutes. Sprinkle more fresh rosemary, and some coarse sea salt over it before putting it in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until golden.
How do you know when the focaccia has risen enough?
Depending on the temperature of your room, it will take slightly different times for the dough to complete it's first prove (rise). Aim for 1 hour in a 21C room, then check the dough by giving it a poke with your finger. If the dough springs back easily, it needs more time. If it doesn't spring back at all, it's over proved. Or if it springs back about halfway, it's just right! If you're not sure, it's always better to have sightly under proved bread, than over proved bread.
What size tin do you need to make focaccia?
I used a Wilton tin which is 33.7 x 23.5 cm (13.25 x 9.25 inches). If you have a tin that is slightly bigger or slightly smaller this will be ok, just don't use a tin that is dramatically bigger or smaller. Remember that using a bigger tin will mean the focaccia needs slightly less time to bake, and a smaller tin will mean it needs slightly more time to bake.
How long does focaccia last and can it be frozen?
The focaccia will keep well for 2-4 days, however it really is best eaten within 1-2 days. It should be stored in an airtight container in a cool place. You can freeze it for up to three months, wrap it well in cling film or freeze it in a tupperware container. It's best to freeze it in slices then you can defrost it as you need it.
Who is this recipe suitable for?
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It is both dairy and egg free.
Can this recipe be made gluten free?
If you are coeliac or are wanting to bake bread for someone who is, I would advise that you look for a specifically gluten free bread recipe. It is much easier to follow an already gluten free bread recipe, than try to adapt one. I am not familiar with gluten free bread baking, and I have no experience with baking gluten free bread. I recommend starting with this Gluten Free Bread recipe from The Gluten Free Alchemist.
What type of yeast should you use to make this focaccia?
The best type of yeast to use for this recipe is fast action yeast (also know as instant yeast) it is sold in sachets that weigh 7g each. It does not need dissolving in water before use. The great thing about this type of yeast is that you can just add it straight into the flour. It is my personal favourite kind of yeast for homemade bread baking, and the type I recommend for this recipe. However if you want to use fresh yeast, you will need 8g fresh yeast. Or if you want to use active dry yeast, you will need 9g of active dried yeast.
What can you serve with focaccia?
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar dip
- Pesto (check it's vegetarian suitable if you're serving to vegetarians)
- Slice it in half and use it as a fancy sandwich bread
- As part of a buffet, tapas night or a mezze board
- Use it in place of garlic bread and serve wedges of focaccia alongside pasta or a risotto
If you have any questions about this recipe, or if something went wrong and you need help, please use the comment form below and I will get back to you. You can also get in touch with me on my Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I'd love to hear from you!
Recommended equipment & ingredients*
- Baking tray
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- Mixing bowls
- Kitchen scales
- Fast action yeast
- Cooling rack
- Dough scraper
*I earn a small amount of money if you buy the products after clicking on the links. You will not be charged anything extra for this. Thank you for supporting The Baking Explorer!
More Focaccia recipes...
Tomato & Rosemary Focaccia
- 500 g Strong white bread flour
- 7 g Sachet fast action yeast
- 1 ½ tbsp Fresh rosemary Finely chopped, plus extra for sprinkling
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 325 ml Lukewarm water
- 1 tsp Coarse sea salt For sprinkling
- 19 Cherry tomatoes Cut in half
- In a large mixing bowl, add the bread flour, yeast, salt and rosemary. Make sure to add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl, then stir together
- Add the water and olive oil to the flour mixture and bring it together into a dough
- Knead by hand, or use a food mixer with the dough hook attachment, for 10 minutes
- Put the kneaded dough into an oiled bowl covered with cling film, leave it in a warm place to rise for 1 hour
- Knock the air out of the risen dough, then press it out onto a lipped baking tray. I used a Wilton Non-Stick Cookie Pan which is 33.7 x 23.5 cm (13.25 x 9.25 inches)
- Press the cherry tomatoes into the dough, spacing them evenly apart
- Cover with loose oiled cling film and a tea towel and leave to rise again for 1 hour
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C Fan/425F/Gas Mark 7
- Before baking, sprinkled more fresh rosemary, and some coarse sea salt over the dough. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden
- Allow to cool, slice and serve, or serve warm. Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days. It also freezes well