Cherry tomato focaccia with rosemary is an easy no knead recipe ~ the bread is crunchy, the tomatoes are juicy, and the whole thing is absolutely delicious!
cherry tomato focaccia is a classic Italian flatbread
I know what you’re thinking ~ classic Italian recipes are time consuming and complicated, but think again! This easy focaccia bread is no knead, one bowl, and one rise. It’s a great project for a beginning baker — the recipe is simple and straightforward but the result has got a real wow factor. You’ll be so proud, and your friends will be so happy 🙂
more focaccia recipes from the Great Island kitchen
- Sage Focaccia Bread
- Rosemary and Olive No Knead Focaccia Bread
- Soft Pretzel Focaccia Bread
- Apple, Cheddar, and Fig Focaccia
- Meyer Lemon and Rosemary Focaccia Bread
a few simple ingredients make focaccia bread
I love this basic focaccia recipe, I’ve been making it for years and it always comes out perfectly. It takes under 2 hours to make from start to finish, and I can customize it for the season or the occasion. This is the high summer version. The little tomatoes burst in your mouth when you bite into it and their sweet juice, along with the rosemary and the salty bread is a real treat.
- flour ~ you can actually use all purpose or bread flour for this recipe. And you can swap out half of the white flour for whole wheat, if you like.
- yeast ~ I use instant yeast, but you can use regular dry active as well.
- warm water
- olive oil ~ for this bread use the boldest extra virgin olive oil for great flavor.
- coarse or kosher salt
- cherry tomatoes, the smaller the better.
- rosemary ~ fresh only!
method for making no knead focaccia
The soft sticky dough needs only an hour to rise, and then you pat it out into a rough rectangle on a baking sheet. You dip your fingers in olive oil and poke it all over so there are luscious little pools of oil that flavor the bread. Then on go the tomatoes, some fresh rosemary, and a sprinkle of sea salt. There’s no second rise needed, it goes right into a hot oven.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl or in a stand mixer.
- Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms.
- Cover with plastic and let rise for about an hour.
- Pat the dough out on an oiled baking sheet (lined with parchment if you like) and dip your fingers in oil to make little oil filled dimples all over the surface ~ don’t be stingy!
- Top with halved cherry tomatoes, cut side up, and sprinkle liberally with chopped fresh rosemary and coarse salt.
- Bake until golden and crusty!
what to serve with homemade tomato focaccia bread
I love to serve focaccia bread as an appetizer, that’s how they did it in my favorite Italian restaurant in Los Angeles. A little basket of bread fresh from the oven is such a welcome sight when you’re hungry. Pair with a light Sauvignon Blanc or Pinto Noir (actually anything goes with this versatile bread.) Even though we’re no longer living in Los Angeles the first bite of this crusty bread takes me right back to our old neighborhood trattoria. Great food memories never die!
If you want to make a meal of it, there’s no shortage of Italian inspired recipes in the archives, here are some thoughts…
- The Perfect Chopped Salad
- Easy Pasta Bolognese Recipe
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad with Shrimp
- Mediterranean Sheet Pan Salmon
- How to Cook Strip Steak
- Italian Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Tuscan Chicken Thighs
- Italian White Bean Soup with Sausage Meatballs
- Meatballs al forno
- Easy Pasta Alla Checca
tomato focaccia variations
Yes, whole grain flour will make a denser, slightly tougher, but more nutritious bread. You can also mix 1/2 and 1/2 whole grain to white flour.
Yes, the two are actually interchangeable, which may surprise you if you’re an accomplished baker. Today’s commercial yeast, both ‘active dry’ and rapid rise ‘instant yeast’ is made with small particles that can be added straight to the dry ingredients in a recipe, no need to proof in warm liquid first. This is game changing, and takes an extra step off an already easy recipe! (Source: King Arthur Flour reported on this way back in 2015.)
Only use very small cherry tomatoes if you want to add them whole, otherwise it’s best to slice them in half. I place them cut side up so the juices don’t create soggy patches in the bread.
You can. I suggest slicing them fairly thin and draining the slices briefly on paper towels before adding to the dough.
I don’t recommend it; fresh rosemary has a wonderful piney flavor that you can only get from the fresh herb.
The sky’s the limit here ~ try sliced mushrooms, thin slivers of red or white onion, olives, very thinly shaved slices of lemon, fresh herbs, etc. Anchovies, capers, feta cheese, peppers, both sweet and hot ~ they’re all delish!
Yes, after mixing the dough and covering the bowl with plastic wrap you can refrigerate up to a day in advance. When ready to bake bring the dough to room temperature and proceed.
I use a standard half sheet pan, about 17″x12″. But no worries about using a slightly larger or smaller pan (you don’t have to pat the dough all the way to the edges of the pan.) The bread is great a little thicker, or a little thinner, just adjust the baking time. The bread is done when the crust is nice and golden.
I generously oil the pan first. This helps prevent sticking and also ensures that the bottom crust is flavorful and crunchy. I loosen it with a spatula and slide it off the pan soon after taking it out of the oven to finish cooling on a rack. You can also line your pan with parchment paper, or a silicone mat.
I like to cover it with foil and store on the counter. I don’t use plastic wrap because I don’t want it to get soggy.
Cherry Tomato Focaccia
- half sheet baking pan, roughly 16×12
- 4 cups all purpose flour, or bread flour
- 2 1/4 tsp or a 1/4 ounce packet of instant or regular dry active yeast. I use instant yeast.
- 2 tsp kosher or sea salt plus more for sprinkling
- 2-3 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, rough chopped, plus extra for top of bread
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups warm water (not hot!)
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half.
- Put the flour, yeast, salt, and rosemary in the bowl of a stand mixer (you can also do this by hand) and mix to combine.
- With the mixer on low add the water and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, mixing until a soft wet dough forms. It will be sticky.
- Cover and let rise for 40 minutes to an hour in a warm place. It should be puffed up slightly.
- Meanwhile preheat the oven to 425F
- Turn the dough out onto a well oiled half sheet pan. You can line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat if you like to prevent sticking. Note: if your dough seems excessively sticky you can fold in a tablespoon of flour to make it easier to handle. Use your fingers to press it out to a large rectangle. I like to fill the pan, but you can make it a little smaller too. You can flour your fingers if it helps to ease the dough into shape.
- Put some olive oil in a small bowl and dip your fingers into the oil, and then poke little indents all over the bread, leaving little pools of oil. Do this all over the surface. Don’t skimp; this will result in great flavor after the bread is baked.
- Arrange the tomatoes across the top, cut side up, pressing them into the dough slightly, then scatter more chopped rosemary leaves evenly across the surface. Sprinkle sea salt over all.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden and crusty.
- Remove the bread from the pan to cool on a rack. Feel free to enjoy while warm!