It’s a New Day!

So, things changed in the Murray world quite a bit since the COVID-19 pandemic. You know, things like online learning (a.ka. home schooling) for the older two kiddies, running after and entertaining a 2 year old, preparing for a 4th bundle. This said, I am taking a break from ‘done for you’ and custom desserts until the fall. Joining the mailing list so you can be in the know about what’s coming soon. HINT; bougie decadence delivered to your front door. Yasss!

TOMATO BASIL FOCACCIA BREAD
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TOMATO BASIL FOCACCIA BREAD

 

You asked for it and here it is! Move over garlic bread, your bougie sister is in town.  With just 10 ingredients, you can enjoy this delicious and aromatic focaccia bread that is crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.   For this recipe, I channeled my inner Ina Garten (who by the way is my friend; she just doesn’t know it yet) and picked basil as well as Sweet Gold Cherry Tomatoes and Indigo Ruby tomatoes from my garden …Yaaasss!  The sweetness of the Cherry tomatoes and basil pairs amazingly well with garlic which make this the best focaccia bread I have ever had. What is also fantastic about this recipe is you don’t need a stand mixer.  A bowl and wooden spoon is all you need.  So easy. This recipe yields two 10″x15″ breads so you can freeze half the dough if you choose.  

So, what’s Focaccia?  It’s basically a flat Italian bread baked in the oven and commonly topped with rosemary, olive oil and sea salt.  We are doing things differently with this recipe.  You know me, I don’t color within the lines when it comes to baking…I just can’t for the life of me.  Any who, let’s go!

AuthorFrances MurrayCategory

Yields24 Servings
Prep Time25 minsCook Time25 minsTotal Time3 hrs 50 mins
Bread:
 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp salt
 2 ½ cups warm water
 2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
 1 tbsp honey
 2 tbsp olive oil
Topping:
 6 tbsp olive oil
 4 tbsp fresh basil; chopped
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 ¼ tsp salt
 1 ½ cups tomatoes; chopped
 4 garlic cloves; chopped
1

In a large bowl, add water, yeast and honey; stir to combine

2

Blend 5 cups of flour and 1 Tbsp salt together and add to water mixture 1 cup at a time; stir to combine after each addition until dough becomes difficult to mix. Add in as much of the ½ cup remaining flour if needed.

3

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for a solid 10 minutes until all the flour is worked in and becomes smooth and no longer sticky.

4

Place dough back into the large bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil ensuring the top and bottom of the dough is coated in oil.

5

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 90 minutes. Dough will double in size.

6

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide in two and transfer each half onto two parchment lined 10”x15” rimmed cookie trays. Spread dough with fingers to cover the entire tray.

7

Cover trays with tea towels and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

8

Remove tea towels and press fingertips into dough creating dimples (fingertip sized craters).

9

Cover trays with tea towels and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes.

10

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

11

Combine olive oil, salt, basil, black pepper, tomatoes and garlic.

12

Uncover trays and divide tomato mixture between the two pans ensuring entire surface of dough is covered with olive oil.

13

Bake for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown on top.

14

Carefully move focaccias from trays to cooling racks. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

C'est Fin!

Ingredients

Bread:
 5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
 1 tbsp salt
 2 ½ cups warm water
 2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
 1 tbsp honey
 2 tbsp olive oil
Topping:
 6 tbsp olive oil
 4 tbsp fresh basil; chopped
 ¼ tsp black pepper
 ¼ tsp salt
 1 ½ cups tomatoes; chopped
 4 garlic cloves; chopped

Directions

1

In a large bowl, add water, yeast and honey; stir to combine

2

Blend 5 cups of flour and 1 Tbsp salt together and add to water mixture 1 cup at a time; stir to combine after each addition until dough becomes difficult to mix. Add in as much of the ½ cup remaining flour if needed.

3

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead for a solid 10 minutes until all the flour is worked in and becomes smooth and no longer sticky.

4

Place dough back into the large bowl and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil ensuring the top and bottom of the dough is coated in oil.

5

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for at least 90 minutes. Dough will double in size.

6

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, divide in two and transfer each half onto two parchment lined 10”x15” rimmed cookie trays. Spread dough with fingers to cover the entire tray.

7

Cover trays with tea towels and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

8

Remove tea towels and press fingertips into dough creating dimples (fingertip sized craters).

9

Cover trays with tea towels and allow to rise for an additional 45 minutes.

10

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

11

Combine olive oil, salt, basil, black pepper, tomatoes and garlic.

12

Uncover trays and divide tomato mixture between the two pans ensuring entire surface of dough is covered with olive oil.

13

Bake for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown on top.

14

Carefully move focaccias from trays to cooling racks. Cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

C'est Fin!

TOMATO BASIL FOCACCIA BREAD

Notes: 

*Olive oil can be substituted for a light oil such as grapeseed oil.  Regardless of which light oil you are using, don’t skimp on the oil people! 

*Honey is added to help activate the yeast. Omitting will not change the flavour profile of the bread.

*Use warm (about 105 degrees F); not hot water. Hot water is a yeast killer.

*I used fresh garlic as it’s way more aromatic than the minced bottled stuff.

*Freeze focaccia dough like pizza dough.  After the 90 minute mark, deflate the dough, coat with olive oil and wrap in plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.

*Store focaccia in plastic wrap at room temperature for 24 hours.  Refrigerate for 3 days or freeze after this point. Re-toasted focaccia is soooooo good!

base recipe adapted from Anna Olson’s Rosemary Onion Focaccia Recipe

Frances Murray
chezfrandesserts@gmail.com
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