Tomato-Olive Focaccia | Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street

Join! 12 weeks for $1

We explore the cooking of Colombia with Mariana Velásquez.

In this episode, we take a look at Spanish classics. Watch now.

Take a cooking class with us and our instructors from around the world.

NEW - 125 simple weeknight recipes from the world's healthiest cuisine.

850+ hard-to-find items from around the world.

Everything Milk Street. 12 weeks for just $1. Start your trial here.

.
A long rise and ample olive oil make the best focaccia
Milk Street Bowtie Tomato-Olive Focaccia

Tomato-Olive Focaccia

7¼ hours 40 minutes active, plus cooling

Tomato-Olive Focaccia

Free

This recipe recreates the light, open-crumbed focaccia we ate in Bari, Italy. To achieve that texture, the dough must be wet—so wet, in fact, it verges on a thick, yet pourable batter. Resist the temptation to add more flour than is called for. Shaping such a sticky, high-hydration dough by hand is impossible. Instead, the dough is gently poured and scraped into the oiled baking pan; gravity settles it into an even layer. If you have trouble finding Castelvetrano olives, substitute any large, meaty green olive. To slice the baked focaccia for serving, use a serrated knife and a sawing motion to cut through the crust and crumb without compressing it. If desired, serve with extra-virgin olive oil for dipping. For convenience, the dough can be prepared and transferred to the baking pan a day in advance. After it has settled in the pan, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The next day, prepare the toppings. Uncover, top the dough with the olives and tomatoes and let stand at room temperature for 45 minutes, then finish and bake as directed.

12

Servings

Tip

Don't disturb the dough during its rise. And when transferring the dough to the baking pan, handle it gently. The goal is to retain as much gas in the dough as possible so the focaccia bakes up with an airy texture. Don't use a baking dish made of glass or ceramic; neither will produce a crisp, browned exterior, and glass is not safe to use in a 500°F oven.

7¼ hours

40 minutes active, plus cooling

500 grams (3⅔ cups) bread flour
5 teaspoons instant yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
2 cups water, cool room temperature
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 ¾ teaspoons table salt, divided
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved (see note)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Ingredients
  • 500

    grams (3⅔ cups) bread flour

  • 5

    teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 2

    cups water, cool room temperature

  • 8

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 ¾

    teaspoons table salt, divided

  • 1

    cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1

    cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved (see note)

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¾

    teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
  1. 01
    In a stand mixer with the dough hook, mix the flour, yeast and sugar on medium until combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer on low, drizzle in the water, then increase to medium and mix until the ingredients form a very wet, smooth dough, about 5 minutes. Turn off the mixer, cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat the bottom and sides of a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil; set aside.
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-1
  2. 02
    Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the dough, then knead on medium until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes; the dough will be wet enough to cling to the sides of the bowl. Using a silicone spatula, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Dip your fingers into the oil pooled at the sides of the bowl and dab the surface of the dough until completely coated with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 5½ to 6 hours; during this time, the dough will double in volume, deflate, then rise again (but will not double in volume again).
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-2
  3. 03
    After the dough has risen for about 4½ hours, heat the oven to 500°F with a baking steel or stone on the middle rack. Mist a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray, then pour the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the center of the pan; set aside.
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-3
  4. 04
    When the dough is ready, gently pour it into the prepared pan, scraping the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula to loosen; try to retain as much air in the dough as possible. The dough will eventually settle into an even layer in the pan; do not spread the dough with a spatula, as this will cause it to deflate. Set aside while you prepare the tomatoes.
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-4
  5. 05
    In a medium bowl, use a potato masher to lightly crush the tomatoes. Scatter the olives evenly over the dough, then do the same with the tomatoes, leaving the juice and seeds in the bowl. If the dough has not fully filled the corners of the pan, use your hands to lightly press the tomatoes to push the dough into the corners. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 20 minutes.
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-5
  6. 06
    Drizzle the dough with the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, making sure each tomato is coated. Sprinkle evenly with the oregano, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and the pepper. Place the pan on the baking steel or stone and bake until golden brown and the sides of the focaccia have pulled away from the pan, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes Using a wide metal spatula, lift the focaccia from the pan and slide it onto the rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.
    See Demo
    tomato-olive-focaccia-6
Tip: Don't disturb the dough during its rise. And when transferring the dough to the baking pan, handle it gently. The goal is to retain as much gas in the dough as possible so the focaccia bakes up with an airy texture. Don't use a baking dish made of glass or ceramic; neither will produce a crisp, browned exterior, and glass is not safe to use in a 500°F oven.
.
More

Sides

Down arrow

Tomato-Olive Focaccia

Get Ready to Cook

12

Servings

7¼ hours

40 minutes active, plus cooling

Tip

Don't disturb the dough during its rise. And when transferring the dough to the baking pan, handle it gently. The goal is to retain as much gas in the dough as possible so the focaccia bakes up with an airy texture. Don't use a baking dish made of glass or ceramic; neither will produce a crisp, browned exterior, and glass is not safe to use in a 500°F oven.

Ingredients
  • 500

    grams (3⅔ cups) bread flour

  • 5

    teaspoons instant yeast

  • 1

    teaspoon white sugar

  • 2

    cups water, cool room temperature

  • 8

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 ¾

    teaspoons table salt, divided

  • 1

    cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  • 1

    cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved (see note)

  • 1

    teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¾

    teaspoon ground black pepper

Step 1 of 6

Mix Dough

500
grams (3⅔ cups) bread flour
5
teaspoons instant yeast
1
teaspoon white sugar
2
cups water, cool room temperature
2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

In a stand mixer with the dough hook, mix the flour, yeast and sugar on medium until combined, about 30 seconds.


With the mixer on low, drizzle in the water, then increase to medium and mix until the ingredients form a very wet, smooth dough, about 5 minutes.


Turn off the mixer, cover the bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat the bottom and sides of a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of oil; set aside.

Step 2 of 6

Rest Dough

1
teaspoon table salt

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt over the dough, then knead on medium until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes; the dough will be wet enough to cling to the sides of the bowl.


Using a silicone spatula, scrape the dough into the oiled bowl. Dip your fingers into the oil pooled at the sides of the bowl and dab the surface of the dough until completely coated with oil.


Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 5½ to 6 hours; during this time, the dough will double in volume, deflate, then rise again (but will not double in volume again).

Step 3 of 6

Prepare Oven

2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

After the dough has risen for about 4½ hours, heat the oven to 500°F with a baking steel or stone on the middle rack.


Mist a 9-by-13-inch metal baking pan with cooking spray, then pour the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the center of the pan; set aside.

Step 4 of 6

Prepare Pan

When the dough is ready, gently pour it into the prepared pan, scraping the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula to loosen; try to retain as much air in the dough as possible.


The dough will eventually settle into an even layer in the pan; do not spread the dough with a spatula, as this will cause it to deflate. Set aside while you prepare the tomatoes.

Step 5 of 6

Add Tomatoes and Olives

1
cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1
cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and halved

In a medium bowl, use a potato masher to lightly crush the tomatoes. Scatter the olives evenly over the dough, then do the same with the tomatoes, leaving the juice and seeds in the bowl.


If the dough has not fully filled the corners of the pan, use your hands to lightly press the tomatoes to push the dough into the corners. Let stand uncovered at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Step 6 of 6

Bake and Serve

4
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1
teaspoon dried oregano
¾
teaspoon table salt
¾
teaspoon ground black pepper

Drizzle the dough with the remaining 4 tablespoons oil, making sure each tomato is coated. Sprinkle evenly with the oregano, remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and the pepper.


Place the pan on the baking steel or stone and bake until golden brown and the sides of the focaccia have pulled away from the pan, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes


Using a wide metal spatula, lift the focaccia from the pan and slide it onto the rack. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Milk Street Bowtie Logo

Done!

Did you enjoy this recipe?

Want more?

See More Sides
JULY 2021
CHRISTOPHER KIMBALL FOR HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 3-PIECE KNIFE SET + NAKIRI

$300 VALUE

Success!

Thank you for participating in our monthly giveaway!

Entry Form
How we use your email.

Your email address is required to identify your giveaway entry as well as communications from Milk Street. We will not share or rent your email address. You can unsubscribe from receiving our emails at any time.

Enter the Milk Street Giveaway
Enter the Milk Street Giveaway