Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fresh Tomato Focaccia

This has got to be one of the most fun and delicious things I have been making this summer...well, at least since my tomatoes started ripening.  Every one who tastes it, loves this bread.  I have tried a few recipes and my favorite version is inspired by Jeff Mauro.  It is created on a sheet pan, while I divide it into thirds as I stripe the dough with different tomatoes.  Be forewarned, it is really delicious and very addicting.
The left third is covered in oven roasted cherry tomatoes.  Down the center are green zebra slices.  The right side is covered in cherry and sun gold tomato halves which are placed cut side down in the dough.
  The past three times I've made this bread, this is the way I've done it.  Yes, noticeably the  pre-roasted tomatoes do brown a bit, but there is so much flavor is each bite that it's worth it.

Fresh Tomato Focaccia
2 C warm water (105 to 110 degrees F)

1 Tb sugar

1 1/2 Tb active dry yeast

4 C all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 C whole wheat flour

1 1/2 Tb kosher salt

1 tsp chpd fresh rosemary, finely chopped, plus leaves, for garnish

1 C olive oil, plus more for brushing
Your choice of tomato toppings
Place the water in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the sugar, sprinkle the yeast over the water and let it bloom until bubbly, 5 to 15 minutes.  In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose and wheat flours together with the salt and chopped rosemary.  Gradually add the flour mixture to the bloomed yeast in the mixing bowl.  Then add 1/2 cup of the olive oil.  Using the dough hook attachment, mix the dough on medium speed until it becomes smooth and soft, 8 to 10 minutes.  The dough will be very loose.  Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface and knead the dough by hand for 2 to 3 minutes.  Wipe out the bowl you mixed the dough in and then coat the bowl with some olive oil.  Return the dough to the oiled bowl and let it rest in a warm place, covered with a dish towel, until doubled in size, 30 to 35 minutes.  Oil a 9x 13" baking sheet with the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil.
Spread the dough into the pan using your fingertips to create dimples into the dough.  The more dimples you make, the more texture the bread will have.  Using a pastry brush, oil the dough and place leaves of rosemary into some of the dimples.  Top with the tomato slices and sprinkle with the Parmesan.  Cover the dough again with the towel and let rest in a warm spot until doubled in size, another 30 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 degree F and set a rack in the middle of the oven.
Bake the dough until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.  Remove from oven, let sit 10 minutes then cut with a pizza cutter into desired size. 

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