I like to use fresh tomatoes as much as I can during the summer, when they are in season. I chop them up for salsas and salads, but I also roast them in the oven and bake them into wonderfully savory dishes. This Easy Heirloom Tomato Focaccia is one of my favorite summer recipes because it showcases tomatoes and makes a great addition to almost any meal.
As the name suggests, this bread is easy to make because it starts with a pizza crust dough and you can opt to use homemade or store-bought. Store bought pizza dough crusts are a great resource for making simple breads, as well as for making actual pizzas, and I will often pick one up when I am short of time. The dough should be placed into a square, olive oil-greased pan and allowed to come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before trying to work with it to take off the chill of the refrigerator and allow the dough to relax.
Once the dough has come to room temperature, you can drizzle it with more olive oil, then use your fingertips to press it out towards the edges of the pan. The dough should stretch just about all the way into the corners (sometimes it doesn’t stick in the corners and that is ok!) and it should have a dimpled appearance from your fingertips. Press your mini tomatoes into the bread gently, trying to distribute them evenly over the dough, and let it rise for a second time before putting it in the oven to bake.
You can leave this bread plain and let the tomatoes speak for themselves, finishing it with nothing more than a sprinkle of salt. If you want to dress it up, however, you can add a bit of feta or goat cheese to the top.
Easy Heirloom Tomato Focaccia
1 prepared or homemade pizza dough
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
3/4-1 cup mini heirloom or cherry tomatoes
coarse or kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375F. Oil an 8×8 pan generously with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil.
Place the pizza dough into the pan and let it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes.
Drizzle the dough with the remaining olive oil, then use your fingertips to press the dough out towards the corners of the pan, pushing it into an even layer. The dough should go just about into the corners of the pan and should appear dimpled from your fingertips.
Push mini tomatoes gently into the dough, distributing them evenly. Let dough rise for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of coarse or kosher salt.
After the dough has risen, put it into the oven bake for 30-35 minutes, until the focaccia is golden brown around the edges. Remove the bread from the pan with the help of a spatula and transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly before cutting it into individual pieces and serving.
Makes 1 focaccia; approx 9 servings