We are big focaccia fans in our house, and ever since the Fat Boyfriend started baking we have it even more often. I started thinking of ways to switch it up a bit and though it could be nice if it was made into a pizza of sorts. I roasted and blended the tomatoes, threw on some veg and cheese and bing bam boom dinner was served. It was so hearty we were eating it for 3 days. In a sealed glass lock container it actually stayed perfectly fresh which in itself was quite the triumph. No longer will I be forced to eat a whole focaccia in a day to combat staleness.
500g flour (I use the Baksul one with bread on the front)
2 x 8g packets of yeast
2 teaspoons of salt
400ml of warm water
2 tablespoons of olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
200g of cherry tomatoes
1 green pepper
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of mixed herbs
150g of cheese (I used some left over Gruyere, cheddar, and Parmesan)
A drizzle of balsamic vinegar
A glug or two of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Mix the flour, salt, and yeast together in a bowl. Add the water in stages and mix thoroughly with the flour. The dough may seem as though it’s very wet but that’s how it should be. Once all the water is in, you can add the olive oil. Knead the dough for about five minutes until it has become stretchy and elastic. You can either do this on an oiled board or in your hands. Do not add any more flour to the mix. I prefer to knead it in my hands, pulling and stretching it until is is about right. Put the dough in an oiled container, drizzle with olive oil, cover with cling-film, and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
2. After the dough has risen and doubled in size, knock the dough back down and move the dough to a second oiled container and leave to rise once again for about 30 minutes. Make the dimples in the bread by using your finger or knuckle. Drizzle with more olive oil, dust with salt, and bake in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for about 20 – 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the dough has baked through. You may wish to turn the dough around halfway through to produce a more even colour.
3. To make the the roast tomato sauce, put the cherry tomatoes on a tray with the garlic, sprinkle with salt, pepper, mixed herbs, olive oil and balsamic vinegar and roast for about 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. When they have roasted blend them until you have a smooth tomato sauce.
4. While your cherry tomatoes are roasting, slice your onion, pepper, mushrooms and aubergine place on a tray and drizzle with olive oil and roast for 10 minutes. They don’t need to be cooked the whole way through, just partially.
5. When your focaccia is almost finished baking, take it out of the oven and spread the tomato sauce all over it, making sure it gets into those dimples. Top with the roasted veggies and grated cheese then bake for another 10 minutes until the top is golden brown and the vegetables have cooked. You could also top with some fresh basil leaves if your garden has yielded some yet.