Sundried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread

Ever since Mike and I had our kitchen remodeled, I've been wanting to make focaccia bread.  I first learned how to make this savory bread in 2012 in Positano, Italy under the tutelage of Filamena {co-owner of the Michelin star restaurant La Taverna del Leone}.  That day we made focaccia bread topped with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil paying tribute to the colors of the Italian flag (red, white, green).  We also crafted one focaccia bread with half tomatoes and half olive oil.  

Today, I decided to use what was already in my kitchen; sundried tomatoes, olives, onions, and herbs.  I used the same starter bread {Olive Oil Dough} that was used to make the calzones, so all I had to do is roll out the dough, place it into a greased pan and top it with the ingredients.  Only 5 minutes of prep and 20-25 minutes baking, then this delicious bread is ready.  Focaccia can be used for making Panini sandwiches, but I also enjoy dipping it into extra virgin olive oil. 

Baking tip: this recipe called for the oven temp = 425 degrees F, but I found that after 5 minutes, this high heat started scorching the sundried tomatoes, so I turned the oven down to 375 and continued baking for 20 minutes.  

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Ingredients for Sundried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread

  • Olive oil dough base {click this link to see recipe}
  • 4 thin slices of white onion
  • 6 to 12 Kalamata olives
  • 6 to 12 sundried tomatoes (if packed in oil, blot dry)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • pinch of pepper and coarse salt
  • 1 to 2 basil leaves, julienned 
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions for Sundried Tomato and Olive Focaccia Bread

  1. In a small skillet, over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.  Saute onions until they become soft.  Set aside.
  2. Using olive oil, lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet or line baking sheet with parchment paper.  Set aside
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  On the lower shelf, place a broiler tray.  This will be used later to add water to create steam once the focaccia is in the oven.
  4. With floured hands, pinch off about a pound size of olive oil dough.  Form a ball with the dough and place onto a floured countertop.  Lightly flour the surface of the dough and a rolling pin, roll dough out to the size of your baking sheet.  Transfer to baking sheet.  Using your hands, gently press dough to edges of the baking sheet.  Next, using your fingertips, make wells or indentations in the dough.  
  5. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary onto dough.  Add sundried tomatoes, olives, and onions.  
  6. If you want a thicker focaccia bread, allow dough to rise 20 minutes prior to baking.  If not, cook immediately.
  7. Warm 1 cup of water in the microwave.  Place focaccia into the oven, then pour the heated water into the broiler tray.  Close oven door promptly so steam stays inside the oven.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce heat to 375.  Bake until golden brown.