Herb and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

May 15, 2020
Created by Chef Freyka Nuñez Del Prado
2 hours 20 minutes
Serves 6-8
  • 1 1/2 cups (12 oz) lukewarm water
  • 1 Tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided, plus more for oiling bowl and baking sheet
  • 18 oz unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup shredded asiago or other cheese
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • 2 pinches artisan salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add water, yeast, sugar, and 1 tablespoon oil and, using a whisk, mix until dissolved. Add flour and salt, using paddle attachment, mix on low to form dough, about 30 seconds.

Using a dough scraper, remove dough from paddle. Sprinkle flour over and in bowl around dough. Change attachment to a hook, and on low speed, knead dough for 7 minutes, occasionally sprinkling flour into bowl while kneading if dough looks sticky. Using floured fingers, grab a small piece of dough and stretch it, spreading it out to check on elasticity of dough.

Remove dough from hook and transfer dough to a floured work surface and knead a few times, forming a smooth ball. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, seam side down, making sure to grease top of dough. Loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm space or proofing oven until doubled in size and bouncy when lightly touched, about 1 hour.

Carefully turn dough out on counter, seam side up and flatten into a circle, about 12” in diameter. Add a small handful of onion to dough center. Beginning at 12 o’clock, fold a piece of dough up and over center of dough, covering onions with dough. Repeat with dough at 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, and 9 o’clock. Flatten dough slightly again into a circle. Repeat by adding more onion, and folding dough over onion. Collect dough and return to greased bowl, seam side down, cover with plastic, and proof for 30 minutes.

Lightly oil a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer dough, keeping top of dough up, onto prepared sheet. Flatten and stretch dough to fill pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest until dough looks puffy, about 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400°-450°.

Softly press fingertips into dough, making indentations. Drizzle 1 tablespoon oil over dough, brush lightly with a pastry brush, and sprinkle with herbs. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan after 10 minutes. During the last 5 minutes of baking, add sun-dried tomatoes and cheese, if using.

Remove bread from oven, loosen from pan, and onto a cooling rack immediately. Brush with more oil and sprinkle with salt.