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Focaccia with wild oregano and cherry tomatoes

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One of the most delicious and simple appetizers from the Puglia region of Italy (think the heel of the boot) is focaccia. Focaccia is a bread made with olive oil and baked with even more olive oil and is mouth-wateringly tasty. There are many ways to prepare focaccia: you can make it simple with just sea salt, you can add onions and tuna before making, or even a layer of potatoes and rosemary. 

 

With the arrival of our wild oregano bunches from Puglia, we’ve been inspired to bake one of the most typical styles of focaccia from the region: focaccia con origano e pomodorini. The combination with juicy, sweet cherry tomatoes is an amazing way to bring out the fragrant aromas of the wild oregano. 

 

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 pack (7g) dried fast action yeast

2 tsp fine sea salt

5 tbsp olive oil + extra for greasing the tin and serving

1 tsp flaky sea salt

1 tbsp wild oregano (leaves removed from stalks)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into halves

 

Method

  1. Mix the salt and yeast into the flour, adding them to separate sides of the mixing bowl to prevent the salt from killing the yeast.
  2. Push a little well into the middle of the flour and pour in 2tbsp oil and then gradually add about 1 ½ cups lukewarm water, mixing regularly until it forms a moist, sticky dough. 
  3. Flour a surface and scoop the dough onto it then knead until the dough becomes less sticky and feels soft (around 7 minutes)
  4. Transfer the dough into a clean bowl, cover it with a dishcloth and leave for 1 hour, after which it should have doubled in size. 
  5. Smear some oil onto your baking tray (a shallow, rectangular one of around 10×14 inches) and spread the dough inside. Cover again and leave for a further 40 minutes. 
  6. Heat the oven to 425 F. Push your fingers gently across the surface of the dough to make little dimples. Combine 1 ½ tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp water and the flaky sea salt and drizzle across the surface of the dough. Scatter the oregano, allowing it to fall into the depressions and then tumble the cherry tomato halves over the top. Finish with a drizzle of oil and then bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

 

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