Baking bread can seem very daunting to many. Focaccia is one of the simplest breads to make. If you ever wanted to start making bread but feel a bit overwhelmed, give this lovely recipe a try and you will find it was not nearly as hard as you thought. Using tea in this adds a certain special something to every bite.

Tea Focaccia Bread (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

Tea Focaccia Bread (photo by Janet Sanchez, all rights reserved)

1 ½ cups water
1 tbsp green tea
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 tbsp active dry yeast
¼ cup olive oil
2 ½ cups flour
Semolina flour for dusting

Heat the water to 170°F and steep the green tea in it for 4 minutes. Remove the tea and add in the sugar, salt, yeast and olive oil. In a separate bowl place 1 cup of the flour. You may also use a stand mixer for this with your dough attachment. Pour the tea mixture into the flour and stir until combined. Slowly add in the remaining flour. Kneed the dough for about 3 minutes by hand or 1 minute in a stand mixer. The dough should be just barely sticky and forms a smooth ball. Place a teaspoon of olive oil in a large bowl, roll the dough around in it, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 30-45 minutes or until double. Once risen remove dough from bowl and press out into a large rectangle about ½ inch thick onto a cookies sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray and dusted with semolina flour. Set in a warm place for 30 minutes to rise.

10 oz cherry tomatoes
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp fresh thyme

Toss the cherry tomatoes in about a teaspoon of olive oil then place on a sheet pan and season with salt and pepper. Place under a low broiler about 8-10 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst. Transfer the tomatoes to a small sauce pan, add in the garlic powder and cook on medium for about 3 minutes to combine the flavors.

Once the dough has raised for the second time take your finger tips and gently press into the dough making small indents. Space them roughly a few inches apart. Spoon the cherry tomatoes onto the bread.  Sprinkle with the fresh thyme. Place into a preheated 425° oven for about 20 minutes or cooked through and golden. Let cool for a few minutes then serve. Recipe serves 6-8 people.

See more of Janet Sanchez’s articles here.

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