Marinating tomatoes in silky olive oil and adding crushed fennel seeds are the secrets to making this variation on the Basic No-Knead Focaccia extra flavorful. When you halve the tomatoes, the intense heat during baking concentrates their flavor, making them blistered and extra sweet. I love serving this sourdough with fresh mozzarella or burrata and a drizzle of thick, aged balsamic vinegar.
About the Dough: This focaccia is baked in a rectangle pan which hugs the dough as it bakes, creating an incredible crust along the edges. Its shape lends itself well for sandwiches, too; simply halve the bread horizontally, stack with toppings, and grill on a panini press for a delicious toasted treat.
- Yield: 1 Large Focaccia
- 1 recipe Basic No-Knead Focaccia
- 45 g (3 tbsp) olive oil, for coating the pan
- 270 g (2 cups) whole grape tomatoes
- 2 g (1 tsp) fennel seeds or Herbes de Provence
- Pinch of sugar
- 15 g (1 tbsp) olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh basil leaves, for serving
- A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use. Make the Dough
- Follow the instructions for making the Basic No-Knead Focaccia. When the bulk rise is complete, proceed to the next step. Second Rise
- Pour the olive oil into a 9 × 13-inch (23 × 33-cm) baking pan. Use your hands to evenly coat the bottom and sides. Remove the dough into the pan, and then flip it over so that both sides are coated in the oil. Cover and let rest for about 1½ to 2 hours, or until very puffy. Marinate the Tomatoes
- While the dough is resting, halve the grape tomatoes and toss them into a shallow bowl. Crush the fennel seeds by running your knife through them just a few times. Add the fennel seeds to the bowl with a pinch of sugar. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss gently and let the flavors marinate until the focaccia is ready to bake.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Assemble the Focaccia
- Gently stretch the dough to reach the corner and sides of the pan. Spoon the tomatoes over the top, reserving the juice in the bowl. Gently dimple the dough all over, pressing the tomatoes into the dough as you go. Bake
- Bake for 30 minutes or until the focaccia is beautifully crisp and the tomatoes are deep red and blistered. Serve warm, cut into wedges, with fresh basil leaves. This focaccia is best enjoyed on the day it’s made.