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Easy Cherry Tomato Focaccias

by James Morton

Not only is this recipe really very painless and risk-free, but it’s a demonstration of my one, ever-repeating concept in bread making: the wetter, the better. And this dough’s nice & clammy.

Prep time

30 minutes

Cook time

40 minutes






Step 1

First, weigh your flour into a large bowl and then rub your yeast and salt into it on opposite sides of the mound. Add in your water and olive oil and mix everything together with a wooden spoon until it comes together into a wet, sticky dough. Use your hands to mop up any leftover flour from the side of the bowl.

Step 2

Cover the bowl with cling film or a wet tea towel and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes or so, at room temperature. There’s no need for a warm place in bread making – in fact, the colder the better.

Step 3

After this time, wet one hand and fold the dough over inside the bowl several times, forcing any air out. Keep your fingertips wet to stop them sticking. You’ll notice it’s soft and stretchy – this is actually what a properly kneaded dough looks like. Your rest has replaced the kneading.

Step 4

Re-cover the dough. Leave it for an hour or so at room temperature, during which time it should nearly double in size. Alternatively, chuck it in the fridge for longer, up to overnight or even a day. This will make the flavour and texture as good as any focaccia.

Step 5

Line some cake tins with greaseproof or baking paper. Drizzle oil onto the paper to make doubly sure it doesn’t stick. Divide your dough into however many cake tins you have – I have used two.  Using oiled fingertips, push the dough to the edges and corners.

Step 6

Chop your tomatoes in half and place these on top at regular intervals. Then, drizzle with sea salt and a bit more olive oil. Leave this to rest for another half an hour to an hour. During this time, preheat your oven to 220C/200C fan/Gas 7.

Step 7

Bake your focaccias for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown in colour, hopefully with a few burnt bits where the tomatoes have exploded. Turn the bread out from the tin and drizzle it in more olive oil, preferably extra virgin.


Top Tip:

Already a keen bread maker? Looking for an outlet in which to vent some frustration? The first half hour of this recipe replaces the kneading, but if you’re in a hurry or just fancy getting the practice in – please go straight to the 2nd rise after giving your dough a good pummelling.




  • 500g strong white flour 
  • 400g tepid water (weigh it for accuracy)
  • One sachet (7g) of instant yeast
  • 10g table salt
  • 50g olive oil
  • A punnet of cherry tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling