Homemade focaccia is easy to make and impressive! This recipe is from a cooking school in Siena, which Nici Wickes has adapted to make it faster for any home cook to make. It’s bread-making at its best!

By Nici Wickes
  • 40 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 30 mins cooking
  • Makes 1
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  • 1 tablespoon dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
  • 2 cup tepid water
  • 500 gram flour, use strong or high grade, plus extra for kneading
  • olive oil, for the bowl, plus extra for drizzling
  • cherry tomatoes, halved
  • fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 2 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1
    In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1 cup of the water by stirring it gently. Wait for 5-10 minutes until it begins to foam and bubble. Add in the remaining water and the rest of the flour. Mix until it comes together, then turn out onto a floured bench.
  • 2
    Knead by rolling and pushing the dough for about 10-15 minutes. Most people scrimp on this part, but don’t! Enjoy the process. It is ready when the dough springs back to the touch. Oil the bowl (no need to wash it), dust the dough with flour and place it in the oiled bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave it in a warm place (sunny window sills are good, so are cars) for about 40 minutes to 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
  • 3
    Now knock the dough down with a punch and knead again for 5 minutes. Shape it into a long oval by rolling or pushing it to about 1.5cm thick onto a tray that’s been dusted with flour.
  • 4
    Make the holes by pushing your fingers into the dough. Push tomato halves into the dents, sprinkle with chopped rosemary and sea salt, then drizzle with olive oil. Again, leave it for 30 minutes or until it has doubled in size (3-3.5cm thick). Then it’s ready to cook.
  • 5
    Cook in a moderate to high heat for 20 minutes or until golden. Add a bit more olive oil and salt, then you’re done!

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