This cheesy no knead focaccia with tomato and garlic confit is the perfect bread. It’s crispy and golden on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside and full of garlic infused olive oil aka liquid gold. It tastes exactly like pizza bread… but better!
Tomato Garlic Confit Focaccia
This focaccia recipe is perfect for beginners and combines all of my favourite flavours into one. It uses my famous garlic confit, cherry tomato confit and lots of mozzarella cheese. It’s finished off with a drizzle of garlic infused extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of fresh herbs, flaky sea salt and black pepper. You could also add a teaspoon of dried herbs such as oregano. You can make the most delicious sandwiches with this focaccia. Check out my Chicken Parma Focaccia Sandwich here.
My top tips for making the best focaccia
Leave the dough to rest and rise as long as you can – if you have the time, I recommend leaving it for 24 – 48 hours in as this will result in a fluffier and lighter dough. If you are short on time try and leave it for a minimum of 8 hours. Leave your dough to rise in a big bowl with either a silicone lid or plastic wrap covering it. Your dough will double or even triple in size so it will need a lot of room to grow.
Use a high quality extra virgin olive oil and don’t be shy with it – this is a recipe that relies heavily on extra virgin olive oil not just for the taste but also for the texture and that golden and crunchy crust. It’s important we are not skimping on the quality which is why I recommend using Rich Glen olive oil. If you are not a fan of adding the garlic confit, you can simply omit this from the recipe and use Rich Glens Wild Garlic Olive Oil or their signature extra virgin blend.
Find a warm spot in your house for the second rise – a room temperature environment will help the dough rise for its second rise. If you are making your focaccia in winter, a little trick I learnt is to leave the light on in your oven and let the focaccia dough rise in there.
Top tips cont…
Don’t be afraid to get creative – my favourite topping for focaccia is garlic confit and fresh rosemary however, these are only optional toppings! This can be kalamata olives, potatoes, onions, shallots or plain with some kosher salt and a tablespoon of olive oil. Don’t be afraid to get creative and personalise it to your personal taste.
Use the right flour – while bread flour will leave you with a chewier texture, it can be a little hard to find! All purpose flour will work just as well!
It’s all about the baking sheet – I use a baking dish that is 34cm x 23cm x 5cm. You can also use a rimmed baking sheet so your focaccia doesn’t rise as high or a cake pan which will give the focaccia a circular and deep shape. It really comes down to personal preference!
Rise baby rise – if you’re using an active dry yeast, it needs to feed off honey in warm water. Leave it to sit in the bowl for 5 minutes or until bubbles start to form. This will indicate your yeast is alive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I leave my dough to rise for a shorter period of time?
There are recipes that allow the dough to rise in a short amount of time however, this recipe will not work unless you leave your dough to rise for a minimum of 8 hours for the first rise in the fridge and a minimum of 2 hours in a warm place for the second rise. I always recommend leaving it for as long as possible to get the best result.
What size baking tin do you use?
The baking tin I use is 34cm x 23cm x 5cm. It’s important your baking dish is large and deep enough for the focaccia to rise in.
Can I use an active yeast?
Absolutely! The yeast I use is a non active dry yeast which is why we need to activate and feed it with the honey. If you are using an active yeast you can skip this first step and simply add the yeast to your flour with your water and salt.
How long does the focaccia keep for?
Bread is always at its most delicious on the day it’s made. I recommend freezing the bread on the day it has been made to maintain its freshness for as long as possible. If not, you can use it for up to 3 days before it goes stale. But keep in mind, stale focaccia can be turned into the best golden brown breadcrumbs!
I have affectionately become known as the garlic and olive oil girl and I am not complaining! My favourite way to cook something is to confit it and one of my favourite things to eat is garlic so why not combine the two! You can read everything you need to know about garlic confit here and tomato confit here.
If you have any questions or would like to leave a review, please do so here! I always love answering your food and recipe related questions and hearing your feedback on my recipes.
Cheesy Focaccia with Tomato & Garlic Confit
Tomato & garlic confit
- 250 g cherry tomatoes
- 3 heads garlic
- 3 cups olive oil
- 3 sprigs rosemary
- 2.5 cups lukewarm water 2 cups cold water + 1/2 cup boiling hot water (600ml)
- 1 sachet dry yeast 7g
- 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- 5 cups all purpose white flour 740g
- 2.5 tsp flakey sea salt
- 10 garlic confit cloves
- 10 confit tomatoes
- 125 g buffalo mozarella
- 8 tbsp garlic and tomato confit olive oil
Tomato & garlic confit
- Preheat the oven to 120 degrees Celsius.
- Peel the garlic by breaking the cloves away and placing them into a heatproof bowl. Submerge in boiling hot water for 5 minutes and drain. The skin will become loose and easy to peel away.
- Place the garlic cloves, cherry tomatoes and rosemary into an ovenproof dish and fully submerge in olive oil. It's important the garlic and tomatoes are fully submerged in the olive oil so it does not burn. Bake for 2 hours or until the garlic has browned in colour.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container or jar with the garlic cloves fully submerged in the olive oil for up to several weeks in the fridge.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the lukewarm water, yeast and honey with a whisk and leave to sit for 5 minutes or until the yeast has foamed. This will indicate that your yeast is active.
- In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt and whisk together. Add the yeast mixture to the bowl and bring the dough together with your hands or a spatula until a shaggy and sticky dough forms.
- Coat a large mixing bowl with 4 tablespoons of the garlic confit olive oil and transfer the dough to the bowl. Coat the dough in the olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place into the fridge. Leave the dough to rise for a minimum of 6 hours but ideally for 24 hours. The dough will double in size and look bubbly.
- Take the dough out of the fridge and fold it over itself in quarters. Gather up each edge of the dough with your hands and fold it over itself while turning the bowl. The dough will deflate while you shape it into a neat ball.
- Coat a deep rectangular baking dish (I use a pan that is 34cm x 23cm x 5cm) with 2 tablespoons of the garlic confit olive oil and transfer the dough ball to the baking dish. Using your fingers, stretch the dough out slightly into a rough rectangular shape. There is no need to stretch the dough out to the edges of the pan as the dough will rise and spread. Cover the pan with a tea towel and leave the dough to rise in a warm area of your house for 3 - 4 hours. If your dough is uncovered there is risk of too much air getting into the dough and creating a dry and crusty layer on top.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Once the dough has risen, use your fingers to indent or dimple the dough. Scatter the garlic confit cloves, confit cherry tomatoes, torn up mozzarella and rosemary over the dough. Drizzle the dough with 2 tablespoons of the garlic confit olive oil. This will help the crust of the dough get golden and crispy when baking. Finish off with a sprinkling of flakey sea salt. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes or until the dough has developed a golden crust on top.
- Let the bread slightly cool before removing it from the baking tray. Place onto a wire rack.
- Slice the bread and enjoy on its own or dipped into the garlic confit olive oil with some balsamic vinegar.