This tomato rosemary focaccia bread is surprisingly easy to make yet super delicious. The focaccia bread is soft and has so much great flavour of juicy tomatoes and rosemary. Great to bake for breakfast or as a starter at home dinner party.
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My first homemade focaccia
I can still smell the fresh focaccia bread out of the oven when my host family baked it in London. It was one night they baked this amazing focaccia bread just before we were about to have dinner.
I saw it put into the oven, and I remember I thought I would already finish my dinner before it was baked and ready. And next second when the dinner was served on the table, the bread just baked and was ready to be served at the same time as other dishes!
“How did it bake so fast!” was my instant reaction. And most important, it was absolutely delicious and one of the best focaccia bread I had ever tasted.
Baking bread was something that I had never thought I would do in my life because the idea was always “Baking bread is too complicated”.
What do I even need to make bread? What flour should I use? Doesn’t it take AGES to knead bread? Preparing yeast how? How long is the rising time? And Baking time? I don’t think I can do all that!
And that evening I asked them how they bake such an amazing bread in such short time, they told me baking bread wasn’t complicated at all. I was skeptical at first but I discovered that baking bread shouldn’t be as intimidating as I imagined as I learnt and baked them myself!
How to make tomato rosemary focaccia bread
So how to make perfect focaccia bread? It was on my mind for so long. Long enough to bake breads to feed the nation of Japan.(Ok a little exaggeration but really I baked so many breads!)
And the answer I have come up with, is the passion and love for baking bread. I knoooow passion and love won’t stand in your kitchen for you and bake breads and go ta-da! However, once you know how fun baking bread is and the smell of freshly baked bread out of the oven, it will become a motivation to make breads. And it WILL lead you to YOUR perfect bread.
Having said that, I want to share with you some tips for making this recipe. Because it can be intimidating if you have never baked bread before.
I am hoping that these tips encourage and help you in baking your perfect bread!
Don’t overthink, it’s ok!
First thing you might think is “What do I need?”. There are so many recipes that call for fancy ingredients and many steps of instruction.
Yes you can add all sorts of fancy stuff in your bread dough but all you need is flour, salt, yeast and warm water to make basic bread. And once you get the hang of basic bread making, you can start adding other fancy ingredients like raisins, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, etc. Experiment with it as you go.
This recipe calls for only the basic ingredients. And all you have to do to make it a little extra pretty is topping with cherry tomatoes, fresh rosemary, olive oil and coarse salt. How easy is that??
Yeast is your friend
One of the mistakes I used to make is adding too much flour, or adding water that is too hot.
Imagine putting layers of powder foundation onto your skin without moisturising first, or dipping your toe into a bathtub of way too hot water. Uncomfortable isn’t it?
Yeast is a living thing so it needs moisture and temperature that it can live in. It will take some time to know the right water and flour ratio and the temperature of water even if you follow recipes.
But you will get it eventually after making dough for a few times. Enjoy the process instead of giving up!
So you say hot water is not good, then how hot should the water be?? Good question! I struggled with that too. I always go for the temperature that feels slightly higher than room temperature but less hot than my shower.
I think it is a good way to know because how many people would willingly take their thermometer every time they bake bread! I don’t.
It should be around 38-42°C for most people, but if you are unsure you can always use thermometer.
Enjoy the kneading process
The thought of having to knead your dough for a long time is daunting? Unless you have a kneading machine, it’s likely that you have to knead the dough for a good 10-15mins.
While you are kneading the dough, you will need to be careful to feel the texture with your hand every time which will be helpful to know the right texture.
But it doesn’t have to be just kneading and looking in the air to wonder when this process ends! Once you know that it is the texture you want, you can listen to your favourite music or audio book, or even watch videos on YouTube while kneading.
Just make sure that you prepare environment for whatever you want to do beforehand. For a good 15mins, you can use this time to educate and entertain your self too!
Let me tell you one crucial thing. If your wrist starts to hurt while kneading dough, it is very likely that it’s too hard with too much flour.
The dough should be neither too battery nor too hard, but soft and firm enough for your wrist to knead.
I think this is the part where everyone question whether they are doing it right or not. If this is your first time making bread, I’m not going to sugar coat but it will be confusing. Trust me on this though it will definitely come to you after a few attempts!
How to store it
You can store this tomato rosemary focaccia bread for up to 2-3 days at room temperature. I recommend you cut it into medium size pieces and put them in an airtight container to keep them fresh and delicious.
You can also store them in the freezer for a longer time, up to 2-3 months. Put them in an airtight container and when serving warm it up in a microwave to make it soft again.
You will LOVE this tomato rosemary focaccia bread because if you:
– love good homemade bread
– looking for bread recipe to bake at the weekend
– are focaccia lover
– not vegan
– love tomato and rosemary combination
Please leave a comment and rate this recipe in the comment section below if you like this tomato rosemary focaccia bread! Let me know and tag me @thechestnutbakery on Instagram too. Thank you for making my recipe friends!