Wholemeal Focaccia with Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil

30 Jul

I made my own sun-dried tomatoes this week, very proud. Well you might as well put the sun to good use. It’s out there all day blazing down and generally making a nuisance of itself.

If you’ve never tried it, now is the time (in the northern hemisphere anyway). It’s really easy and it makes you feel like a proper domestic goddess, for about five minutes.

I got the instructions on how to do it from Chica Andaluza, my fellow British food blogger in Andalucia. She grows her own tomatoes as well as many other things and I’m very jealous of her little huerto.

I don’t eat bread very often so when I do it has to be good bread. I’m not wasting my time with that supermarket bouncy fake stuff.

This is my favourite bread recipe and it uses sun-dried tomatoes and the oil they are soaked in.  I couldn’t wait to try it with my own sun-drieds.

If you are scared of making bread, like I am, don’t be sacred of this.  Me and yeast have issues, as in it won’t do its thing for me, ever.

I’ve lost count of how many heavy, dense and thoroughly unrisen loaves I’ve made. And the panettone? Don’t even go there, it was more of a flat tea cake than a light and airy, beautifully risen dome of loveliness.

This however, has never let me down, and I use wholemeal flour which is usually the kiss of death in any bread I’ve ever made. It’s a kind of flatbread so it’s not supposed to rise very much, but it does enough, every time.

You can use whatever herbs you like, rosemary is traditional, but I like basil with my sun-dried tomatoes. Just make sure you use the oil the tomatoes are soaked in. It adds so much more flavour.

Wholemeal Sun-dried Tomato & Basil Focaccia Recipe

makes one 8-10 inch round loaf, vegan

If you want to try making your own sun-dried tomatoes see Chica Andaluza’s recipe here

  • 450 gr wholemeal flour (or plain)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7 g sachet dried fast action yeast
  • about 50 gr sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp sun-dried tomato oil (the oil the tomatoes are kept in)
  • 300 ml tepid (warm, not hot) water
  • about 10 basil leaves, rolled up & finely sliced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt (I used pink Himalayan salt)

Put the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl and stir until well combined. Make a well in the middle and pour in 3 tbsp of the oil, the water and the sun-dried tomatoes.

Using a wooden spoon, mix it all together, then use your hands to make it into a soft sticky dough. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until smooth & elastic, dusting with a little more flour if necessary but not too much.

Line a baking sheet with baking paper and then rub some olive oil over the paper. Shape the dough into a ball and slap it onto the baking sheet. Push it out with your fingers  to an 8-10 inch round about 2cm thick. Cover with a clean tea towel, tuck the ends under the baking sheet and leave in a warm area for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 230 C. Uncover the bread and pour a little hand-hot water into a cup. Dip your index finger into the water and poke deep holes all over the dough, wet your finger each time.

Brush the remaining 1 tbsp oil over the top of the  dough (some will collect in the holes) and sprinkle with the sea salt and basil. Poke some of the basil into the holes.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden. Then remove from the tray and leave to cool for 15 minutes wrapped in the clean tea towel. Keep wrapped in the tea towel or in a plastic bag in the fridge if you want to keep it longer.

I like to cut it into quarters and then cut off  little slices or wedges to dip into some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Or you can cut it in half widthways, through the middle and fill it like you would a sandwich. Mozzarella, avocado and tomato is nice, especially toasted.

Things That Made Me Smile Today……

Dragonfly Porn… it was a bit windy, they were hanging on for dear life!

Is it me or does she look like she’s saying “What are you looking at?”…..

29 Responses to “Wholemeal Focaccia with Homemade Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil”

  1. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide July 30, 2011 at 7:43 pm #

    Supermarket bouncy stuff. Too funny. This looks amazing. I love how the basil is practically threaded through it. Just perfect.

  2. Mama J July 30, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    I will be trying this recipe for sure! Those dragonfly shots are fantastic!

  3. chicaandaluza July 30, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Am still chuckling at the porno photos – very funny! Looks like you had a great success with the tomatoes and the bread. Rooftops are the best place – I learned from my Italian auntie who did them on her little flat roof in a village house in a tiny village in Calabria. Thanks for the mentions! I am going to give your focaccia a go as, whilst I have success with normal bread, focaccia seems to elude me. Made soda bread today though which was gorgeous!

  4. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts July 30, 2011 at 10:21 pm #

    Focaccia is so yummy for so many different things. All the flavors in this sound wonderful!

  5. veggiegrettie July 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    The dragonfly porn made me laugh out loud…I really needed a good laugh, thanks!

    The bread looks amazing. I need to figure out how to make a gluten free version.

  6. Maris (In Good Taste) July 31, 2011 at 12:06 am #

    This looks absolutely perfect!

  7. German Mama July 31, 2011 at 1:34 am #

    I always love a good bread recipe; and this looks just great.

  8. marla {family fresh cooking} July 31, 2011 at 3:04 am #

    Love the sound of this whole wheat focaccia.

  9. Susan July 31, 2011 at 3:15 am #

    What a great post! We live halfway up a small mountain and below is a swampy area that dragonflies use for breeding grounds. We see dragonfly porn alot … and are thankful for all the progeny that eat the mosquitoes and deerflies!

    I wish it was hot and sunny enough to sun dry tomatoes! maybe I will try it on my back porch! The foccacia is perfect … I smile in your direction!

  10. run4joy59 July 31, 2011 at 3:32 am #

    The bread looks so good that I’m going to make it in the morning…great pictures. And the dragonfly porn…way too funny!

  11. Priya Sreeram July 31, 2011 at 4:32 am #

    hey the home made focaccia looks great- like you even I have yeast troubles but this is the only bread that has given me much to be kicked about ; anyways loved the sundried tomatoes and hey the drago-porn had me in splits !

  12. thefooddoctor July 31, 2011 at 6:47 am #

    That foccacia looks amazing!
    I have never made foccacia with wholemeal…it is time I did
    and you should be very proud of your home made sundried tomatoes..YUM

  13. Aimee@clevermuffin July 31, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

    This looks so delcious. Your photos are amazing. I especially like the little jar tied up with string. Make a lovely gift.

  14. Barbara Rodgers July 31, 2011 at 1:02 pm #

    I’m allergic to wheat so I have to skip this recipe, but, I LOVE the dragonfly porn!

  15. Angie's Recipes July 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

    Great clicks…they are making my tummy growl….
    LOL@ dragonfly porn..

  16. TasteFood July 31, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    What a wonderful recipe. I love how you use whole wheat in the focaccia and the added flavors of sun dried tomatoes and basil. Inspiring, thank you!

  17. kankana August 1, 2011 at 6:04 am #

    That Focaccia looks lovely and with basil .. delicious. LOL on the dragon fly porn .. how did you manage to do that !!! LOL LOL

  18. Jill Colonna August 1, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    You are too funny – supermarket bouncy stuff. You are too right – especially when you can produce this masterpiece with your own dried tomatoes like this. Fantastic. The best flavours!

  19. tony ward August 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    The bread looks great dahling, and you make it sound sooooooo easy.! I thought the lady dragon fly was asking….does my bum look big in this !!! Great stuff princess where would we be without you….?? still in 30″ waist jeans !! lol xx

  20. Tes August 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    What a beautiful recipe, it looks so fresh and warm🙂

  21. pearlandpine August 1, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    I’m totally impressed by your sun dried tomatoes…I don’t think I trust Seattle’s weather enough to make my own but that bread looks fantastic!!

  22. Stephanie Russell August 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Those dragonflies are hilarious! And what a cute idea to make homemade sun-dried tomatoes. Love how they look in that tiny glass jar, too. And I DO think you should start up your own pickled onion and sauce line — how fun!🙂

  23. Caroline August 1, 2011 at 8:48 pm #

    Great job on making your own sun-dried tomatoes, that’s awesome! This bread looks soo delicious, and I love how you incorporated the basil. Awesome shots of the dragonflies too–hilarious!

  24. Hannah (BitterSweet) August 2, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Such beautiful bread! My whole wheat ventures with focaccia have been a bit disappointing so far, so I must try your recipe next time around. Love the idea of tomato and basil in it as well, it’s so perfectly summery.

  25. spicegirlfla August 2, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    I wish I had some of this right now… gorgeously made and I love the basil popping out!!

  26. Laura @ Family Spice August 2, 2011 at 6:08 pm #

    That looks so good right now! And I love that you are using whole wheat. The dragonfly porn is hilarious!

  27. Kita August 2, 2011 at 11:28 pm #

    LMAO… dragonfly porn…

    Love focaccia! And the sun dried tomatoes – just beautiful.

  28. tiffany August 4, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    This bread is gorgeous! And how AWESOME that you made your own sun dried tomatoes!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Ensalada de Tomate y Ajo « Cook Eat Live Vegetarian - August 10, 2011

    […] you can do like I did and eat it with some of my sundried tomato & basil focaccia (or any nice bread) to soak up the gorgeous garlicky, tomatoey […]

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