Well, I’ve finally jumped on the bandwagon, I’ve joined YouTube. After experimenting with recipe videos on my Instagram throughout the first wave of COVID, I developed a taste for making them. And honestly, it wasn’t that big a leap for me. I love to blather on about food in general. Oh, and my partner has worked in television production for decades. Yeah, I’m sure you’re starting to wonder what took me so long. But what does that matter? I’m here now and I brought this Caprese Focaccia.
This Caprese Focaccia is exactly what it sounds like – Crisp and airy focaccia decked out with the classic components of a Caprese salad. The grape tomatoes and bocconcini are baked right into the bread while the basil is added as a final accent for maximum freshness. If this description isn’t making you want it, I don’t know what will.
The best part about this recipe and its companion video is it walks you through making a yeasted dough. Focaccia is a relatively simple bread to make that’s great for beginners. And the skills you learn from this recipe will come in handy when you tackle your next yeasted project. There are lessons to be gleaned from this that apply to everything from doughnuts to pretzels.
So without further ado, here is my very first YouTube video. And if you dig it, please subscribe because I must admit I’m lonely. It’s hard being the new vlogger on the block.
Caprese Focaccia with Fresh Basil
- 9×13 baking pan
- Stand mixer with dough hook
- 1 ¾ cup water lukewarm
- 2 ¼ tsp dry active yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 3 ½ – 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tub boccocini drained
- 1 cup grape tomatoes washed
- olive oil for drizzling
- salt for sprinkling
- Fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Sprinkle the yeast over the surface of the lukewarm water and let sit for 10 minutes or until foamy.
- Once the yeast is activated, pour the mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the honey, salt, and 1 ½ cups of the flour. Mix on medium-low until the ingredients are well integrated.
- Add another cup of flour and mix again. From this point, add the remaining flour in 1/4 cup increments, only adding enough flour to form a dough that cleans the sides of the mixing bowl. The dough should feel tacky but not sticky.
- Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until the dough feels smooth and elastic – about 7 minutes. Transfer the dough to a bowl greased with olive oil. Cover the dough and let rise in a warm place for an hour and a half or until doubled in size.
- Punch the dough down and stretch it to fit a 9×13" baking pan greased with olive oil. Cover the dough and let rise for 30-45 minutes. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Once the dough has risen enough to readily fill the corners of the baking pan, create a series of dimples with your fingers across the surface of the dough. Stud the dough with the tomatoes and bocconcini in an even, alternating pattern. Finish the dough with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.
- Transfer the dough to the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Be sure to rotate the pan once halfway through the cooktime.
- Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes before placing on a cutting board. Cover the focaccia with fresh basil leaves and serve immediately with olive oil and balsamic on the side.