Roasted Tomato Focaccia

Dough recipe adapted from Food Geeks

1 package active yeast (1 tablespoon)
1 cup warm water
3 ½ cups all purpose flour, approximately
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the water & yeast and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes in order to activate the yeast. In a separate bowl, mix together flour & salt, dig out a little “well” and pour in the yeast mixture and the oil. Mix together the ingredients until combined and turn onto a floured surface. By hand, knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, adding more flour if necessary. (you can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook, but using your hands is more fun, trust me)

Form the dough into a ball, dust with flour, transfer back into mixing bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Place the dough in a warm place and allow it to double in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough. Transfer the dough to an oiled 10 ½ x 15 ½ inch baking sheets. (you can also use two 9-inch round pans, as I did) With the tips of your fingers, push “dimples” into the surface of the dough, this will help it absorb all the toppings. Cover the dough and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake breads until the edges of the dough begin to firm, about 15 minutes. (Can be made a day in advance up to this point; slide the dough onto wire racks to cool, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate. Or make well in advance, wrap well, and freeze.)

Tomato Topping

32 oz cherry tomatoes
2 -3 garlic cloves, chopped in half
2 tablespoons fresh oregano or basil, chopped
salt & pepper

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in tomatoes, garlic cloves and oregano or basil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes. The cherry tomatoes will begin to wrinkle and burst. Once this begins to happen gently mash the tomatoes with a fork or potato masher. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the tomatoes are no longer soupy. Remove garlic cloves.
Add the tomato topping to the focaccia that has baked for 15 minutes and bake for another 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to blacken on the edges.