Tomato Foccacia
120 Min

Tomato Focaccia

Many years ago, a friend and an expert German baker in Houston gave me a lesson in breadmaking. Within a matter of a few hours, while trading food secrets and stories, I watched him transform flour, water, yeast and a few other ingredients into crispy, delicious focaccia.


From time to time, I have adapted that recipe and played around with different toppings, from braised leeks and artichoke to simple herbs and cheeses. At the farmers market this week, when I spotted these gorgeously sculpted heirloom tomatoes from Goodthyme Farm in Bellville, focaccia topped with sliced hunks of tomatoes flashed through my mind. They turned out to be just as juicily delicious and flavorful as they looked.


Adding turmeric and other spices to bread doughs has become commonplace in our kitchens. But for the uninitiated, even tiny amounts of turmeric will extract moisture, leaving the dough dry. This can be compensated for by adding more liquid.


A refreshing mint yogurt to cool the heat in the tomatoes and garlic makes for a delicious dipping sauce. Enjoy it for breakfast with scrambled eggs or sliced avocado.

Share this recipe
Cook Time

120 Minutes



Step 1
In a large bowl, combine the dry yeast, flour, semolina, black pepper, turmeric, coriander seeds, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and water and mix with your hands — the flour will be sticky. Mix just until the mass is well combined. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil to coat the ball of dough and transfer it to another oiled bowl. The dough will be very soft and almost slithery. Let it rest, loosely covered at room temperature, for 2 to 3 hours or in the refrigerator overnight.
Step 2
When the dough has doubled in size, press down with your fist and transfer to an oiled parchment-paper-lined baking pan (8 by 13-inch). Spread the dough so it covers the pan evenly. Press the surface of the dough with your fingertips, cover it lightly and let it rise for an hour at room temperature or 4 to 6 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Step 3
To make the mint sauce, purée yogurt, mint, salt, and lemon juice until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 4
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spread the sliced tomatoes and garlic on the bread, pour the remainder of the olive oil on top and sprinkle the remaining salt. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Let it cool for 20 to 30 minutes. Slice the bread into 6 even pieces. To reheat, bake at 350°F for 3 to 4 minutes until warm.


1 teaspoon dry active yeast

3 1/3 cups (400 grams) high-gluten bread flour

1/4 cup (30 grams) semolina

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds

2 teaspoons sea salt, divided

1 cup (250 grams) water

7 tablespoons (50 grams) olive oil, divided

Mint Sauce:

1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt

1 cup loose mint leaves

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Juice of one lemon


Sliced tomatoes

Sliced garlic

Notes & Variations

  • The ambient temperature will greatly affect the rising time — Find a warm spot in the kitchen to let the dough rise.
  • Turmeric and coriander seeds are optional — leave them out or replace them with other whole spices.
  • Replace tomatoes with sliced peppers, mushrooms or squash.
  • Replace mint with other herbs such as basil, parsley, or cilantro.
120 Min

Stock Your Pantry

TO-may-TO, TO-mah-TO.

Doesn't matter how you pronounce it- it still tastes amazing. Give these other recipes a try!