Tomato Basil Focaccia

In making my bruschetta topping the other day, I had a lot of tomato juice from those beautiful Creole tomatoes. I didn’t want to waste it, so I decided to make a focaccia using the juice in place of water. Adding in a few sun dried tomatoes helped push up the tomato taste and the last of the fresh basil added a lovely flavor.

If you don’t have fresh tomato juice, you can use commercial but omit the salt from the dough as the juice will have been salted when canned.

Tomato Basil Focaccia in a Bread Machine

1 cup tomato juice
2 tablespoons sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped

1 ripe tomato
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse, kosher salt

Soak the sun dried tomatoes in the tomato juice for 15 minutes. Add juice, sun dried tomatoes, oil, salt, flours, yeast and basil to the bread machine in that order and select dough cycle.

After the bread machine has done it’s job, remove the dough. If it is too sticky, add up to a half cup of all purpose flour and knead it to combine. Form dough into a ball and place it in a well oiled bowl for one hour or until doubled in size.

Use 1 tablespoon of the topping olive oil to coat a large baking sheet. Flatten the dough with your fingers into a rough rectangle and then let rise in a warm, draft free space for 30 minutes until dough has doubled in size.

Poke the top with your fingertips to form dimples. Thinly slice the tomato onto a paper towel to absorb some of the juice. Arrange the slices across the top – do not overlap. Brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle the top with the coarse salt.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

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