Heirloom tomato focaccia with Israeli feta
This mouth-watering focaccia delivers intense Israeli and homegrown flavors in each hearty bite.
As the weather starts to cool down and fall is on its way, hearty soups and savory breads are on the minds of many a home cook. This focaccia is a classic, with some simple change ups to give it a hearty Israeli flavor.
I found Israeli feta at Trader Joe’s, but have been told Costco and several other retailers carry this popular line of cheese. Israeli feta tends to be a little less salty and more creamy than its counterparts from other regions of the world, hence the ability to add a bit of salt and pepper, or za’atar – in this recipe, and yield a perfectly flavored dish.
- 6 cups unbleached flour
- 1/2 teaspoon dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons za'atar spice
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 pound mini heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 1/2 cup Israeli feta, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon dill
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons za'atar spice, optional
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped to yield 2-3 tablespoons
Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl (dry items). Add olive oil and water and stir with a sturdy spoon until ingredients are incorporated. Dough will be sticky.
Cover with a plastic bag or saran wrap and let rise 5-6 hours, or until at least tripled in size.
Line two 9x13 pans* with aluminum foil. Alternatively, line one 12x18 pan. Pour 1/4 cup olive oil onto the pans divided evenly, and spread around.
Place dough onto pans, and then flip so all sides are oiled. Press down evenly all around the pan. Create indentations with two fingers all over the dough, and then cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Set oven rack to lower part of oven, and preheat to 500°.
Toss tomato slices with za’atar, spices, herbs and feta. Spread out over dough, including seasoned tomato juice from the bowl.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until top is golden brown.
*Disposable pans will not conduct enough heat to bake this bread properly. Use glass or aluminum if available. If disposable is the only option, place it on a baking sheet or pizza stone, and bake for 3-5 minutes longer.