This light and fluffy homemade bread is a delicious accompaniment to Italian food, topped with sweet juicy tomatoes, fragrant basil pesto and tangy Parmesan for a seasonal summer twist.  


For the focaccia:

300 g strong white flour
200 g type 00 flour
7 g fast action dried yeast
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/2 tbsp fine salt
300 ml warm water
100 ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for oiling and drizzling
250-300 g cherry tomatoes
Sea salt flakes
2 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan

For the basil pesto:
Large bunch fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling
Juice of 1/2-1 lemon
1 tbsp grated fresh Parmesan


For the focaccia: 

  1. Put the strong white flour, type 00 flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the water and mix with your hands until the mixture just comes together. Pour in the oil and mix well to form a soft dough.
  2. Turn out onto a floured board/surface and knead for about 8 minutes.
  3. Oil a large clean bowl, add the dough and then cover with lightly oiled cling film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
  4. Knock the dough back and place into a 20 cm x 30 cm baking tin. Push gently towards the sides of the tin using fingertips – it will puff up and fill out as it proves.
  5. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour to prove, until doubled in size.
  6. Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7.
  7. Arrange the tomatoes over the top of the dough, pressing them down lightly. Drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil, scatter with sea salt and then bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until nicely golden.
  8. Turn down the heat to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6 and bake for another 15 minutes.
  9. Take the focaccia out of the oven, sprinkle Parmesan over the top and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes.

For the basil pesto:

  1. While the focaccia is baking, make the basil pesto by placing the basil leaves in a food processor with a little oil, Parmesan and lemon juice and blitz well.
  2. Add more oil until you reach the right consistency, season to taste and set aside.
  3. Once the focaccia is cooked, remove from the oven and leave in the tin for a few minutes. Place onto a cooling rack, drizzle with the fresh basil pesto and then serve.


This focaccia is best served warm or at room temperature, but it will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 24 hours.