When I had 80 pounds of tomatoes, I got creative incorporating them into meals. Sometimes I slice this loaf into squares to make sandwiches with fresh mozzarella cheese and deli meats. —Katie Ferrier, Houston, TX
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 4-1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 to 5-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- 3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. In a large bowl, combine canola oil, sugar, salt, yeast mixture and 2 cups flour; beat on medium speed until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a stiff dough (dough will be sticky).
- Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, fill a large saucepan two-thirds with water; bring to a boil. Cut a shallow “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Using a slotted spoon, place tomatoes, a cup at a time, in boiling water for 30 seconds or just until skin at the “X” begins to loosen.
- Remove tomatoes and immediately drop into ice water. Pull off and discard skins. Place tomatoes in a small bowl; drizzle with oil.
- Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle two greased baking sheets with cornmeal; set aside. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Cover with a kitchen towel; let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough in half. Shape each into a 12x8-in. rectangle and place on prepared baking sheets.
- Using fingertips, press several dimples into dough. Pour tomato mixture over dough; sprinkle with basil, coarse salt and pepper. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake until golden brown, 15-18 minutes. Yield: 24 servings.
Originally published as Cherry Tomato & Basil Focaccia in Taste of Home Christmas Annual Annual 2016, p27
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