Goat cheese focaccia with sundried tomatoes and olives incorporates the full flavors of what we think about when we hear mediterranean food.
Italian focaccia is essentially a flat-bread that goes back to the Etruscans. The Etruscans date back to about 900 BC and their territory covered large parts of what is Italy today. They slowly assimilated with Rome, eventually became Roman citizens and were finally incorporated into the Roman empire around 27 BC. While their civilisation might have disappeared, they left us delicious food that we still enjoy today, like focaccia.
Focaccia is a bit like a thicker version of pizza bread and just like pizza, you can add all sorts of tasty toppings to it. This recipe for goat cheese focaccia bread uses sundried tomatoes and olives, which gives it a nice mediterranean flavor. So it’s essentially a little bit like going on a culinary short-trip to Italy.
I know, goat cheese to many is a bit of a love it or leave it kinda deal. You rarely see anyone saying they are neutral towards it. This is partially due to the unfortunate habit of some (cheaper) goat cheeses to have a very distinct goat-y flavor. Something I am not too fond of either. Good quality goat cheese is however simply devine and lifts up the deliciousness of any dish you add it to, like with my goat cheese galettes. This is why I made them the star ingredient of this simple goat cheese focaccia recipe.
At a glance
- Yield: 1 bread
- Servings: 10 thick slices
- Preparation time: 10 minutes
- Rest time for the dough: 90 minutes/1 hour 30 min
- Oven time: 20 min
- Time from start to finish: 2 hours
Ingredients for the foccacia dough
- 10.5 ounces (300 grams) of bread flour
- ¾ cups (7 ounces/200 ml) of lukewarm water
- ¾ of an ounce (21 grams) of fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ teaspoon of salt
Ingredients for the goat cheese foccacia topping
- 5 ounces (140 grams) of goat cream cheese
- ½ cup of diced-up black olives
- ½ cup of diced-up sundried tomatoes
- 1 generous tablespoon of (acacia) honey
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon of rosemary
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
How to prepare goat cheese focaccia
Step 1: Let the yeast dissolve in lukewarm water a large bowl. Then drizzle in the flour, olive oil and salt and thenknead everything thoroughly until you have a smooth dough.
Step 2: Place the bowl in a warm-ish spot in your kitchen and let the yeast work its special growth magic for about one hour. During this time frame, the bread for your goat cheese focaccia should at least double in size.
Step 3: When the 60 minutes are up, form a flatbread out of the dough and let it rest for another 30 minutes. Don’t let it rest too long though, as the yeast will continue to let the dough rise and allow too much air being capitured in it. This would result in too many and too big holes in the dough, which is not desirable.
Step 4: Afterwards, poke little holes into the dough with your fingers and sprinkle it with a bit of olive oil. Add the chopped up olives and sundried tomatoes to the moulds you poked with your finger. Next, spread out the goat cheese and drizzle the thyme, rosemary, salt and honey on top.
Step 5: Bake the goat cheese focaccia for 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius) in the oven.
I love eating the goat cheese focaccia when it’s still a bit oven-warm and only with butter, as the goat cheese, honey, sundried tomatoes and olives provide all the flavors needed to make this a well rounded snack or bread on the side. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.