Recipe: Sun Blushed Tomato, Olive, Basil and Balsamic Focaccia Bread
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 450g plain flour
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tbs Caster Sugar (reduce to a tsp if you wish)
  • 2 x 7g Sachets of Dried Yeast
  • 300-350mls lukewarm Water
  • 12 Green Sicilian Olives pitted and halved
  • 6 Black Kalamata Olives pitted and halved
  • 1 Bunch of Basil
  • Balsamic reduction to drizzle
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Good Quality Sea Salt Flakes
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  1. Mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Warm your water so it is at body temperature and no hotter or you will kill the yeast
  3. Make a well in the centre of your mix and add ¾ of the water
  4. Mix and bring the dough together adding more water till you get a well formed, but not wet dough. If you add a little too much water, add a little more flour until you get a dough you can work with your hands that’s not sticky
  5. At this stage you need to activate the gluten in the flour. Otherwise known as a bit of elbow grease Kneed and stretch out your dough, working it for about 10 minutes
  6. Basil and Balsamic Focaccia Bread
  7. Into a clean bowl drizzle and wipe some olive oil around the bowl
  8. Place the dough into the bowl and rub the dough with a little more oil. This just prevents a crust forming on the dough
  9. Prove the bread for 45 minutes (see tip)
  10. Whilst the bread is proving prep your olives and pick your basil
  11. Your bread should have doubled in size by now. You should be able to make depressions in the dough with your fingertips…a strangely satisfying part of bread making
  12. Knock back your dough with a quick kneed and place in a lightly floured camp oven
  13. Push the dough to the edges and press your fingers deep into the dough to make deep depressions
  14. Basil and Balsamic Focaccia Bread
  15. Start pushing all your ingredients into the holes (as much or as little as you wish, packed full is always my preference)
  16. Basil and Balsamic Focaccia Bread
  17. Sprinkle with sea salt, cracked pepper and a generous splash of olive oil
  18. Half a shovel of coals as a base in the edge of the fire and half a shovel on top. As always have extra heat on the other side of the fire pit near one edge of the oven. Rotate your oven every 5 minutes with a ¼ turn for an even cook - should take around 25 minutes
  19. Once cooked drizzle with a little more olive oil, drizzle balsamic glaze (can get this pre-made at Coles or Woolies) and a final sprinkle of sea salt to taste
*As always with a fire the cooking times and heat is only a guideline so check your bread half way through and apply more coals if needed.
**Your Bread is cooked when you turn it out, tap the bottom and get a hollow sound.
***You can also adapt this to a sweet dessert bread by increasing the sugar, reducing the salt a little (not totally) and press milk chocolate into the holes instead.
****TIP- I use a black bin bag to prove the bread. Put it in the sun with a little splash of water in the bag to create some condensation. Works very well to prove any yeast based breads or pastries.
Recipe by Places We Go at