Home made foccacia bread is a great way to stretch a simple meal.  This was a regular addition to our table when we had two hungry teenage boys living at home!  It is basically a bread dough which you place into a baking dish and then top with pizza-like toppings.  You can make the topping as simple or as complex as you like.  I tend to keep it simple, with just crushed tomatoes, herbs, garlic and a little cheese usually.  This recipe will be super easy if you have a bread machine, but it can be made with a heavy duty mixer or even by hand! It is a great way to make a dinner of soup acceptable to hungry boys!



  • 2 cups slightly warm water
  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp bread improver
  • 4 3/4 cups plain flour


  • roughly half a can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • generous sprinkle of oregano
  • a sprinkle of grated cheese of your choice
Tepid water with the yeast.
Tepid water with the yeast.
The dough once it is mixed.
The dough once it is mixed.
Spread the toppings on the dough after the first rising.
Spread the toppings on the dough after the first rising.


  1. Place water into either bread machine or mixer bowl.
  2. Add all other ingredients in the order that is listed.
  3. Turn bread machine on to dough setting or mix in heavy duty mixer with dough hook until well combined and dough comes together.  You may need to add a tiny bit more water if dough appears dry.  You can also mix the dough by hand and kneed it until the dough becomes a bit stretchy.
  4. Leave dough in the mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and place in a warm place for it to rise.
  5. Once dough has roughly doubled in size, tip the dough into a lined baking tin and spread it to the shape of the tin with your hands.
  6. Spread dough with tomatoes, garlic, herbs and cheese.
  7. Place into a warm place for it to rise again, maybe for half an hour or an hour depending on how much time you have.  I like to sit mine in the griller draw of my oven while the oven is pre-heating.
  8. Once dough has risen a little, bake on 180 C for 25 minutes or so.


Delicious foccacia bread.
Delicious foccacia bread.