Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Focaccia

The aroma of the sun-dried tomato, basil, and pine nuts is incredible in this wonderful bread!

Serves: 24Hands-on: 35 minutesTotal: 2 hours 25 minutesDifficulty: Medium


Serves: 24

Ingredients

  • 2 1⁄4 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 4 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups warm water (110°F–115°F)
  • 5 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained
  • 1⁄4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1⁄2 tsp. lemon zest, minced

Directions

  • Combine yeast, 4 1⁄4 cups flour, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a fork to mix well. Mix in 2 tablespoons olive oil and the warm water with your hands, adding water 1⁄4 cup at a time until all the water is incorporated. Add the remaining 1⁄4 cup flour as needed if dough is too sticky to knead. Scrape the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, continuing to add flour as needed.
  • Return dough to bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Spread dough somewhat evenly in an oiled 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and allow to rise for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  • While oven preheats, prepare pesto by placing remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 sun-dried tomatoes, basil, pine nuts, and garlic in a blender. Purée, and then stir in lemon zest. Poke finger holes across the top of the dough, then spread evenly with pesto. Coarsely chop the remaining 2 sun-dried tomatoes and sprinkle over the top.
  • Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Serve warm with additional olive oil for dipping, if desired.