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Foolproof Focaccia | Tomato Pie | Cold Veggie Pizza

Back in my college days at the CIA (gosh that makes me feel old), I had quite a few friends that lived in Pennsylvania. They would bring this thing called, Tomato Pie back to the dorm: we'd pig out and watch movies all day. Once I had a slice of that soft bread, almost soggy from the tomato sauce, lightly crisp edges, a lil' oily/fried dough, slight sweetness and ultimate umami flavor; I became obsessed ever since. I detest describing it like this, but it's kind of like a pizza without the cheese. What's crazy is that I don't seek out the cheese when I eat. This is coming from a cheese addict by the way. I'm actually not a huge fan of tomatoes (like fresh ones that go on a burger), but I'll eat salsa though. I know, I'm a weirdo. It's just a texture thing for me. I swear I'm not a picky person. That's just one thing I can't have. Tomato Pie though- yes puh-lease! Anyway, now that I'm back on the West Coast, I always have a random craving for it. Nothing comes close to the original, but I've finally developed a recipe that matches quite close to it! You seriously have to make this stuff. If you ain't got no time f'dat, then definitely have a slice when you happen to be in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (which will most likely never happen so go to the kitchen and get to bakin')!

So this is where the Focaccia comes into play. I messed around with different doughs and realized this Focaccia recipe is quite versatile and worked perfect for Tomato Pie. At the same time, this dough is amazing for what it was originally intended to be for: a classic, yummy, lightly crisp, soft, fluffy Focaccia.

I couldn't decide what type of Focaccia to make. It was between a Caramelized Onion/Garlic and Olive Focaccia or a Tomato Pie. Then I remembered that I make a mean Cold Veggie Pizza with this dough recipe. I thought, screw it, I'll make all 3! You seriously can't go wrong with any of these flavor profiles, but feel free to have fun with it and play with different toppings!


  • 1 cup all purpose flour

  • 1 cup bread flour

  • ¾ cup warm water (110 degrees)

  • 1 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 ounce active dry yeast

  • 2 tbsp. sugar

Topping Variations:

Caramelized Onion, Garlic and Olive Focaccia

  • Caramelized Onions

  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, roughly chopped

  • pitted olives

  • 1 tbsp. butter

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Tomato Pie

  • 1- 12oz can tomato paste

  • 4 tbsp. sugar

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

Mix and spread on final proofed dough.

Cold Veggie Pizza

  • carrots, ribboned- thin

  • roasted bell peppers

  • pickled green tomatoes

  • pickled onions

  • any other veggie of choice

  • 8oz. cream cheese, softened

  • onion powder

  • garlic powder

  • parsley

  • salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle seasonings on top of final proofed dough, then bake. Once thin dough is baked and golden browned, cool the crust. Once crust is cool, spread a thin layer of cream cheese and add toppings.


1. In a Kitchen Aid bowl/stand mixer bowl, or big bowl, mix yeast, 1/4 cups of the warm water, and sugar and let it stand for about 5 minutes, until it gets foamy.

2. Stir in salt, 1/2 cup of remaining water and olive oil and add combo of both flours in increments. Knead with a dough hook or your hands, until the dough pull away from the sides of the bowl. I love using a bowl scraper/dough scraper for this.

3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until it becomes elastic and smooth. Place the ball of dough back into a lightly greased bowl and cover it with a cloth towel. Allow the dough to double in size (this takes about an 1-2 hours, depending on how warm the weather is that day).

4. After it doubles in size, punch the dough, knead knead back into a smooth ball and allow to double in size again.

5. After it has doubled in size again, press and spread the dough into an olive oil greased, 10" sheet pan. The amount of dough placed in the sheet pan depends on the type of Focaccia you are making. Use the entire batch of dough for the sheet pan for a classic deep dish Focaccia. If you are making the Cold Veggie Pizza, you want to use a 1/4 of the dough and spread thin on a sheet pan for a thin crust. Cover with a cloth towel and allow it to double in size for another hour.

6. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

7. Stipple or "dock: the dough with your fingers.

8. Drizzle the dough with olive oil, then add toppings of desired variations of Foccacia. Layer away. I like to drizzle olive oil and/or reduced balsamic on top.

9. Bake for 13-14 minutes, until the bottom of the crust is golden brown. Serve and enjoy!

Muah x 1,000...


Be sure to say hi to me on social media and tag me in pics, if you end up making this! xX

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