Focaccia with pesto & mozzarella

Focaccia with pesto & mozzarella
This homemade pesto bread is a delicious accompaniment to Italian food

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:20 mins – 25 mins
    • Cook:30 mins
    • Plus rising and proving
  • More effort
  • Serves 4 – 6



  • 500g strong white bread flour, plus some for dusting
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 125g ball mozzarella, drained
  • 5 tbsp pesto (shop-bought or see recipe, below)
  • sea salt, to serve (optional)


  • STEP 1

    Put the flour into a bowl and mix in the salt. Mix the yeast into 325ml tepid water. Add the water and oil to the flour, then mix well with a plastic scraper or your hands. When most of the liquid is incorporated, use your hands to bring all the ingredients together into a ball of dough.

  • STEP 2

    Tip the dough out onto a worktop lightly dusted with flour and work it by pulling and stretching for at least 10 mins. Try to get as much air into it as possible. Put the ball of worked dough into a well-oiled bowl, cover with a little more oil and a tea towel or cling film. Leave to rest for 1 hr or so in a non-draughty warm spot, until doubled in size.

  • STEP 3

    Now stretch the dough out onto a baking sheet until it’s about 20 x 30cm. Leave the dough to rise again to about half as high again, about 30-40 mins in a warm draught-free place, loosely covered with a tea towel.

  • STEP 4

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. When the dough has risen, press your fingers into it gently to make some holes. Bake for about 15 mins, then remove from the oven. Tear over the mozzarella, then bake for another 5-10 mins until golden and cooked through. Drizzle over the pesto and scatter with sea salt, if you like. Serve straight away.

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