recipe | cheesy focaccia | excerpt from cook me by sam parish

recipe | cheesy focaccia | excerpt from cook me by sam parish

This recipe is an extract from Cook Me by Sam Parish.

Originally published to thisNZlife.

There’s nothing better than a dough that doesn’t require any assistance to be amazing. This bread does exactly that; she’s an absolute beauty. Good things take time, great things take more time. But it’s safe to say, most of the time needed for this bread is spent with it covered and sitting in the corner of the room like it did something wrong. So don’t worry, you’re not chained to the stove for this one. And no, it’s done nothing but be delicious – and that ain’t a crime.

Effort: 4/5
Serves: 12
Prep: 2 hr
Cook: 40 min (begin recipe 1 day ahead)


2 tsp dried yeast
3 cups (750ml) luke-warm water
1 tbsp honey, plus extra for drizzling
900g (6 cups) strong plain flour*
1 cup (250ml) olive oil, plus extra for fingers
3 sprigs rosemary
100g double cream brie, sliced
1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

*Specialty ingredient: Strong flour means it’s got a higher protein, which is essential for bread making. It can go by various names – high-grade flour, bread flour, even double 00 flour can work for this recipe. It just gives us extra insurance that our bread will rise and be soft.


  • Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add honey and ¼ cup flour and stand for 10 minutes, or until bubbles form. Add remaining flour and 1 tablespoon of oil. Mix to combine then briefly knead to form a ball.
  • Cover with a tea towel and set aside in a cool place for 1 hour. Fold like a taco, then spin and fold once more. Cover and leave overnight in a cool place.
  • The next day, pull and fold the dough. Drizzle a 22cm x 30cm baking tray with ¼ cup oil. Add dough and use oiled fingers to stretch and prod to fill the dish and add indents. Cover and stand in a warm place for 2 hours, or until bubbles form on the surface.
  • Preheat oven to 220°C fan forced.
  • Spike dough with rosemary sprigs. Scatter with cheese and tomatoes. Add a splash of water to the bottom of the oven, to create steam, before baking.
  • Bake for 35–40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size, cooked through and golden. Stand to cool slightly. Slice and serve, drizzled with extra olive oil.



Lose the cheese and go traditional with tomato and rosemary.


Push sliced cooked potatoes into the dough and top with truffled cheese for something quite close to heaven.Cook Me is available in store & online at Gathered. Click here to shop.

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