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Overhead, closeup photo of a freshly baked Cheese Tomato Sourdough Focaccia

Cheese Tomato Sourdough Focaccia

Arlene Mobley - Flour On My Face
Mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes and rosemary top this Sourdough Focaccia recipe. Delicious homemade Sourdough Focaccia with a crunchy golden bottom is topped with shredded cheese, fresh tomatoes, and fresh herbs for a delicious homemade flatbread recipe appetizer that can be dipped in a homemade olive oil bread dipping sauce. Great snack or meal that uses your sourdough starter.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 3 hrs
Cook Time 30 mins
Rising Time 1 hr
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Appetizer, Bread, Main Dish
Cuisine Italian
Servings 9 Servings
Calories 277 kcal


Focaccia Sponge Ingredients

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ½ cup unbleached all-purpose flour

Focaccia Bread Ingredients

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Focaccia Topping Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 large fresh tomato sliced thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary sprigs and finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes to taste
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Prepare the focaccia sponge

  • In a large bowl mix the cup of sourdough starter, warm water, olive oil, honey and ½ cup of flour to make the focaccia sponge. 
  • Cover the bowl and allow the sponge to rest for 1 to 2 hours or until the top of the sponge is covered with bubbles.

How to make the focaccia bread dough

  • Add 2 cups of flour, ¼ cup of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt to the bowl of sponge. Mix with a wooden spoon until a rough dough forms. 
  • Turn the dough over onto a floured surface. Knead the dough adding small amounts of flour as needed. 
  • Knead the focaccia dough for about ten minutes or until the dough is smooth and soft. Form the dough into a ball.

First Rise

  • Oil a bowl with olive oil and turn the ball of focaccia dough into the bowl covering it with oil to keep it moist. Cover the bowl and place the bowl in a very warm draft free area. See notes.
  • Allow the dough to rise until doubled. The first rise can take anywhere from one hour to 8 hours. See Notes
  • Once the dough has risen and doubled in size punch the dough down.
  • Drizzle olive oil into a 9 x 13 baking sheet that has a lip.

Second Rise

  • Press the dough into the baking pan and use your fingers to spread the dough into the pan to the edges. If the dough is very elastic, difficult to spread and pulls away from the sides of the pan allow the dough to rest five minutes and repeat.
  • Lightly cover the dough with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and allow to rise in a very warm draft free area until roughly doubled in size, about an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 F. degrees.

Focaccia Toppings

  • When the dough has risen drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle the top of the dough with sea salt.
  • Sprinkle the top of the dough with the shredded cheese.
  • Arrange the thinly sliced tomato pieces over the top of the shredded cheese.
  • Sprinkle with finely minced fresh rosemary, sea salt and red pepper flakes.
  • Bake the focaccia in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted.
  • Cut the focaccia bread into pieces and serve.
  • Makes 8 to 10 servings.



  • Making sourdough focaccia can take anywhere from 3 to 24 hours. How long it takes the focaccia dough to rise is what will dictate the length of this sourdough recipe. 
  • Place the dough in a very warm draft-free area during the rising times. I placed my dough out in my garage in a safe place. If you have an oven with a proofing setting it will help speed the rising time up.
  • You can also place the sourdough in a cold oven with the light turned on. The light bulb will heat the interior of the oven and act like a proofing box.
  • Do not place the sourdough focaccia dough near an air conditioner vent that is blowing cold air near your bowl or baking sheet. It will slow down the rising time considerably. 
Olive Oil Bread Dip
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil flakes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed rep pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup olive oil
  1. Mix all of the ingredients into a bowl. Serve with the focaccia bread.


Serving: 1Slice | Calories: 277kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 598mg | Potassium: 81mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 215IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 2mg
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