Getting Cherry/Grape Tomatoes to adhere to bread

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Master Chef
Dec 25, 2006
Long Island, New York
Just to start things off, for as much experience and decent of a cook I am ( not to sound pompous, arrogant or conceded ;) ), baking is not my thing. Not that my finished products are bad, they are often quite good. For me, its just messy and I dont enjoy it as much as throwing a pot of soup together, which is why baking is usually my wife's thing.

Anyway, to get to the question, I have been making a Focaccia for several years. Everything about the recipe is simple , and the end product always comes out tasting great ( I've made it a half dozen times or so, and it consistently tastes good). The issue I have is the tomatoes which are pressed into the dough, dont really adhere to the dough once baked. Every time you cut the bread up, the tomato half pieces fall right off. I was wondering if there is any way to have he tomatoes more embedded in the dough, so they become part of the bread, and not just something sitting on top that will fall off easily.

The final steps of the process before baking are as followed:
- Place rolled dough into lightly greased pan ( I put a layer of parchment on the bottom to make sure it comes out easily, which it does).
- Allow to rise for 20 minutes ( This is a second rise, the first was as a ball of dough)
- Poke holes in the dough wall the way down through the dough to the pan with fingers or back of spoon ( I used a wooden spoon).
- Press half tomato pieces into the dough
- Sprinkle with herbs/ spices ( I used oregano and rosemary).
- Sprinkle with a flaky salt
- Bake accordingly ( I dont have he recipe in hand, so not sure of temp).
- After baking, take out and let cool on rack.

Again, he recipe is good and consistent. My only issues is the lack of retention of the tomatoes. Im guessing the tomato prevents it from adhering to the dough. The picture shows to press the halves skin side down. I could press it skin side up. Maybe the retention would be better, but my initial thoughts would be, 1) may make the bread a little soggy in the areas contacting the tomato. 2) when pressing the tomatoes ( skin side up), it my squish the tomatoes causing it to lose its shape and the pulp & juices flowing all over the surface of the uncooked bread.

Your thoughts ?
I forgot to mention that after pressing the tomatoes and sprinkling the herbs and spices, you drizzle some olive oil over the top before sprinkling it with salt. Then it gets baked.

Here is the finished product ( before the tomatoes jumped off).


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I'm sure there is a better answer, but how about some of those partially dried tomatoes you were talking about somewhere?

Pretty as it looks, perhaps smaller pieces of tomato?

I'm remembering one recipe where she cores and crushes her tomatoes (but not like your roma's and cherry) keeping the juice, she then piled and spread them out. I'll try to find the blog where I saw it.
I did that with some grape tomatoes. The only suggestion I have is to push the tomato halves as far into the dough as you can, then be careful cutting and eating it [emoji6]
I don't know what would work for sure. Olive oil pretty much guarantees that the tomatoes/herbs/toppings won't stick.

I looked over some bread art videos and recipes, then some decorated foccacia recipes and I didn't see anything used to glue to tomatoes to the dough.

If I ever give it a try, I'd put a thickened corn starch mixture, or a flour mixture, or an egg (we don't eat egg) mixture, or a hydrated ground flax mixture, as a coating on the bread, then stick the herbs and veggies to it. If you're going to use olive oil then brush on the olive oil on the top. I haven't tried it but next time I do, I'll let you know how anything worked.
Just came back from the farmer's market. Family's away and I shouldn't have gone! I bought waaay too much being alone.

Bought some foccacia and ask how they did tomatoes. Usually used sun-dried so were not of any real help.

But when you make your indentations - with fingers or otherwise, make extra big ones for the tomatoes and 'almost' bury them?
If someone told me I absolutely, positively HAD to do this, what I would attempt to do is, after the first rise, roll out the dough into a rectangle as wide as my bread pan. Sprinkle the herbs and add the tomato halves onto the dough, then roll it up like a cinnamon raisin bread, place it in the bread pan, and let it rise a second time. Then bake it as you normally would.

But that's just my opinion. I may be wrong.

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