November 18, 2022

Giuliano Bugialli’s Focaccia with Tomatoes and Oregano

Recipe: Bonnie Stern & Anna Rupert

“Giuliano was an Italian cookbook author and teacher who was one of the people that introduced North America to really good Italian food. This focaccia is delicious, it isn’t difficult to make and it looks impressive.” — Bonnie Stern



  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour + more as needed
  • 1/4 cup semolina flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt


  • 1 lb. ripe fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped, drained (I like to use plum or cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper


  • 6 large garlic cloves, cut into slivers
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

To Bake and Serve

  • 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Sprigs fresh oregano, optional


Yield: Makes 1 Large Focaccia


  1. For sponge, combine water and sugar in 2-cup glass measuring cup. Sprinkle with yeast and stir together. In medium or large bowl, whisk together 1 cup of all-purpose flour, semolina flour and salt. When yeast is frothy (about 5 to 6 minutes), stir it down, then combine with flour mixture. Sprinkle top with 1 tbsp flour and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes, or until almost doubled in size. It will be sticky.


  1. Meanwhile, in bowl of stand mixer, whisk together all-purpose and semolina flours or, if you’re doing this by hand, use large mixing bowl. Set aside. In another bowl or measuring cup, combine water, olive oil and salt. Set aside.
  2. For tomatoes, in small mixing bowl, combine drained tomatoes with olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. For garlic, in another small bowl, combine garlic with salt, oregano and olive oil. Set aside.
  4. When sponge has risen, stir it down and add to flour mixture, along with water–olive oil mixture. Combine on low speed (or with a wooden spoon) until dough forms, then knead in stand mixer for 5 minutes (or for 5 to 10 minutes by hand). The dough should be sticky but not stick to your hands too much. Add a little more all-purpose flour, if necessary. Place dough in oiled bowl, turn over in bowl to coat with oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 60 to 90 minutes at room temperature, or until almost doubled in size.
  5. Brush a 15″ round or 12″ x 18″ baking sheet (with sides) with . cup of olive oil. Push down dough and, on lightly floured work surface, roll it out to approximately fit pan. Place dough in pan and push and pull dough until it covers bottom. If dough shrinks back, wait 5 to 10 minutes, then press to fit pan again — eventually it will relax and fit. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise for about 30 minutes at room temperature.


  1. With your thumb, make about 10 deep indentations all over surface of dough. Put some of the tomatoes and juices in each indentation. Make 8 to 10 more indentations and put some of the garlic with olive oil in those. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rise again for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Drizzle dough with . cup of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and oregano. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bread is nicely browned, and instant-read thermometer registers 195F when inserted into thickest part. Drizzle with “a little” more olive oil and scatter with sprigs of fresh oregano, if using. Cool on wire rack. Cut into strips, then across on an angle into diamonds.
Author: Alexandra Whyte

Tyler Anderson


Recipe excerpted from Don’t Worry, Just Cook by Bonnie Stern and Anna Rupert, published by Appetite by Random House, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada. ©2022 Bonnie Stern Cooking Schools and Anna Rupert. Food photography by Tyler Anderson. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.