Cherry tomato and basil oil focaccia

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  • Keeping the cherry tomatoes attached to their stalks is entirely optional, but it does look striking, and the stalks can easily be pulled away after cooking

    Makes 1 large foccacia

    Large handful of basil leaves 100ml extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for shaping 3 dough balls (from the Pizza dough recipe), combined and brought to room temperature 400g cherry tomatoes, attached to their stalks, if desired Large pinch of coarse sea salt or sea-salt flakes

    Step 1) Crush nearly all the basil leaves (reserve about 5) and the olive oil together in a pestle and mortar and leave to sit while the pizza dough proves.

    Step 2) Using oiled hands, gently pull the dough into a rectangle and put on to a large ovenproof dish – it should almost reach the edges. Press down to the base of the dish with oiled fingers to create dimples all over.

    Step 3) Push cherry tomatoes into some of the holes, still attached to their stalks if desired. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm room for 30 minutes.

    Step 4) Pre-heat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 7. Strain the basil oil to remove the crushed leaves and pour it all over the surface of the dough, allowing it to pool in the dimples. Scatter with the reserved basil leaves, turning them in the oil, sprinkle with the salt and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and risen. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

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