Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!

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Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to turn our attention to Christmas.  This is seriously one of my favorite times of the year.  The festive Christmas lights and holiday music always put me in a good mood!  Of course, we have an even bigger reason to be happy this year.  An 8lb, 3oz reason to be exact.  We brought little Robbie home from the hospital just over a week ago, and it’s safe to say that life around here is a bit different now.  But we are fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends who are eager to help us adjust to our new addition.

We are close friends with our neighbors, and they’ve taken to calling themselves our “New York parents” since neither me nor my wife have family in this area.  And now that Robbie is here, they are his “New York grandparents.”  We often get together with them on the weekends for a glass of wine, and we usually slice up some cheese as an appetizer.  However, this past weekend, I decided to up my game a bit.  I whipped up a batch of this Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia, and it was the perfect appetizer!  We opened a bottle of wine and sat around the fire chatting about little Robbie and how we are adjusting to having a family of 3 now.

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!For me, the holidays are all about hanging out with friends.  And of course, hanging out with friends means the opportunity to serve tasty hors d’oeuvres and delicious wine.  For this occasion, we popped up a bottle of Bordeaux that I had picked up at our local wine store.  By law, Bordeaux wines must be grown in the Bordeaux region of southwestern France.  On a side note, I’m a history buff, and I’ve always wanted to visit the town of Saint-Émilion.  (And since I’m always looking for connections to Roman history, the Romans first planted vineyards in Saint-Émilion back in the 2nd century.  That’s right, they’ve been making wine in that region for 2,000 years!)

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!I always think about red wine when I hear Bordeaux, but this region also produces white wine, too.  So it’s totally possible to have a white Bordeaux.  In fact, all Bordeaux wines are a blend of various grapes.  White Bordeaux wines are a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle grapes while the signature red Bordeauxs are a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.  Approximately 80% of Bordeaux’s wines are red.  However, in order to be officially called a Bordeaux, the wine must be made in this region of France.  How’s that for some fun trivia?  Now you’re ready to impress your friends (and neighbors!) at the next holiday gathering!

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!You guys know that we love our pizza around here.  When we’re not hanging out with friends, Saturday nights are usually reserved for a homemade pizza and a movie (or football game!) on the couch.  So it’s no surprise that we love focaccia in this house, too.  Focaccia is closely related to pizza dough.  Similar to pizza, a piece of focaccia dough is a blank canvas waiting to be topped with any variety of meats, cheeses and veggies.  For this version, I opted for cherry tomatoes, garlic, rosemary and goat cheese.  This recipe makes 2 round loaves of focaccia, and that first loaf disappeared faster than I could blink.  (This Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia is excellent served with a glass of Bordeaux, but you could also slice it in half and turn it into the most amazing sandwiches ever.  You know, in case you have leftovers…hah!)

It’s easy to get lost looking at labels on wine bottles at your local wine store, but wine is so much more than just the label.  Bordeaux Wine has recently launched a series of mini-documentaries about the people, places and culture of the Bordeaux region.  The first video explores the world of oyster farming in Arcachon Bay.  (Did you know that oysters take almost 4 years to reach maturity?)

Other segments focus on the street art in Bordeaux and the farmer’s market located in the center of the city.  In the words of local Bordeaux chef Jean-Pierre Xiradakis, a city’s market is the meeting place.  A visit to any new city should start with the market.  I couldn’t agree more!  Whenever my wife and I travel out of the country, we like to visit grocery stores.  It’s fascinating seeing the different foods available in different areas.

So as we head into the holidays, I suggest baking up a batch of this delicious focaccia, inviting the neighbors over and popping open a bottle of Bordeaux.  While there are some very rare Bordeauxs out there, there are also many in the $15-$30 range.  Here’s to a fun and festive holiday season!  Cheers!

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!

Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia

Celebrate the holidays with a batch of this tasty Goat Cheese and Tomato Focaccia!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 16 servings
Calories: 208kcal


For the Dough

For the Toppings


For the Dough

  • Using a countertop mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, water, milk, sugar, salt, yeast and 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes.
  • Once dough is smooth and shiny, transfer it into a large oiled bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm location to rise for 30 minutes. (Note #1: I usually place this dough in the oven with only the oven light on. Note #2: The dough will be very soft and loose at this stage.)
  • Once dough has begun to rise, pull part of dough away from side of bowl and fold it up and over the rest of the dough. Repeat this process 3-4 times, rotating the bowl ¼ turn each time. Cover bowl and let dough rise for 30 more minutes.
  • Drizzle remaining olive oil into (2) 8” or 9” round baking pans. (1 Tbsp of olive oil in each pan.) Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and fold several times. Divide dough in half and press one piece of dough into each pan. (Note: You may need to stretch the dough slightly so that it fills the pan.) Cover pans and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

For the Toppings

  • Preheat oven to 425° F.
  • Using your fingers, dimple the dough by gently pressing down about ½ way through the dough. Repeat so that there are dimples every 1½”-2”.
  • Brush each of the two pieces of dough with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Sprinkle ½ tsp of diced garlic evenly over each dough.
  • In a small bowl, toss the halved tomatoes with remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Divide the tomatoes evenly between the two doughs.
  • Sprinkle rosemary, goat cheese, Parmesan and salt evenly across both doughs.
  • Bake at 400°F for 35-37 minutes, or until focaccia is golden brown on top.
  • Cut into wedges and serve, or split and use for sandwiches.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bordeaux Wines.
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    1. Oh, I’ve definitely had some disastrous focaccia experiences in the past. The very first time I made it, the recipe called for so much oil that the bread was soaked by the time it was done. Terrible! But this one turned out great! We did indeed have a relaxing Thanksgiving…I hope you did, too! Thanks, Ami!

  1. Ok so I admit – I’m jealous of his New York grandparents enjoying your fresh baked, homemade focaccia – this looks delicious David. So I was wondering – if I was baby Spiced’s (aka Robbie’s) Atlanta Aunt from afar could I get some of this focaccia via drone? Lil Shashi wouldn’t be able to have any so it would be ALL mine! Yes? 🙂

    1. Hey, it helps to have friends who love to eat as much as we do! If only my drone was operable, Shashi. It hit a tree in southern Virginia as it was making a delivery to you…and it lost it’s propeller. So it’s in the shop again. But once it’s up and working again, I’ll have one of these focaccias on it’s way to you! 🙂

  2. Hi David! What a great combo – savory bread and good wine! You and your neighbors are so fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship! 🙂

  3. David! I figured that when Robbie showed up, you’d take some time, but you’ve doubled down! Cranking out posts like there’s no tomorrow! Thanks for the info! I’m a wine idiot.

    1. Haha…I might have worked my tail off this summer so that I could keep things going once Robbie showed up. 🙂 Nothing like making Christmas cookies in August! But this focaccia just happened last week, and I’m glad it did as we had my wife’s large (and hungry) family in town visiting. Good bread + good wine = happy family!

  4. David, every time you share with historic facts, you’re such a…professor haha. Don’t you know by any chance attitude the Romans to lavender (just curious)?:)Talking about wine, you might remember my relationship with it (last Saturday I got a glass of wine, and I was sleeping 15 minutes later haha), but I always support good foccacia like this one! Well done.

    1. So I don’t think the Romans liked to eat lavender. They used it in their baths to smell good. Sorry, Ben, but that’s the truth. The truth according to Professor David. 🙂 Hey, what’s wrong with a focaccia and wine snack followed by an afternoon nap? Nothing! Do it, and enjoy it! It’s the holidays. Haha!

  5. Oh yum!! What a great recipe! This seriously looks so amazing! Oh my word. And I agree, it’s Christmas time and I’m so excited! I love hanging out with friends and relaxing as well!

    1. I’m right there with ya, Cailee! I just love how the holidays put a festive mood out there for everyone. And evenings hanging out with family and friends are the best! Enjoy it! 🙂

    1. Haha! Well our door is always open to friends, Johlene! And if you’re lucky, we’ll have some fresh focaccia and delicious wine on the table, too. Happy holidays, and thank you! 🙂

    1. Life is indeed a bit different these days, Dannii…if nothing else, we aren’t getting near as much (enough) sleep. But that’s a small price to pay! Thank you so much for the kind words, too! 🙂

    1. Haha…yes, our neighbors did indeed adopt us. They actually brought us dinner last night just to be nice. Good friends, good food and good wine make the holidays that much happier! Thanks, Kathy! 🙂

  6. Yay! The baby is home! I’m so excited for you all. I am behind on reading your posts so I need to catch up to see when Robbie made his debut. 🙂 And of course this bread looks amazing! I love focaccia bread. Yum!

    1. Baby Robbie is indeed home now, Tamara! Thank you! We’ve been hanging out with family and snacking on lots of delicious bread and wine. Of course, if little Robbie would only start sleeping at night more, then all would be good! 🙂

  7. First of all, Congratulations! And Welcome home, Robbie! Two bottles are in order as if I need a reason to pop a bottle of Bordeaux, but my first love of red wine lies with Merlot. In French it means The little blackbird. This goat cheese and tomato focaccia combo amazing, my friend! Enjoy Baby Robbie! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much, Tonya! I had no idea that Merlot meant “the little blackbird.” How cool is that? Wine trivia for sure! Next time, it’ll be two bottles and two focaccias! 🙂

  8. I tried making a focaccia once….. FAIL x 100000! This looks stunning. One of my favorite types of bread, back when I could eat bread. I would totally eat that entire loaf!

    1. Noooo…fail focaccia is the worst! I’ve definitely been there, though. I remember the very first focaccia I made, and it was terrible. I’ll just take care of polishing off this loaf so that it doesn’t tempt you. Is that ok? 🙂 Thanks, GiGi!

  9. There’s a Kardashian named Robert. Just saying.

    I LOVE the idea of hanging around the fireplace with friends, wine, cheese and this showstopper. You know moving forward, you’ll need to up your game. This set the bar!

    1. I totally named him after the Kardashians! How did you know?? And yes, wine, cheese, friends and the fireplace is pretty much where you’ll find me all winter this year!

    1. Hey Hayley! Hmmm…that’s a good question. Without seeing the dough, my best guess is that it probably needs (needed) to rise a little longer. In stage #2, try testing the dough by sticking 2 fingers into the dough a couple of inches (down to the second knuckle or so). Pull your fingers out and see what happens. If the holes left by your fingers remain, then you’re good to move on to step #3. If the holes fill back in, then let the dough rest a little longer. The same rule works for step #4 when deciding when to bake the dough. The only difference here is just slightly press 2 fingers into the dough (rather than all the way to the 2nd knuckle). If you lightly press on the dough, and the indentations remain, then you’re good to go. If the indentations fill back in, then let the dough rise a little longer.

      I hope this helps a bit! I absolutely love baking bread, but it can be kinda hard to describe in words. Hang in there and try again! Or another idea is to try this cheesy focaccia: https://spicedblog.com/cheesy-spinach-and-sundried-tomato-focaccia.html It’s seriously tasty, and it’s a little different (easier) than this one! Happy baking!

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