Wild Cherry Tomato Focaccia and My Happy Place

First things first, let’s get this straight. In my happy place I have long, amazing hair. The kind someone might take a picture of and put on Pinterest and title it “Boho Dream Hair”.  I am also an excellent dancer who teaches Zumba for fun on Thursday mornings.  Now you know, whenever we are talking “fantasy world”, those two things are a given for me.

Do you have a happy place your mind automatically goes to whenever you have to do something that sucks? Like when you’re at the dentist, or cleaning toilets, or doing a super intense ab workout?

I do.

In my happy place we live on an organic farm. My husband has a 3 day beard and spends most his time sitting on the deck singing and playing indie folk songs on his acoustic guitar while watching our children play.

Inside our house looks a lot like the inside of an anthropologie catalog. (imagine that) In the late afternoon when the sun shines through our kitchen you can see a fine dusting of flour on the counter. It’s leftover from the cherry, pistachio and goat cheese tart I made earlier.  The cherries came from our tree, my daughters picked them. And the goat cheese? I rode my yellow bike, the one with the basket on it, to the farmers market for that. (Obviously.)

Yep, if I’m spacing out, that’s probably where my mind is. Not that I don’t love my reality, cause I do, especially in the winter!  I’m sure there are a lot of people in the Northwest who would love to trade their rustic farmhouse with me for a week on the beach in Hawaii. It’s just different and in my mind a pear tree and watching the leaves turn orange sounds as exotic and romantic as others might find a mango.

For a short time in Maui we lived on a banana farm in Wailuku. It was amazing. (Minus the centipedes!) We had wild cherry tomatoes that grew everywhere and everyday after school my daughters would pick them, wrap them in a basil leaf and have a little picnic. Living farm to table is the dream for me. Someday I hope to live this dream. (Within reason, I know I will never be a Zumba instructor.) My happy place Hawaiian style.  Maybe a Macadamia Nut Banana Pie?


Where is your happy place, I would love to hear it?

Wild Cherry Tomato Focaccia Bread


3-4 C AP flour (plus extra for kneading)

2 C hot(ish) water (110 degrees)

2 T honey

3 7 gram packs of active dried yeast

1 t salt

2 C cherry tomatoes

1/2 C olive oil

big handful of fresh basil

salt and pepper


In a mixer fitted with a dough hook add your hot(ish) water, honey and yeast, and stir until the yeast is dissolved. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, it should get foamy. With the mixer on low add 3 cups of flour and 1 t of salt and mix until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet. Continue to add flour a little at a time until the dough pulls away from the sides and just sticks a bit to the bottom. If you don’t have a kitchen aid, you can do this in a bowl with your hands.

Dump out the dough onto a well floured surface and knead it by pushing and folding until you have a nice smooth ball of dough. Dust it with flour, put it in a large bowl and cover with syran wrap. Let it rise for about 40 minutes.

While you are waiting, you can marinate your tomatoes. Put them in a bowl with olive oil, chopped basil and season with salt and pepper.

After your dough has doubled in size, dump it out onto your floured surface and reshape it to fit your baking sheet. You can use a rolling pin to help you. It is okay to knock all the air out while doing this because we are going to let it rise again. FYI I spray my baking sheet with Pam first because I am a big believer in nonstick spray.

Pour your marinated tomato mix over pushing some of the cherry tomatoes into the dough and let it rise again.

Let it rise for about another hour. It should get really puffy with some of the tomatoes buried within.

Preheat your oven to 350.

Very carefully place your dough inside the oven without knocking any of the air out.  Let it cook for about 25-30 minutes.


About Maui Flour Child

Aloha, I'm Maui Flour Child. I love cooking for my family & friends using fresh, local ingredients. Live life with aloha in your heart and flour in your hair! -Angela


  1. In my happy place we live down the street from you guys.

    This bread looks delicious and your writing and photos are awesome. I {heart} this post Angela!

  2. I just ate dinner and reading this is making me hungry all over again! Yum! Kailua is pretty damn close to my happy place–I just need all of my mainland and Maui friends to relocate and then it would be complete 🙂

  3. just watched the new iphone 5 commercial, it took to my happy place. I love you Iphone 5 and I havent even met you xoxoxox Bill

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