Pizza Caprese with Garlic Focaccia Crust

Breads, Italian, Main Dish, Pizza, Vegetarian, Yeast Breads | 36 comments

I have been struggling to make a pizza crust at home that I really, really love. I’ve seen a definite improvement since purchasing a pizza stone, preheating the oven for at least a half an hour before I bake the pizza, and using the highest possible temperature my oven sets to. Yet still I was not 100% satisfied. Somehow the idea came to me to create a recipe for a focaccia pizza crust. Using this recipe base, I made a few adaptations and tested my new idea out.

caprese pizza

My friends, I know this is not a traditional pizza crust by any means. But I think it is my new favorite recipe. It crisps up on the bottom and on the edges so nicely, yet it is still tender inside. And it doesn’t turn out hard-crunchy like some have in the past. It’s thick, but fluffy. And I see possibilities for so many different flavor combination. This warm weather we’ve been enjoying has given me the itch for garden tomatoes. I just planted my tiny plants last week, but I am already anxious to start enjoying them regularly, so for this reason I chose a simple tomato and basil topping combination.


You can easily switch out the rosemary in the crust for another herb. Use a sauce instead of olive oil on the crust. Experiment with different toppings. The variations are only limited by your imagination. For this recipe, I divided the dough into 4 small pizzas, approximately 9 or so inches in diameter, that serve two perfectly with a side salad or fruit (or dessert afterward as was our case). If you choose, you could make 2 medium-large sized pizzas instead. Whatever you choose, I’m sure it will be great!


Pizza Caprese with Garlic Focaccia Crust

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For the Crust:
2 packages active dry yeast
2 c warm water
6 c flour, divided
1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c chopped fresh rosemary
3 tsp salt
8 cloves chopped garlic

Olive oil
Asiago Cheese
Fresh Basil, sliced thin
1 1/2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Fresh Mozzarella


Combine yeast and water; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in the olive oil and salt. Stir 4 c flour, garlic, and rosemary in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 50 minutes. Dough will be spongy.

Sprinkle remaining 2 c flour onto a flat surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface, and knead until flour flour is incorporated into dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 550 degrees F with a pizza stone on a rack in the top 1/2 of the oven. Return to the bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.

Divide dough into quarters. On a floured surface (I like to use a pizza peel or a sheet of parchment so I can easily transfer the pizza to the stone in the oven). Roll each portion out into rounds just under 1/2 an inch thick. Using fingertips dimple the dough all over.

Brush each crust with 1 tablespoon olive oil all over. Grate 2 tablespoons of asiago on each pizza. Top with a handful of sliced fresh basil and halved cherry or grape tomatoes. Top with chunks of fresh mozzarella.

Transfer pizza to the pizza stone in the oven. Bake at 550 degrees F for 9-12 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: If you don't intend to use the full amount of dough, divide it after the second rise and place the extra in a gallon sized zip top bag in the refrigerator. Use the dough within 48 hours. Punch it down and proceed with forming the crust rounds.

Katie Goodman

About the Author:

Katie’s lifelong interest in cooking good food has shown her that part of the goodness in life is enjoying delicious food with friends and family. She is: Mom. Writer. Photographer. Recipe Developer. Website Founder. Lover of all things good in life. A mix of great recipes, family memories, and yummy photography is what Katie serves up each week at GoodLife Eats™. Katie and her family reside in Colorado.

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  • 1
    Jessica @ How Sweet - April 12, 2010 @ 11:48 am

    That pizza looks perfect! The crust sounds delicious. :)


  • 2
    Sagan - April 12, 2010 @ 12:28 pm

    It might not be "traditional", but it sure sounds fantastic! Yummy.


  • 3
    Cherine - April 12, 2010 @ 12:36 pm

    Your pizza looks perfect!! your photos are awesome!


  • 4
    Chocolate Freckles - April 12, 2010 @ 1:01 pm

    Ohh this pizza looks perfect!! and lovely I think I'll need to buy a pizza stone!


  • 5
    Jan (Family Bites) - April 12, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    This looks fantastic. What a wonderful substitute for traditional dough.


  • 6
    Julia - April 12, 2010 @ 1:55 pm

    Gorgeous pictures! I have some pizza dough rising now. I wish I would have seen this recipe 1 hour ago…Oh well, just another excuse to make pizza :)


  • 7
    FishMama - April 12, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

    Can I come eat at your house?


  • 8
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - April 12, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

    FishMama – you are welcome at our table any time!


  • 9
    Kirsten - April 12, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

    Hi Katie, since you are in Albuquerque, I was just wondering at what altitude you made this crust at? I would love to give it a try. We live at 6200 feet. I am always worried it won't come out.It looks delicious.Thanks.


  • 10
    The Double Dipped Life - April 12, 2010 @ 2:56 pm

    This is a wonderful idea!


  • 11
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - April 12, 2010 @ 2:57 pm

    Kirsten – we are at about 5300 feet.


  • 12
    Anonymous - April 12, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    This looks so yummy! Quick question: Where/when do the chopped garlic cloves go??Ruth


  • 13
    Katie @ goodLife {eats} - April 12, 2010 @ 3:37 pm

    Sorry, fixed that. Garlic goes in with rosemary and flour. Thanks for pointing that out!


  • 14
    Sarah Caron - April 12, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

    That looks mouthwateringly good! Going to make it very soon with a yummy chopped salad and basil vinaigrette.


  • 15
    Dana - April 12, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

    I have to say that I am a crisp crust kind of pizza lover, but you have made this look so alluring! I know my boys would love it!


  • 16
    Kirsten - April 12, 2010 @ 4:44 pm

    Thanks, Katie. I will definitely give it a try.


  • 17
    pam - April 12, 2010 @ 5:16 pm

    Your photography is always so beautiful! And this particular pizza recipe really appeals to me! Should be great on the outside grill.


  • 18
    Tasty Eats At Home - April 12, 2010 @ 5:27 pm

    Looks so good. I love my pizza stone, it's amazing how well it works!


  • 19
    Kitchen Butterfly - April 12, 2010 @ 5:33 pm

    Love love love the photos, plus I'm a BIG caprese fan. Yummmmy


  • 20
    Amy - April 12, 2010 @ 6:02 pm

    Oh, this looks so delicious and your photos are stunning, Katie! You really got the hang of your camera quickly :) It looks amazing!


  • 21
    Juls @ Juls' Kitchen - April 12, 2010 @ 8:04 pm

    just found your blog on Foodgawker, it is amazing!Love your pics! Ciao from Italy


  • 22
    Amy Kelly - April 12, 2010 @ 10:11 pm

    These photos are so gorgeous! I also use a focaccia bread recipe for my pizza crust. I love a thick, chewy pizza crust and focaccia is the best! I add a lot of dried herbs to mine and the resulting crust is so flavorful and fantastic.


  • 23
    UC Davis Good Life Garden - April 12, 2010 @ 10:44 pm

    Just happened upon your blog…STUNNING! I could not agree more with most of the previous comments! What's your secret! We need to feature your stuff on our UC Davis Good Life Garden site/blog! It's a perfect fit!


  • 24
    Maria - April 12, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

    I wish we were having this for dinner tonight!


  • 25
    Appetite for Conversation - April 13, 2010 @ 12:32 am

    Oh my. This looks fantastic!


  • 26
    angela@spinachtiger - April 13, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    I normally like the thin crispy chewy pizza, but this would be a dangerous to my waist line, as I would gobble it up. Flavors, pictures, are perfect.


  • 27
    Jennifer - April 13, 2010 @ 1:31 am

    Now this is my kind of pizza!!! I highly dislike take out and mass chain pizza… homemade and authentic italian pizzas reign! LOVE the caprese on a lovely focaccia!


  • 28
    James - April 13, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    Really looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing


  • 29
    Memória - April 13, 2010 @ 5:42 am

    oh-my-word!!! What a fantastic idea. It looks absolutely perfect. Your photos look like they come from a magazine. Beautiful1!


  • 30
    Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} - April 13, 2010 @ 1:10 pm

    GORGEOUS pizza! That looks delicious, and your photos are divine.


  • 31
    Candi - April 13, 2010 @ 7:36 pm

    Oh my goodness! Your pictures make me want to lick the computer screen! I've never tried to make focaccia bread before, your recipe looks great!


  • 32
    Ava - April 13, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    I like to make homemade pizza, too, and have been searching for the perfect crust. Crispy outside, soft inside. I am going to try this tonight! Thanks for the tips about the oven temp and pre-heating the pizza stone.PS. It's my first visit. I linked from Cheeky Kitchen:)


  • 33
    Anne - April 15, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    This pretty much looks like the most delicious pizza I've ever seen. I can't wait to try out the recipe, I know that I'm going to love it.


  • 34
    Kerstin - April 17, 2010 @ 4:58 am

    That is my kind of crust – yum! My mouth is watering.


  • 35
    Shawna - June 13, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    I have to make this soon – it looks so good :)


  • 36
    Margo - March 08, 2012 @ 9:05 am

    Wow, that looks absolutely gorgeous! I think I’m going to dig out my pizza stone this afternoon. Thanks for posting!!


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