Celebrate the best of Yorkshire with this delicious Wensleydale focaccia paired with tomato and spring onions. Philippa Davis shows you how to make this simple recipe, which freezes very well.


Wensleydale focaccia would definitely make it on to Wallace’s menu. This classic Yorkshire cheese makes an Italian bread perfect for sharing as a starter. Or eating alongside the main course. For more Italian inspiration try our Italian pheasant recipe, or hare ragout with pappardelle pasta.


Serves 10 as a pre-dinner nibble
■ 2 tsp dried yeast
■ 1 tsp sugar
■ 250ml (9fl oz) warm water
■ 400g (141⁄4oz) organic, unbleached, strong white bread flour (plus a little extra for rolling)
■ 1 tsp salt
■ 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil (plus a little extra)
■ 100 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
■ 4 spring onions, chopped
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese, grated

Wensleydale was first made in Yorkshire in the 12th century by monks who had come over from Roquefort in the south of France. It has a creamy sweetness and a lemony tang. Focaccias are perfect for picnics or served warm with aperitifs.

When using flour in any recipe it is best to use unbleached, organic, stoneground flour as it is easier to digest.

In a jug, mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water.

Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and pour in the water mix. Start to combine with the flour then add the 50ml (2fl oz) olive oil.

Knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes.

Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough into a rectangle roughly 40cm (16in) by 25cm (10in). Lay out on a lightly floured baking tray and brush with extra oil.

Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove somewhere warm for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

Once the dough has doubled in size sprinkle over the tomatoes, spring onions and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

Leave to cool slightly before cutting into long slices. (This will freeze well if not all eaten in one sitting.)