Dissolve the yeast in lukewarm water. Set aside for 5 minutes, until foamy.
Mix the flour with the salt and half of the chopped herbs. Put the other half of the herbs in a closed container in the fridge until you are ready to use them.
Make a well in the flour and add the yeast mixture. Start working the flour and water and knead for about 5 minutes until you have a smooth and silky dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave it to rise in a warm place for about 2 hours.
After the 2 hours, take a large bowl and smear the bottom with oil and the herbs that were kept in the fridge. Punch down the dough and transfer it to the oiled bowl. Cover and leave it to double in size, about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250 C / Gas 8. Place baking parchment on a rectangular baking tray, about 40x30cm.
Flip over the dough onto the prepared baking tray. Stretch out the dough carefully, trying not to deflate it. Distribute the tomatoes over the top of the focaccia. Let it rise for another 15 minutes.
Put the focaccia in the preheated oven, then lower the temperature to 220 C / Gas 7 and bake for 25 minutes.
You can knead the dough in the evening, put it in the fridge to rise the first time during the night and then continue with the second rising part.
This is a very wet dough. Don't expect to be able to 'knead' it in a traditional way. The bake time seems to be a little long. I set my timer for 20 minutes and checked the bread at 18. Glad I did, because it was done. Thanks for a delicious recipe. - 14 Sep 2012