Gary Rhodes' Italian focaccia is made with mashed potato and is topped with sea salt and onions
By Gary Rhodes
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 1 1/2 hr rising
  • Effort: easy


For the dough

  • 25 g fresh yeast
  • 1 tbsp powdered maltose
  • 100 ml milk
  • 300 ml lukewarm water
  • 650 g strong plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 200 g potatoes, mashed or crushed
  • 100 ml olive oil

To finish

  • 100 ml olive oil, shaken together with 100ml water
  • 1 handfuls sea salt
  • 2 onions, sliced and soaked in a mixture of water and vinegar (optional)


1. Dissolve the yeast and malt powder in the milk and add some of the lukewarm water.

2. Sift the flour and salt onto a work surface. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed potato, olive oil and the yeasty milk mixture.

3. Work the flour and potato into the liquid, working from the inside of the well outwards. Gradually add the rest of the water to bring the dough together.

4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes or until it is soft and spongy. Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.

5. Once risen, knock back the dough and roll it out to a thickness of about 1cm. Place on an oiled baking sheet and leave to rise again for 30 minutes.

6. Use your fingertips to press down all over the dough, creating lots of little wells. Leave to rise again until for another 30 minutes.

7. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 if you are making plain focaccia and 210C/190C fan/gas 7 if you are making onion focaccia.

8. After the dough has risen for the third time, generously drizzle over the oil and water mixture and sprinkle with sea salt. If you are using the onions, scatter them over the focaccia at this stage. Bake for 20 minutes or, if you have added the onions, for 25 minutes.

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