Potato, Rosemary and Garlic Focaccia

A long time ago, I spent the better part of an afternoon making focaccia from scratch. After a laborious process, the end result was dry and flavorless. Such a disappointment! It made me realize some things are best left to the grocery store bakery. That was the end of my bread-making adventures for a long time. However, I recently enjoyed a lunch of green salad and warm, homemade focaccia at the house of a friend. I was inspired to try it just one more time. The dough is a variation on Mark Bittman’s basic pizza dough recipe. The topping is my own creation using a classic complementary flavor combination. This is most definitely an afternoon project, as you will need to allow time for the dough to rise. Twice, actually. It’s best served the day it’s made, though you can also freeze it wrapped tightly.

    • For the dough:
    • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 oz. active dry yeast (1 envelope)
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 cup warm water


  • For the topping:
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
    • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel chopping blade, add the flours, yeast and salt. While running the machine, add the warm water and the olive oil. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball around the center blade, about 20 seconds. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead it with your hands until smooth. Form a ball, then set it in a deep bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a dish towel. Allow it to sit in a warm place for 2 hours. It should double in size.
    • Meanwhile, prepare the potatoes. Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the potato (unpeeled) very thinly. Toss potatoes in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Set a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Lay the potatoes on top of the baking rack, then roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until potatoes begin to brown at the edges. Using the baking rack allows the potatoes to roast evenly on both sides. A few may get a bit crispy.  Set potatoes aside and allow to cool.
    • Turn the oven up to 425 degrees F. Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking sheet and rub it around to coat the surface. Transfer the ball of dough from the bowl to the baking sheet, using your hands to form a rectangle. Gently pull and stretch the dough with your hands, taking care not to tear it. If it is resistant, let it rest a few minutes and try again. Once you’ve created a rectangle that is almost as large as the baking sheet, cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. It should appear a little bit puffed up.
    • In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, kosher salt, chopped rosemary and the minced garlic cloves. Remove the plastic from the dough. Place the potato slices evenly on the top, then brush the entire surface with the olive oil mixture. Reduce the oven temperature to 400 degrees, then place the baking sheet on the center rack. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
    • Serve warm.

Quick Tips

1. Yes, this is practically bread for dinner. With chips on top, no less! I filled our plates 3/4 full of vegetables, then added the focaccia like a side dish.
2. Baking the potatoes in this fashion essentially creates baked potato chips. If you let them bake just a bit longer, they get nice and crispy. A few of the chips in my pan had no hope of ever meeting focaccia up close and personal…

Preparation time: 3 hours including rising time

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 8

One response to “Potato, Rosemary Garlic Focaccia”

  1. ileana says:

    This sounds great! I trust Mark Bittman.

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