The Daily Gamecock

Recipe of the week: Tomato & potato focaccia bread

Focaccia bread made by Richie Holmberg.
Focaccia bread made by Richie Holmberg.

Tomato, "tahmato." Potato, "patahto." No matter how you say it, both are great on focaccia bread. With its distinctive dimples, chewy interior, crisp bottom and golden top, focaccia seems like it would take a lot of work to make. It does not. This is the world's easiest bread.

Serving Size: 8


1 ¾ cup of lukewarm water

1 packet of active dry yeast 

1 tablespoon of sugar 

5 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour

¾ cup of olive oil 

¾ tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 teaspoons for topping

½ of a russet potato, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of rosemary

1 cup of cherry tomatoes, halved

5 cloves of garlic, minced


  1. Mix water, yeast and sugar. Cover with a tea towel and place in a warm area while allowing the yeast to proof until a creamy foam forms on top (about 20 minutes). 
  2. Combine the yeast mixture with 5 cups of the flour, ½ of a cup of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of salt in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. 
  3. Using the dough hook, knead in the stand mixer for 7 minutes. If the dough is sticky, add some of the remaining flour.
  4. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead with your hands on the counter until the dough can form a smooth, elastic ball.
  5. Add a teaspoon of the remaining oil to the mixing bowl. Return dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and place in a warm location for an hour to an hour and a half.
  6. After rising, pour the remaining ¼ cup of olive oil into a jelly roll pan (a cookie sheet with sides). Then shape the dough in the pan to fit, flip the dough over and use your knuckles to poke holes in the dough. This is what gives focaccia its characteristic bumpy appearance. At this point, the dough should be coated in oil.
  7. Arrange the potatoes over half of the dough and the tomatoes over the other half. Sprinkle the garlic, rosemary and remaining salt all over. Allow the dough to proof for another 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat oven to 425°.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when knocked on. Allow it to cool slightly before cutting into rectangles. 

Author's tip: Experiment with different toppings. Plain rosemary is great; so are peaches and thyme. Focaccia can be a blank canvas.