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This recipe is classed as easy

Rating 3.70 / 5 (69 votes)

Prep time:
20 min, plus 1 1/2 hr rising
Cook time:
25 min

Gary Rhodes' Italian focaccia is made with mashed potato and is topped with sea salt and onions


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.


For the dough

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)

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Latest Comment


excellent nothing else to say realy just perfect

guinness guinness  Posted 29 Oct 2012 10:15 PM

Excellent, easy and rewarding dish, but, after putting the 'holes' in the dough it should not be left to rise for a third time. I think, with respect, there was a slight typing error in the recipe shown.

phil_mcdermott phil_mcdermott  Posted 14 Sep 2010 8:54 PM

this recipe is fantastic - as for maltose i used coffeemate instead and it worked just as well and tasted delicious - i'm making it again tonight and instead of onions i'm using sunblush tomatoes - yummy!

tina6 tina6  Posted 14 Apr 2010 5:07 PM

You can get fresh yeast from the bakery at Tescos - they give it away for free. The Maltose is available from Chinese suppliers or grocery stores.

The recipe I have from family in Tuscany is this:
1 kg bag of 00 flour (available from larger Sainsbury's and other supermarkets)
600 ml warm/tepid water
25 -30g cube of fresh yeast
1 scant teaspoon of sugar
3 scant tsp salt

disolve the yeast in the warm water, add the sugar and salt and mix thoroughly
add the flour all at once and mix until smooth
leave to rise about 1 hour
when doubled in size, remove the dough from the bowl.
THis can now be used to make pizza OR focaccia.
For Pizza form into small balls (which can be frozen and used later)
for focaccia spread the dough onto an oiled baking sheet until about 1/3" thick. Put aside and cover with a dry dish towel to rise again (anything up to an hour)

Now use your fingers and make all the indentations on the dough, and liberally put on oil and course sea salt.

place in the hottest pre heated oven and check every five minutes to see the colour.

Focaccia in Tuscany is not as oily as the focaccia in liguria (where my mother in law is from!) so if you prefer the ligurian style, make it as described on the website, but if you prefer it dryer, make it this way. Both are yummy!!

ngoat55 ngoat55 Posted 10 Feb 2010 8:23 PM

fuzzy_felt fuzzy_felt Posted 29 Jan 2010 11:04 PM

I rate this 5 star, but the system won't accept that. It's wonderful. Don't be afraid to use lots of evoo/water for a crispy topping. I didn't use maltose either.

Penny 4them Penny 4them Posted 29 Jan 2010 8:49 PM

I rated this 5 star! not 2!

SHIRLEYD32418 SHIRLEYD32418 Posted 29 Jan 2010 5:04 PM

Made this today, looks nothing like the photo on here, but very much like the one on the program. Could have made two good sized focaccia out of the quantity. It was delicious! Will certainly make again. NOTE: Absolutely no need for the Maltose. Rose magnificently without it. Can't upload photo as the file size is too big and I don't know how to make it smaller.

SHIRLEYD32418 SHIRLEYD32418 Posted 29 Jan 2010 4:53 PM

I was wondering the same thing. Could it be something like Horlicks??

EvelynN39936 EvelynN39936 Posted 29 Jan 2010 4:29 PM

Would love to have a go at this but don't know what Maltose is and how to get it!

Jennydaw Jennydaw Posted 29 Jan 2010 2:58 PM