This Rosemary Potato Focaccia recipe will be a new household favorite! Topped with fragrant herbs and crispy potatoes, this simple bread recipe is fluffy, light, and full of garlic flavor. It’s the perfect appetizer for feeding a crowd at a party, no stand mixer required.
At the beginning of the pandemic, it seemed as if so many more people were baking bread (or at least testing the waters of it). While this could easily be written off as a social media-fueled trend, I think that is a dismissive viewpoint. Baking bread is one of the oldest traditions of humankind, and for good reason! It is one of the most fortifying staples of a well-rounded table and a perfect accompaniment to so many meals.
Safe to say, focaccia is one of the easiest entrances into this technique. I have really been enjoying Zingerman’s resources on baking, and today’s recipe is based on something from their Bake Shop cookbook.
What is Focaccia?
Focaccia (pronounced PHO-ka-cha) is an Italian flatbread baked in the oven that bears a resemblance to pizza dough. It is characteristically pocketed with imprints on the surface and crisped with a heavy amount of olive oil. You’ve likely had some form of it at an Italian restaurant, as it pairs very well as a side with many meals. It can also be used as a sandwich bread. It has a light, airy interior crumb and crispy, salt-speckled outer crust.
Fermentation of the dough is what helps us achieve those fluffy pockets. Toppings are very customizable, more on that below.
What is a poolish?
Pre-fermentation occurs in a poolish since it is a mixture of flour, water, and packaged yeast. This leavens the bread and provides a more complex flavor than just straight commercial yeast added the same day as baking. Think of it as one step on the way to a sourdough starter. Letting the poolish sit overnight allows us to use less instant yeast in the recipe for a more chewy texture and crave-able flavor.
Other Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
Once you make the poolish, you’ll need the following for actual bread:
- 1/2 cup water, room temperature (118 g)
- 1/8 cup olive oil, plus more for topping (20 g)
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
- 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour (212.5 g)
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt (4.5 g), plus more for topping
- 4 small purple potatoes, very thinly sliced (so they are flexible enough to bend without breaking)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced
- 2 garlic cloves, very thinly sliced (optional)
How To Make Rosemary Potato Focaccia
Note: you’ll want to start preparing this recipe the night before you plan to bake. Letting this mixture ferment overnight is crucial in developing a strong bread structure. It’s a fairly hands-off process! If you have an active sourdough starter, feel free to skip this step.
The next morning, slice whatever toppings you plan to use and then prepare a final dough by combining the poolish with olive oil, yeast, flour, and salt. After hand kneading for a bit, you let the dough ferment for another hour before shaping into disks and proofing for a final time. All that’s left is to add your toppings, coast generously in olive oil, and bake.
More Topping Ideas for Focaccia
- Sliced tomatoes + dried oregano + fresh basil
- Roasted cauliflower + thinly sliced garlic
- Caramelized onions + fresh sage
- Olives + whole garlic cloves + walnut pieces
- Pesto, because it is good on pretty much anything
What can I serve with focaccia?
This type of bread is very versatile and will pair well with a variety of dishes, including pastas (like this pink sauce pasta), dips (I love this rosemary white bean dip), salad (like this peach tomato caprese) and soups (such as vegan tomato soup). It works particularly well as a side with Italian-inspired cuisine and makes an excellent bread for sandwich (for example, this grilled veggie party sub).
I hope you enjoy this easy rosemary potato focaccia recipe! Be sure to let me know in the comments or on Instagram if you give it a go!
Looking for more at-home bread recipes? Try one of these next!
- Garlic Knots (with pre-made pizza dough)
- Easiest Grilled Flatbread
- Cheesy Herbed Garlic Star Bread
- Garlic Stuffed Rolls