Garden Focaccia

Roasted red onions and herb-laced potatoes (or an array of colorful garden vegetables) top this moist, open-crumbed flatbread, made super-chewy through the use of bread flour. This heartier take on basic focaccia can be visually striking (as well as delicious) when turned into an edible garden scene like the one pictured at right (see "tips," below, for the details).  

Prep
50 mins
Bake
25 to 30 mins
Total
3 hrs 45 mins
Yield
one 12" round focaccia
Garden Focaccia - select to zoom
Garden Focaccia - select to zoom
Potato Focaccia - select to zoom

Instructions

  1. To make the sponge: Weigh your flours; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the sponge ingredients in the order listed, mixing until evenly moistened. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. To make the dough: Weigh or measure the flour, then add it to the sponge along with the salt and olive oil. Mix and knead the dough — using your hands, a stand mixer, or your bread machine set on the dough cycle — until it's shiny and elastic.

  3. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  5. For the topping: Spread the sliced onions on a parchment-lined baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelize.

  6. Mix the garlic, oregano, rosemary, salt, and remaining olive oil in a large bowl. Slice the potatoes thinly and toss them in the garlic-and-oil mixture. Drizzle a small amount of oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat.

  7. Layer the potatoes in the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the lid, stir, and cook for 5 more minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat and let cool in the pan.

  8. To assemble: Lightly oil a 12" round pizza pan, either flat or deep-dish; or a large rimmed baking sheet (e.g., a half-sheet pan). Turn the dough out onto the pan. Grease your hands and pat the dough flat, pushing it to the edges of the 12" pan, or simply making a freeform oval or rectangle on the baking sheet. Spread the roasted onions on top and let the dough rise for 30 to 40 minutes, until puffy.

  9. Lower the oven to 375°F.

  10. When the dough has risen, transfer the potatoes onto the focaccia in an even layer. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes on a flat pizza pan, or 37 to 40 minutes in a deep-dish pan, until the crust is deep golden brown. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley (or basil) before serving.

  11. Store, covered, for 2 days at room temperature, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make a garden focaccia, top the dough with 2 tablespoons (25g) olive oil followed by assorted fresh vegetables, cleaned and sliced, and the seeds and herbs of your choice. Arrange the toppings however you like — creating a garden scene can be especially beautiful. For full details see our blog post: Watch your garden (focaccia) grow.

    Garden Focaccia – Tip: Make a garden