Focaccia with Red Onions

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Appears in

The Potato Year: 300 Classic Recipes

The Potato Year

By Lucy Madden

Published 2015

  • About

This very popular olive oil bread is easy to make. The presence of potato in bread helps to retain its moisture and makes it light.


  • 4 oz (110 g) potatoes, cooked and puréed
  • 12 oz (350 g) plain flour
  • 2 heaped tablespoonfuls fast-action yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 7 fl oz (200 ml) warm water
  • 8 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 12 oz (350 g) red onions, thinly sliced
  • Rosemary (optional)


Mix the flour with the yeast, salt, potatoes, water and 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Make a dough, adding more flour if necessary and knead until smooth. (This can be done in a food processor).

Place in a covered bowl and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size – this takes about 1½–2 hours. Meanwhile heat the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil and, over a very low heat, leave the onions to soften in this for about an hour.

Knock the dough back and press into an oiled 12 x 8 inch (30 x 20 cm) tin. Leave to rise again for about 20 minutes and then with a spoon make a few depressions on the surface of the dough.

Spread over the onion mixture and scatter the rosemary over the surface. Bake at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C for about 25–30 minutes until golden brown. The base should sound hollow when tapped.

A Second World War recipe suggested adding powdered egg, powdered milk and Bovril to mashed potatoes and, having thinned the mixture with water, frying in little pancakes on a griddle. These were known as Potato Panettes.

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