Thursday, 24 July 2008

Focaccia Bread

For the dough
2 medium small potatoes, cubed
1 cup water, warm
3 tablespoons honey, plus more for brushing
1 packet active dry yeast
1 small head of garlic, cloves minced
4 small sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup olive oil
For the tomato sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes
Sea salt and pepper
1/3 cup chives, parsley, basil, finely chopped
For the toppings – before baking
3/4 cup black olives, pitted
10 ounces goat cheese
1 bunch thyme
For the toppings – after baking
1 to 2 heirloom tomatoes
2 onions, caramelized
Goat cheese
Basil, chiffonade
Chili oil


  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook potatoes for 20 minutes. Drain, let cool to room temperature, then mash.
  • In a small bowl, mix together water, honey and yeast. Let sit 5 to 10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, mix together potatoes, garlic, rosemary, salt, flour and cornmeal. Add yeast mixture and olive oil and to stir to combine. Turn dough out onto a well-floured surface and knead for 8 minutes. Form into a ball, place in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 1 hour.
  • Prepare the tomato sauce:  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for a minute or two but not to colour, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in herbs.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  • Turn dough out onto a baking sheet and gently form it into a rectangle. Dimple with fingers. Brush edges of dough with honey. Press olives into dough, spoon tomato sauce over, arrange goat cheese and thyme sprigs and spoon oil from tomato sauce over entire surface.
  • Bake 25 minutes.
  • Let cool 10 minutes, then top with heirloom tomatoes, caramelized onions, goat cheese and basil. Drizzle with chili oil to serve.