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Matthew Scialabba & Melissa Pellegrino
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total prep
Adding boiled and riced potatoes to the dough is the secret to making authentic soft and billowy Pugliese focaccia. Toppings can include just about anything, but cherry tomatoes with a hint of rosemary and salt is the ultimate classic.

Recipe courtesy of The Southern Italian Farmer’s Table: Authentic Recipes and Local Lore from Tuscany to Sicily by Matthew Scialabba & Melissa Pellegrino/Lyons Press, 2012.


  • 6 cups (700 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium Yukon Gold potato, boiled and passed through a ricer
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
  • 2 1/4 cups (532 ml) tepid water
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • Make the dough: In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix together the flour, potato, salt, and yeast. Gradually add the oil, then mix in the water. Knead the dough on low speed until it comes together and is smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  • Moisten your fingers with a bit of oil and then spread the dough out onto a sheet tray to fill the entire tray in an even layer. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled in volume, about 45 minutes.
  • Make the topping: In a medium bowl, toss the tomatoes with rosemary.
  • To assemble, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
  • Uncover the dough, drizzle with the oil, and press down and dimple the dough with your fingers. Spread the tomatoes and rosemary evenly over the dough and sprinkle with salt.
  • Bake in the oven until the focaccia is a deep golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. Transfer the focaccia to a cutting board, cut into pieces, and serve.