Potato and Gruyere Focaccia

Nov
12

Potato and Gruyere Focaccia

potato and cheese focaccia
potato and cheese focaccia
potato and cheese focaccia

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The inspiration behind this exceptional Potato and Gruyere Focaccia recipe came from a desire to marry the sumptuous flavours of a potatoes au gratin with the rustic charm of a classic Italian focaccia. The result is nothing short of extraordinary – a mouth-watering creation that transcends ordinary bread and takes you on a culinary journey reminiscent of the rich and comforting notes of a potato gratin. The thinly sliced baby potatoes, fragrant French shallots, and the liberal sprinkle of fresh thyme lend a depth of flavour and aroma that evokes the essence of home-cooked comfort. What sets this focaccia apart is the indulgent layer of grated Gruyere cheese, which adds a creamy, nutty richness that harmonizes perfectly with the tender potatoes and creates a tantalising blend of textures. Each bite is an exquisite fusion of flavours, bringing to mind the beloved combination of cheese and onion, while the finishing touch of fresh chives and a pinch of flaky salt adds a burst of freshness and contrast. It’s safe to say that this Potato and Gruyere Focaccia is, by far, the best focaccia recipe to date, offering a savoury delight that is simply unparalleled in its delectable appeal and culinary innovation. I promise you will fall in LOVE with this one.

Top Tips for the Perfect Focaccia:

  1. Opt for Quality Olive Oil: Choose extra virgin olive oil of the finest quality to infuse your focaccia with the best flavor.

  2. Embrace the Sticky Dough: When kneading, maintain a sticky yet manageable dough. Avoid adding extra flour to prevent a dry and tough outcome.

  3. Activate Your Yeast: Ensure your yeast is active by allowing it to bubble and foam before incorporating it into your recipe.

  4. Rise and Shine: Let the dough rise twice – once after kneading and again after shaping. This process creates a textured masterpiece with a mix of small and large air pockets.

  5. Dimple Magic: Pressing dimples into the dough is the secret to achieving that signature focaccia appearance and texture.

  6. Get Creative with Toppings: Experiment with toppings like rosemary, zaatar, olives, or baby tomatoes to add an extra layer of flavor and visual appeal. The possibilities are endless.

  7. Choose High-Protein Flour: Opt for a good quality bread flour with a high protein/gluten content for the ideal texture.

  8. Bake to Perfection: Ensure your focaccia enters a preheated oven at the correct temperature for that perfect rise, golden colour, and impeccable texture.

potato and gruyere focaccia

Potato and Gruyere Focaccia

This Potato and Gruyere Focaccia is an irresistibly delicious creation that conjures the comforting essence of a potato gratin, with layers of tender potatoes, aromatic shallots, and rich Gruyere cheese, making it a delectable fusion of a classic cheese and onion flavour in every bite.
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Appetizer, Brunch, Entertaining, lunch, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine French, Italian
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g bread flour high gluten/protein content is best
  • 400 ml Luke warm water
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp instant yeast 12g or fresh yeast equivalent
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil plus more for the top
  • Flaky salt for the top
  • 3 French shallots thinly sliced into rounds
  • 6 baby potatoes thinly sliced with skin on
  • 120-150 grams Gruyere cheese
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Instructions
 

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the 1 TBS of the flour with lukewarm water, honey, and yeast. Mix to allow it all to dissolve. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes until it becomes frothy.
  • Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine the bread flour and salt, and then add this to your yeast mixture along with 1 TBS olive oil.
  • Mix the ingredients together until a shaggy dough forms, then in the same bowl knead the dough for about 10 minutes. Note, it will be sticky, but avoid adding more flour as a moist dough is key to a great focaccia. You are after a smooth dough, so keep kneading until you reach this consistency.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and place it back in the mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 30 minutes.
  • Stretch and fold the dough about 10 times, being careful not to knock too much of the air out. You want to ensure all the gluten is activated. Drizzle with olive oil to ensure it doesn't stick to the bowl. Then cover and rest again for a further 60 minutes, or until your dough has doubled. At this point you can also leave it in the fridge overnight and bake it the next day which is what I like to do (you'll need to take it out of the fridge and place in it a tray for 2 hours before baking to prove)
  • Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and transfer the dough onto your baking sheet/tray. Gently press and stretch the dough to fill the sheet.
  • Let it rest for another 15-20 minutes whilst you preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F)
  • Soak your thinly sliced potato pieces in cold water for 15 minutes. Drain, then dry them in between a clean tea towel or paper towel. Drizzle with olive oil to coat them well, sprinkle with salt, and set them aside.
  • After resting, oil your hands and use your fingers to create dimples all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle more olive oil over the top, allowing it to settle into the dimples. Sprinkle flaky salt generously over the dough.
  • Sprinkle 1/3 of your grated Gruyere cheese on top of the focaccia base and scatter half of the French shallots and the fresh thyme evenly over the surface.
  • Next, arrange the thinly sliced baby potatoes on top of the dough, get the slices as close together as possible, it's fine if they're slightly overlapping. Sprinkle the other half of the French shallots, fresh thyme leaves, and the second third of the grated Gruyere cheese evenly over the potatoes.
  • Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top, ensuring the toppings are well coated, and sprinkle with some salt flakes.
  • Place the focaccia in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the dough is golden brown, and the potatoes are tender and slightly crispy. About 15 minutes into the bake, you want to add the remaining Gruyere cheese over the top. Be quick to close the oven again. You want to achieve a deep golden brown colour and caramelisation of the shallots.
  • Once baked, remove the focaccia from the oven and let it cool slightly on a wire rack. Scatter it with freshly chopped chives before slicing and serving.

Notes

TOP TIPS FOR A PERFECT FOCACCIA:
1. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil for the best flavour.
2. The dough should be sticky but manageable during kneading; avoid adding any extra flour as this will create a dry and tough focaccia.
3. Make sure your yeast is active by letting it bubble and foam before using.
4. Letting the dough rise multiple times (after kneading and after shaping) helps develop the perfect texture and a mix of smaller and large air pockets.
5. Pressing the dimples into the dough helps create the signature focaccia appearance and texture.
6. Experiment with toppings like rosemary, zaatar, olives, or baby tomatoes to add extra flavour and visual appeal to your focaccia. The options are endless
7. Use a good quality bread flour with a high protein/gluten content 8. Ensure your focaccia goes into a hot oven at the correct temperature for the perfect rise, colour and texture. Enjoy your delicious homemade traditional focaccia!
Keyword cheese and onion focaccia, classic focaccia, dietitian, focaccia, marianne hudson, Nutritionist, potato and cheese focaccia, the best focaccia, the ultimate focaccia, traditional focaccia
potato and gruyere focaccia

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