Focaccia with onion, garlic + sage

Focaccia with onion, garlic + sage


Focaccia – is definitely one of my most favourite kinds of breads. There are so many interpretations and ideas of focaccia around the country and of what it should be like; this recipe is as close to the focaccia I was served throughout my childhood in italian restaurants around the world. Closer to home, the local bakeries make a thicker version, and more of a loaf-bread texture. For me focaccia has a crisp top, bread-y inside, and lot’s of flavourful toppings. A good focaccia does not need dipping condiments.

I’ve tried countless recipes to recreate but none justified my memory. But this one finally did – most of focaccia I found previously had a portion of olive oil in the dough – but this one is as simple as it comes – flour, salt, yeast and water. Olive oil poured on top along with toppings.

For me, a simple brush of olive oil, garlic, and sea salt is perfect – to be devoured with a wonderful bottle of wine. This is that focaccia. To humour the rest of the family, I added sliced onions, dried sage and rosemary with garlic – it’s delicious!

When you start kneading this dough, you may feel is sticky and wet – that’s the signature of a focaccia – don’t worry. Have faith.

You prove it twice, and then straight into the oven. You wash just 1 mixing bowl, 2 pans and the surface area you knead on. That’s all you need!


The Recipe
Serves Total time: 3 hours Need: 2 cake tins (8” by 8”)


  • 10 g of instant dried yeast
  • 465 g of flour
  • 12 g of salt
  • 320 ml of warm water
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp dried herbs (sage, basil, rosemary)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • oil extra – for greasing


  • Whisk the flour, salt and dried yeast in a large wide bowl
  • Slowly pour the warm water into the mix, while bring the dough together – knead for 5 minutes
  • Then tip the dough onto a greased surface and knead well for 5 minutes, stretching out the dough to arms-length on the work surface, tucking the sides into the middle as you go – the dough will be slightly wet – don’t worry. If the dough sticks to your fingers and doesn’t come off quickly, add some more flour – but be careful not to add too much dough.
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a bread cloth and leave for around an hour to prove
  • Grease the two pans with olive oil
  • Once the dough has doubled in size gently flatten and stretch to fit into the two greased pans, pushing and stretching the dough to the corners
  • Cover the two pans and place in a warm place to prove again for 1 hour
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C
  • Whisk the olive oil with garlic and herbs and set aside
  • Using the tips of your fingers, dimple the surface of the dough all over.
  • Place the onions over the dough, and the olive oil mixture, followed by sea salt
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes
  • Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool
  • Serve warm
  • Storage: once completely cool, you can store in a bread box at room temperature
  • Best consumed on the same day, like the Italians

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The recipes are tried and tested, some are adapted from various places, and a few are passed down; but every one of them comes straight from the heart.