Parmesan Focaccia Bread

5 from 1 vote

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Parmesan Focaccia Bread is a thin, cheesy bread recipe, made with a russet potato! If you’re a lover of Italian food, this bread would be the perfect side to your spaghetti or baked ziti!

There are few things in life as glorious as fresh, warm, tender bread. The simplicity and elegance of a few traditional ingredients combined with the smell and nostalgia makes me so happy and hungry!

slices of focaccia bread stacked on top of each other
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Italian Parmesan Focaccia Bread Recipe

In my mind, focaccia really means “bread heaven”. This bread is light and super tender in the middle but has a phenomenally crunchy outside thanks to baking it in a heavy hand of olive oil.

Parmesan Focaccia is a fantastic break from the traditional breads that you are serving with dinner and your family will go nuts over it.If you are making a soup that is a regular in your meal rotation, try switching things up by serving this bread on the side. It’ll be like eating a whole new meal.

This focaccia bread calls for a russet potato. Sounds crazy but the addition of a potato makes the dough incredibly soft and tender. The potato is the key ingredient to making this bread turn out amazing.

close up of slices of focaccia bread stacked on each other

If you are making a soup that is a regular in your meal rotation, try switching things up by serving this bread on the side. It’ll be like eating a whole new meal.

The recipe comes from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book, so you know it’s a good one. ATK doesn’t lead one astray.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How is focaccia different from bread?

Focaccia is a lightweight, flat baked bread, comparable to pizza dough. It is traditionally used as a side dish or can be used to make sandwiches. 

How long will focaccia stay fresh?

Focaccia bread is best served within 2-4 days of baking. Store the baked bread covered in plastic wrap at room temperature. Though I do think this bread is best eaten warm the day it’s made.

Why are dimples made in focaccia bread?

The dimples in focaccia bread aren’t just for looks. They actually prevent the dough from rising too quickly. I like to wet my fingertips and then dimple the entire top of the dough. Then I will finish it off by drizzling a tablespoon of oil over the top and sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. 

top view of baked focaccia bread

How to make focaccia bread:

  1. Start by getting your potato ready, the potato makes the dough so tender! Boil it up, save some of the water, and mash it up well.
  2. Make a simple yeast dough. Allow the dough to rise.
  3. Press the dough into the pan and oil it well. Press the top to make dimples.
  4. Top with cheese and bake.
  5. Enjoy while still warm.

More bread recipes:

If you’ve tried this easy focaccia bread recipe or any other recipe on Bless this Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories AND add your photo to your comment so that other can see your creation!

slices of focaccia bread stacked on top of each other
5 from 1 vote

Parmesan Focaccia Bread

Parmesan Focaccia Bread is a thin, cheesy bread recipe, made with a russet potato! If you’re a lover of Italian food, this bread would be the perfect side to your spaghetti or baked ziti!
Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 1 medium russet potato,, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast,, instant or rapid-rise
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan


  • In a small saucepan add the cut up potato and 3 cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for about ten minutes or until the potato can easily be poked with a fork. Using a slotted spoon transfer the cooked potato to a small bowl and then measure out one cup of the hot potato water and set both aside to cool.
  • Once the potato had cooled enough to touch grate it on the largest holes of your box graters and set aside (this should be about one cup of grated potato that is lightly packed).
  • Add the cooked potato, 3 1/2 cups of flour, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, yeast, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook mix on low speed. Slowly add the reserved potato water (that has cooled to 110 degrees) and mix until it starts to form a dough, about 2 minutes.
  • Increase the speed to medium low and continue to mix until a smooth and elastic dough is formed. The dough should start to pull away from the edges of the mixer bowl but still stick to the bottom. If after 4 minutes the dough is too sticky add the remaining flour as needed just a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough leaves the edges of the bowl.
  • After 8 minutes knead the dough by hand on a clean surface to form a smooth round bowl. Put the dough in a big lightly oiled bowl and let it rise, covered with plastic wrap until doubled, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  • Coat the bottom of an 18 by 13 inch rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup olive oil. Using wet hands (so the dough doesn’t stick to you) gently push the dough evenly across the bottom of the pan until the whole pan is evenly filled with dough. Brush the top with another 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, 45 to 75 minutes.
  • At the end of the final rising time heat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and with wet fingertips dimple the entire top of the dough. Drizzle the last tablespoon of oil over the top and sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan cheese. Bake until the bread is crisp, 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Once the bread has baked carefully transfer it to a wire rack to cool (don’t keep it in the pan). Let it cool for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Serving: 1 slices (1/12 recipe), Calories: 250kcal, Carbohydrates: 31g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Cholesterol: 4mg, Sodium: 333mg, Potassium: 124mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 0.3g, Vitamin A: 44IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 74mg, Iron: 2mg
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Thanks a million for reading and being here. You guys are the best!

Parmesan Focaccia Bread is a bread that you will want to bake over and over. It is soft, delicious, and pairs great with so many meals. I can’t wait for you to try it.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Score 1 for the frozen potato water and the shredded tator! Sure the shreds got mushy….no biggy. Pulled the jar outa the freezer to unthaw. Forget about said jar. Put the jar and spuds into the frig for the next day. Ooops…forgot again. So 50 hours after removing the spud-goodness from the freezer, I finally made the bread. Now my brain has decided that every time I make mashed potatoes, I will save the right amount of water and spuds to be ready for the next focaccia craving! My house still smells yummy and I am sure I ate too much bread! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    1. GREAT idea! I’m so glad to hear back! I can’t wait to try that! Thank you!

  2. Oh wow, yum, slobber, drool……I will make this again and again. Halved the recipe and plopped it into a glass 9×13 cake pan. Picture perfect and super good! I only had a large russet, which made 1.5 cups of shreds. I froze 1/2 cup of the potato water in a canning jar, placed 1/2 cup of shreds in a baggy and stuffed it on top of the frozen water. Hopefully, my next batch of focaccia will be partially ready to roll from the freezer! I am already dreaming of additions to this once the herb garden wakes up!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!!

    1. Tell me how the freezing of the tator goes! That’s the one thing that keeps me from making this more often!

  3. The soup is very easy. All you need is 2 cups chopped carrots, 1/4 cup chopped onion. Sautée with 1 tbsp. of butter until tender-crisp. Add 14 and a half chicken broth with 1/4 tsp ground ginger. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until carrots are tender. Cool slightly. Purée soup in blender; return to pan. Stir in 1/2 cup buttermilk; heat through (do not boil)

    Note: when sautéeing the veggies I use fresh ginger; about 1/2 tbsp.

    1. That sounds delicious! Do you have a recipe for the soup? My kids actually love carrots and it sounds right up our alley!

  4. This was tasty, olive-oil yumminess. It wasn’t too much work after you have the potato ready to go… more rising time than anything. It was, however, not nearly as fantastic leftover, especially past a day, so unless I have a LOT of people to feed, I’d go ahead and half it in the future.

  5. Oh I used to work at a pizza restaurant and I loved our focaccia. I ate it all the time. Thank you so much for sharing this!!