Sun-Dried Tomato and Caramelized-Onion Focaccia

Focaccia is like a freestyle pizza. It’s perfect for parties because it can be served in any-size pieces (small squares to large slabs) and warm or at room temperature. Learn more about flatbreads and pizzas with our handy guide to plant-based pizza.


  • 1 tablespoon date paste
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup potato flour
  • ½ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup cornmeal
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • ½ cup thinly sliced sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • ⅓ cup pickled jalapeños, chopped (optional)
  • ⅓ cup chopped olives (optional)


  • For sponge, in a small bowl stir together ⅔ cup warm water and the date paste. Sprinkle in the yeast and ½ cup of the all-purpose flour; stir to combine. Cover bowl and let stand in a warm place 25 minutes.
  • In a separate bowl stir together potato flour and 1 cup water. Add the remaining 1 cup all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, cornmeal, salt, and ⅓ cup warm water. Add the sponge; mix well. Transfer dough to a floured work surface. Form dough into a ball and knead lightly 2 to 3 minutes or until soft and sticky.
  • Return dough to bowl; cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place 1 hour or until double in size.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan cook onions with ¼ cup water over medium heat about 10 minutes or until starting to turn translucent, stirring frequently and adding water, 1 to 2 Tbsp. at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  • Soak sun-dried tomatoes in ½ cup water 20 minutes or until soft; drain.
  • Preheat oven to 475°F. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Punch down dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a ½-inch-thick rectangle. Transfer dough to the prepared baking pan. Top evenly with onions, tomatoes, and, if desired, jalapeños and olives.
  • Let focaccia stand 15 minutes. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown.

Comments (12)

(4 from 3 votes)

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I made this focaccia yesterday. I had a runny batter and had to add lots of extra flour to have a workable dough. I also had problems with the temp at 475. The bread turned out tough on top and bottom and my sundried tomatoes burned. I had to take the bread out about 6 minutes sooner that recommended. It is good but needs something more for flavor, like garlic, more salt, seasonings? I would make it again but leave out the cornmeal, lower the cooking temp, add more seasoning and flour.


This yielded a batter not a dough. I had to add a lot more flour to get it into a workable state. I read the other comments and cooked it at 425F instead. It turned out OK but I don’t think I’ll make it again.

Janelle Jolley

I also found the ratio of water to flour/cornmeal a little much and had to add flour to make it workable. Also had the same issue with the temp at 475, most of the sun dried tomatoes burned. I did like the crunchy bottom and flavor of the bread.


This recipe reads as though there are 2 cups of water for 3 cups of flours. This is how I made the dough which was extremely runny. It didn't seem right so I added multiple tablespoons of flour until I achieved a sticky dough. It would help to confirm water vs. flour amounts as I don't think it's right. Hopefully it bakes well at this point!


Also, 475 was too hot. I had to turn down the heat after the toppings started burning. I can't tell that any other focaccia recipe calls for this high of heat. It was more pizza-like than the light spongey texture I hoped for. All in all, this ended up being a disaster for me. :) But the flavor with cornmeal was nice. I would have loved it to look like the picture.

Karinia Poirier

I have date syrup. Can I use that instead of paste?

Anya Yushchenko

We made this recipe today and it turned out great! I used sprouted spelt flour and I think the addition of corn meal and corn starch (used it instead of potato starch) made the dough very tasty! For the toppings I cooked the onions with soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and vegan Worcestershire sauce and the kids ate the first round of onions all by itself ;) we had to cook another round for the bread! All and all, made for a great meal

Anya Yushchenko

We are inspired and going to make it!


What can i use instead of date paate?


I made this last night, so tasty! I did make a few changes. I used white flour for the sponge but substituted spelt flour for the rest. I added a tbsp of olive oil to the mixture and used a bit less water.


Why do you use the word sponge???


Frances, that is what it is called when making bread. Although there are different ways to make a "sponge", this way allows the yeast to proof or expand prior to mixing it with the rest of the flour. I am making this recipe now with a few substitutions. One area I am questioning is the amount of water it is calling for. I will let you know after I make this if it turns out and if it does I will write the substitutions that I have made.

About the Author

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About the Author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit and follow her on Instagram for more.
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