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‘Nonna Carmela’s Focaccia’ by Katia Crolla, owner of East Coast, Musselburgh, East Lothian

East Coast is the next chapter for the Crolla family, who have been serving the honest folk of Musselburgh from its venue on North High Street since 1974. Styles may change, but great flavours, family heritage and warm, friendly service remain as important to Katia and Carlo Crolla today as they did 47 years ago.

East Coast is now home to fresh new Seafood & Grill restaurant and a modern Fish & Chip shop.

Despite East Coast being temporarily closed due to the going lockdown, Katia Crolla is continuing to cook and bake at home with her 10-year-old son, Donato.

Nonna Carmela

In time for Mother’s Day on Sunday 14th March, Katia has now revealed her secret focaccia recipe for people to make at home, which was handed down to her from her own Nonna Carmela in a hand-written recipe book which had been translated from Italian to English. When Katia always makes her Nonna Carmela’s recipes she says she “Always feels a strong connection to her and her Italian heritage”. Before moving to Scotland, Katia’s Nonna Carmela was a live-in cook for an upper-class family in Belgium.

Katia Crolla is a second-generation Scottish Italian. Her Nonna Carmela and the rest of her family originate from Filignano in Lazio in the south of Italy.

‘Nonna Carmela’s Focaccia’ by Katia Crolla, East Coast

Focaccia with cherry tomatoes and rosemary

Serves 4

· Difficulty: Easy

· Preparation time: 30 minutes

· Rising time: 1 hour 30 minutes

· Cooking time: 20 minutes


· 150g potatoes – peeled and diced

· 200g strong flour

· 100g plain flour

· 7g dried yeast (I use easy bake)

· 130g water

· 30g olive oil

· 8g salt

· 12 cherry tomatoes (approx.)

· dried oregano and/or fresh rosemary


1. Boil water and add diced potatoes. DO NOT ADD SALT TO THIS WATER

2. Drain and mash until smooth, set aside and let cool.

3. Sift both flours into your kitchen mixer bowl.

4. Add the dried yeast, water, potato mash, 10g of olive oil and salt to the bowl.

5. Using the Dough hook of your kitchen mixer and turn it on at low speed for 15 minutes.

The dough will be soft and sticky after the 15 minutes – don’t panic

6. Place the dough onto a floured surface (I use plain flour for this), knead for two minutes.

7. Dust a bowl with some plain flour (I always like to use a glass bowl so we can watch our dough rise - but this is just our preference). Place the dough in the middle of the bow and cover it with cling film. Move the bowl to a warm area and let it rise for 1 hour.