Growing up bread and potatoes were a daily staple & I’m pretty sure I have never gone a day without a serving of at least one. That may be considered almost devilish in some corners, but I’d rather not spend much time in such corners! Much better to combine the two in this recipe from the ever wonderful Yotam Ottolenghi for a potato focaccia. I’ve exchanged the baked potato in the dough for mashed potato, simply because I had some leftover & upped the flavour with some smoked sea salt (a very worth addition to any pantry). Our new potato season is still a while away, but the trusty Irish rooster worked perfectly. This went down a treat at the weekend, served warm out of the oven with a poached egg, smoked salmon & a cup of tea.
- 350g cold mashed potato (nothing added)
- 350g strong bread flour
- 1 tsp yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 7 tbsp good quality olive oil
- 2tsp smoked sea salt
- 210g peeled potatoes (approx 2 small/medium roosters)
- 2tbsp fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1/2 garlic gloves (depending on personal preference)
- 130ml water
Notes: Proofing time is minimum 2 hours & the bread itself bakes quickly, about 20 minutes. A large baking tray will do the trick, mine is 30 cm x 30 cm. I used a mixer with a dough hook, otherwise add a few minutes onto the timings for kneading.
- Into your mixing bowl, add your mashed potato, flour, yeast, sugar, 3 tablespoons of olive oil & 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix with a dough hook on a low speed for about 3 minutes until the dough comes together.
- Increase the speed of your mixed to a medium speed & leave the dough hook to work it for about another 12 minutes. When finished it will have a good elasticity to it & have a soft feel to it.
- For the first rise, coat a mixing bowl with a tablespoon of olive oil. Place your dough in the bowl, cover with clingfilm & leave to rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
- Line your baking tray with parchment paper. Coat the parchment paper with another tablespoon of oil. Place your dough on top & gently stretch out until the baking tray is covered. Again cover with clingfilm & leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
- At this stage you can peel & slice your potatoes & garlic thinly (as shown). Place into a bowl with your chopped rosemary, thyme & 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Give a stir with a metal spoon or your hands to mix through.
- Coat the top of the focaccia with this mixture. Gently press into the dough so it bakes into it, rather than on top of it. For the final prove , cover again with clingfilm & let it rise for a further 30 minutes. At this stage pre-heat your oven to 220°C.
- When ready to bake, finish the bread by sprinkling with a teaspoon of smoked salt. Pop into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until golden on top & bottom.
Leave to cool on a wire rack & serve warm. Kept wrapped in parchment paper, this will last well for 3 days.