Monday, March 10, 2008

potato focaccia

fresh baked bread goodness: potato focaccia

ok, here's something i had never made: bread.

i think it's the yeast that makes bread seem difficult and time consuming...waiting for it to rise, pounding it's patience i don't always have. but then i came across this delicious looking focaccia that has potato in the dough (i'm quite fond potato in almost any form) and tomatoes resting on top. the recipe is from the blog the wednesday chef. 

a most interesting photo of dough, resting. riveting, i know.

potato focaccia
1 medium yukon gold potato
2 c all-purpose flour (plus more if needed)
1 tsp fresh yeast
pinch of sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt (plus more for salting water)
2/3 c warm water
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced crosswise
1 to 2 tsp dried oregano
coarse sea salt

1. wash the potato and place in a saucepan with enough water to cover the potato
2. bring to a boil and add a handful of salt to the water, cooking until potato is tender
3. drain and allow potato to cool, then peel and mash finely with a fork
4. put the yeast in a large mixing bowl along with a pinch of sugar
5. add warm water in a thin stream over yeast, using a fork to help dissolve (allow mixture to stand a few minutes)
6. pour the flour into the yeast water and stir with a fork
7. add the potato and salt and stir to incorporate (dough will be thick and shaggy)
8. add 2 tbsp olive oil and begin to knead dough by hand
9. knead against the bowl until dough is smooth (add flour if dough is too sticky to handle)
10. form the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered with a towel, for 1 hour
11. cut a piece of parchment to fit the bottom of an 8 inch cake pan
12. gently place the risen dough in the cake pan and pat it out to the edges
13. cover the dough evenly with tomato halves, sprinkle with oregano and coarse sea salt and drizzle with olive oil
14. let the dough rest for another hour
15. bake at 425°F for 40 minutes, rotating pan halfway through
16. allow to cool for 20 minutes before removing focaccia from the pan

prior to baking, the dough has time to rest

i imagine that this dough would work well with other toppings. as i arranged my tomatoes, i thought about asiago cheese and an assortment of herbs. my husband wanted basil and tomato (he would). the one constant would probably be the coarse sea salt. those salty bits are so good on the finished bread, i can't imagine it without. maybe the right topping combo (perhaps the cheese) could make up for it...

subtle potato bread with juicy tomato bursts and a salty crust