Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Got an hour... make focaccia

Ok, so its more like two... but it is super easy and this is a great recipe I found on Serious Eats. I have topped this was a range of toppings; fresh or dried herbs, tomato slices, potato and last night fresh garlic.

(As I basically follow the recipe, I have reprinted it here with my few additions.)

Potato Focaccia
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast or about 1 3/4 tsp instant yeast

3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading and shaping

1 1/2 teaspoons fine
kosher salt or sea salt
5 ounces all-purpose potatoes, cooked and mashed

Extra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt
topping as mentioned above

If using active yeast, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, and stir until creamy. Otherwise mix the yeast with the flour, there is no need to activate it. Make sure to up the water by 1/2 cup.


Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the mashed potatoes and the yeast (if using active), and, using fingertips, bring in a little of the flour. Gradually add 2/3 cup warm water (if using instant add an extra 1/2 cup) and bring in the remaining flour as you go along. Knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough.


Dust a work surface with flour. Sprinkle the ball of dough with a little extra flour and knead for 2 to 3 minutes. Invert the bowl over the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Knead for 2 to 3 minutes more, sprinkling with extra flour if the dough is sticky, until the dough is smooth and somewhat soft.


Grease a 9 x 12 metal baking pan with olive oil. Transfer the dough to the pan, and with oiled hands flatten and stretch the dough by hand to cover the bottom; the dough should be about 1/2 inch thick.


Cover with a wet but not dripping kitchen towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 1/2 hours. The dough should have doubled in volume.


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Press with fingertips on the focaccia to make dimples all over. Brush generously with olive oil. Season with coarse salt and any other topping. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the focaccia is well risen and golden brown all oven. Serve warm, or transfer to a wire rack to let cool and serve at room temperature.


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