Recipe by: Alessandra Van Pelt
Source: Family recipe
- 300 g Canadian flour (or bread flour)
- 200 g potatoes
- 150 ml water
- 7 g instant yeast*
- 3 tbs extra virgin oil
- 2 tsp salt
* the amount of yeast can be reduced, increasing time of rising.
- Peel the potatoes, wash them, cut in two pieces and cover with water, lightly salted. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook until they are tender. Drain very well and let warm up for few minutes: then, put the potatoes through a ricer into a bowl.
- Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, add the oil and the mash potatoes, then mix well. Add 1-2 tbsp water a time, and knead until it is incorporate: add other water, always gradually, until the dough is soft but not sticky.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead it by hand (or knead at medium speed in a mixer equipped with a dough hook) for 8 to 10 minutes, or slightly less time in a mixer, till the dough is smooth and supple. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let it rise for 1 hour; it won’t double in bulk.
- Bread Machine Method: Place all of the ingredients, including the starter, into the pan of your bread machine, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Check the dough after about 10 minutes of kneading; it should be smooth and soft. Adjust its consistency with additional flour or water, as necessary, and allow the machine to complete its cycle.
- Shaping and Baking: Gently deflate the dough, and pull and stretch it into a large, flat round. Transfer it to a lightly greased 14-inch round pan, or lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Shape the dough into a 14-inch round, cover it, and allow it to rise for 2 hours, till it’s very puffy. Dimple the dough with your fingers (be firm, but not violent; you don’t want to deflate it); drizzle the focaccia with olive oil, and sprinkle it with herbs, coarse salt and coarse pepper (if desired). Bake the focaccia in a preheated 350°F oven for 25 minutes; it’ll be golden brown, but still pretty soft. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
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