POTATO FOCACCIA WITH TOMATOES AND OLIVES
Focaccia is the fluffy white bread of Italy. Rectangular in shape, it can be one to five centimetres high. It should be brushed with good extra-virgin olive oil and dimpled by the baker’s fingers. With a chewy crust and a soft, fine, springy crumb, it is often sold warm, straight from the oven.
- 200g floury potatoes (e.g. sebago)
- 1 litre water
- 12g fresh yeast
- Pinch sugar
- 200g plain flour, plus a little extra
- 100g durum wheat flour (called semolina in Italy)
- 50ml virgin olive oil, plus a little extra
- 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp finely chopped olives
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
- 2 tsp coarse salt
Scrub potatoes if they are dirty. Cook in their jackets in 750ml of water, with saucepan lid on. Peel, mash (preferably with a ricer) and allow to cool. Dissolve yeast and sugar in 125ml water using a fork to mix. Place the two flours in a pile on a work surface and make a well in the middle. Add potato, dissolved yeast, 50ml of oil and enough of the remaining water to produce a dough that won’t stick to the surface or your hands. Work the dough by stretching and folding for 5-6 minutes. Place in a lightly floured bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm spot for 60-90 minutes until dough has more than doubled in size. Sprinkle 1 tbsp of plain flour in, working dough away from sides of bowl for 30 seconds. Liberally oil a 28cm round bread or cake tin and place dough inside. Spread 1 tbsp of oil over top and, using fingertips, stretch dough to fit bottom of pan. Press tomato halves into surface, scatter with olives and oregano and sprinkle with rock salt. Bake in preheated 220C oven for 25-35 minutes until golden.