I made this unusual focaccia several years ago and quite forgot about it until I came across this photo I had made of it. I remembered its light, airy texture and immediately had to remake it.
– 3 1/2 cups bread flour or all purpose is fine too
– 2 medium potatoes (or 1 1/2 cups of cooked, peeled, mashed potatoes)
– 1 package dry yeast + – a pinch sugar
– 2 cups water
– 1 1/2 tbsp. salt
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 20 approx. small cherry tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon (or more to taste) dry oregano
1. Boil the potatoes until tender (about 20-30 minutes). Peel while still hot and put them through a potato ricer. If you don’t have a ricer, mash the potatoes with a fork until fine. Set aside in a bowl.
2. In a mixing bowl, dissolve a package of active dry yeast (fast acting is ok) in 1/2 cup of warm water. Sprinkle a pinch of sugar and let it sit for about five minutes until light and foamy.
3. Add 1 1/4 cups of water and one cup of the flour. Mix well (I use the paddle attachment to my mixer). Add the salt and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Slowly add three more cups of the flour, cup by cup mixing well after each addition. Add the potatoes and mix until blended. Turn out onto a floured board and incorporate the rest of the flour, judging how sticky or dry it is. Knead it until elastic and firm. Form a soft ball and placed in an lightly oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled.
4. In a 10 inch pan (I used a springform pan…probably not the best choice – but all that I had), pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil. You may need more to coat the bottom, the sides, the top of the foccaccia. Place the dough inside the pan gently, slightly dimpling the surface with your fingers. Place the cherry tomatoes all over the top. If some are too large, cut them in half. Brush some more olive oil on the surface, sprinkle generously with the oregano and let it rise until the dough reaches the brim of the pan.
5. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 45-50 minutes. Allow the foccaccia to rest for about 10 minutes before trying to take it out of the pan. Serve it at room temperature.
The consistency of the dough is light, soft, and airy. Great for a light dinner with a green summer salad or as an antipasto alongside some asiago, prosciutto or sliced coppa.