Country Potato focaccia

potato focaccia

a few slices of potato focaccia

How versatile can a bread recipe be? According to Chad Robertson’s “Tartine Bread” book, very versatile. A good bread dough can be transformed into a pizza, a focaccia, or even a croissant (and with minimal changes, a baguette). The more I bake his basic country bread recipe, the more I’m starting to love the high hydratation level and the long fermentation time. It must be one of the best breads I’ve baked in months, if not a whole year.

The bread recipe itself is very simple: 75% hydratation, 10% wholewheat, 20% preferment 50/50 sourdough, a lengthy fermentation time (at least 4 hours in a kitchen at 19-20°C). Instead of shaping and final proofing, simply place a piece of dough onto a baking tray and put it into the fridge, until an hour before you decide to bake.

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Instead of putting your fingers into the dough and using plenty of olive oil and rosemary, we lay thinly sliced potato pieces on top of the focaccia. Chad uses coarse sea salt to dehydrate the potatoes half an hour before you decide to bake. After that’s done, I made some pesto using parsley instead of basil. Add some more olive oil to make a loopy sauce and toss all the potato slices in there to coat them really well.Bake the focaccia as high as you can get your oven (that was 250°C here, 10°C short of the recommended temperature). It will take about 40 minutes for the crust to turn brown. At that time the potato slices should have been cooked well and be transformed into chips, jummy!

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There are now two options: you can serve it straight from the oven, or let it cool on a wire rack and slice it then. Either way, serve with a bit of pesto and some salad. You can also cut open your focaccia piece lengthway to reveal a mighty amount of air pockets! It looks and smells amazing. I did notice that freshly baked sourdough does not taste as purgent, or as “full”, as a cooled down loaf.
Next time I’ll try to spread it out more evenly as it rose here and there too high.

Submitted to YeastSpotting.

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