We recently spent a wonderful week in Puglia with family. I always say that if we didn’t own our property in Umbria, that I’d love to live in Puglia. I love everything about this unique region, including the cuisine, the landscapes, and the people. Potatoes are a popular ingredient in Pugliese cuisine, used in pasta, seafood dishes, and more commonly in a variety of bread recipes.
One of my favorite focaccia that I enjoyed in Puglia was a simple focaccia flavored with potatoes. Mashed potatoes are used in the dough itself, which creates a very tender crumb. Fried diced potato is used on the topping along with extra virgin olive oil and fresh rosemary. This focaccia can be enjoyed on its own as a snack and goes really well with a bowl of soup on a cold winter day. I often cut my focaccia into squares and freeze some to enjoy later. Once fully thawed, the focaccia is delicious lightly rewarmed in the oven in aluminum foil.
Deborah Mele 2019
For The Focaccia:
- 5 1/2 Cups All-purpose Flour
- 1 Medium Potato, Peeled, Boiled & Mashed
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons Rapid Rise Yeast
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Luke Warm Water
- 2 Medium Potatoes, Peeled & Cut Into Eight Pieces
- Coarse Sea Salt
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Fresh Rosemary
- 1/2 Cup Finely Diced Pancetta
- In a large bowl mix together the flour, yeast, potatoes, oil, and salt, then add just enough warm water to create a workable dough.
- Dump the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or until smooth and shiny.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Place the bowl in a warm spot in the kitchen, and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- While the dough is rising, place the potatoes used in the topping in a pot of lightly salted water and boil until fork tender.
- Cool, and cut into 1/2-inch dice.
- Fry the pancetta over medium heat until crispy, then drain on a paper towel covered plate.
- Toss the potatoes with two teaspoons olive oil.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Lightly oil a 13 x 9-inch baking sheet and press the dough in to fit.
- Press your fingertips over the top of the dough to create dimples.
- Spread the diced potatoes and pancetta evenly over the top of the focaccia, then sprinkle liberally with sea salt and rosemary.
- Drizzle with olive oil, let rest for 20 minutes, then bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Cool to room temperature before slicing.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 284 Total Fat: 4g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 232mg Carbohydrates: 54g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 8g