Friday, September 5, 2008

Potato and Poppyseed Focaccia

This recipe is open to many variations in flavor. Fresh or dried herbs may be kneaded into the dough, or you could try sprinkling it with sesame seeds or sliced olives instead of poppyseeds. The mashed potato adds moisture to the bread. Serves 4.


2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour
1 tablespoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups mashed potato
1/4 cup warm water
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons semolina
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and white pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons poppyseeds


1. Sift flour into large mixing bowl. Add yeast, sugar, salt and mashed potato. Pour in combined water and oil. Using a knife or spatula, mix to a soft dough.
2. Turn dough onto a well-floured surface, knead for 10 minutes, until smooth. Sprinkle surface with more flour as necessary. Shape into a ball, place into a large, lightly oiled mixing bowl. Leave, covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place for 30 minutes, until well risen.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Knead dough again for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the base of a greased 9 inch (23 cm) square cake tin with semolina. Press dough into tin with floured hands. With a skewer, prick four rows of four holes into dough. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place for a further 20 minutes, until well risen. Brush lightly with the beaten egg and sprinkle with poppyseeds. Bake 40 minutes, until golden brown. Turn focaccia onto a wire rack to cool.

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