Bread & Pizza Italian Regional Recipes Starters

Potato focaccine

Potato focaccine, as they are the little version of focaccia, they suit perfectly as an aperitif with friends, as a starter or for a picnic, or even simply because you like them and have a craving for them. They are usually flavored with rosemary or thyme which are perfect, but we decided to use sage, just as good and we are so happy with it.

Their peculiarity is not only in the size, is especially in the dough, as potatoes add softness to it. Adding potatoes in the dough is not unusual in the Italian baking product at all, especially in the South of Italy.
Here is another example with potato in the dough with this Apulian Focaccia – apulian-focaccia


10-12 focaccine, Preparation 25 minutes + 2 hours and half of leavening, Cooking time 25-30 minutes

  • 150g of yellow or white mealy potatoes
  • 400g of Italian flour ‘0’ (Manitoba flour) – or 200g Italian flour ‘0’ (Manitoba flour) mixed with 200g durum wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Fresh brewer’s yeast, 15 g or dry brewer’s yeast, 8 g
  • 3 tablespoons of Evoo – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lukewarm water, 200 ml
  • 7-8 fresh sage leaves, to chop
  • rock salt, to taste

Method

Boil the potatoes in plenty of unsalted water. You can peel them or boil them with their peel and then pass them in the potato masher.

When the potatoes are cooked, remove from the heat, drain and let them cool, but not cool them completely or it will be difficult to mix them to the flour. Once lukewarm and crushed, reduce them to mashed and add the puree in the bowl with the flour. Dissolve the dry yeast in lukewarm water, about 100 ml, or the fresh yeast.

Tips: the water must not be hot or it will kill the yeast. Instead it must be lukewarm, this will help it.

Chop the sage leaves with a knife or with scissors. In Italy we also use a kitchen tool called ‘mezzaluna’.

In a large bowl put the flours and add the freshly chopped sage. Add the water with the melted yeast inside and mix with a wooden spoon. Pour the Evoo and start kneading the ingredients with your hands.

Tips: You can dissolve the salt in the remaining water so that it does not cancel out the work of the yeast. Yeast and salt should never be joined together at the same time.

Add the rest of the water with the salt dissolved in it, and knead well for 10 minutes until you get a soft and moist dough that will be a bit sticky as well.
Cover it now with a plastic wrap or a cloth and let it rise for at least 2 hours in a warm and dry place.

When the dough is doubled, roll it out with your hands, no rolling-pin (these are focaccine and not pizza). The tip of the fingers will help create the characteristic dimples where the oil collects in little puddles.  Add a bit of flour on the chopping board or the kitchen table so you can work it better. Form discs of about 1 centimeter with a pastry cutter or with an upside-down glass, place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and leave them for another 30 minutes. Once also this last leavening is finished, press focaccine in the centre to form the edge and brush with Evoo.

Bake at 180 ° for about 20-25 minutes, depending on your oven. When cooked, flavor your focaccine with a drizzle of olive oil and rock salt. 

How to keep them?
Potato focaccine are good to eat freshly baked, however you can store them in a paper bag for a day.

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