Bread & Pizza Italian Regional Recipes Starters

Potato Focaccine Sage-Flavoured

Potato focaccine suit perfectly as an aperitif, as a starter or whatever you like, 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 potato in the dough is not unusual in the Italian baking product at all, especially in the South of Italy as for example in this Apulian Focaccia apulian-focaccia


Makes approx 12-15 focaccine, Preparation 25 mins + 2 hours and half of leavening, Cooking approx 25 minutes

  • 150g of yellow potato
  • 400g of weak Italian flour ‘0’ or 250g weak Italian flour ‘0’ mixed with 150g durum wheat semolina’s flour
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Fresh brewer’s yeast, 15 g or dry active yeast, 8 g, both to dissolve in a glass of lukewarm water
  • 3 tablespoons of EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Lukewarm water, 200 ml
  • 7-8 chopped fresh sage leaves, to chop or a tbsp of dried sage
  • rock salt, to taste

Method

Boil the potatoes in plenty of unsalted water. You can peel them or also boil them with their peel and then pass them in the potato masher, as you prefer.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain and let them cool, but not cool them completely or it will be difficult to mix them to the flour. Reduce them to mashed. Dissolve the dry yeast or the fresh one in a glass with lukewarm water along with a teaspoon of sugar, stir well and let it act for about 10 mins.

Tip: water has not be neither too hot nor too cold or the yeast won’t work.

In a large bowl put the sifted flours with mashed potatoes, add the freshly chopped sageor the dried one, and the water with the melted yeast inside and mix with a wooden spoon. Pour the Evoo and start kneading slowly the ingredients with your hands.

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

When the dough is doubled, roll it out with your hands, no rolling-pin. The tip of the fingers will help create the characteristic dimples where the oil collects in. Add a bit of flour on the chopping board or the kitchen table so you can work better with the dough. 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 the second leavining for further 30 minutes.

Meantime preheat the oven to 180° C / 350 F / Gas 4.

Even when this latter leavening is done, brush focaccine dough with EVOO and scatter some rock salt.

Bake for about 20 minutes, depending on your oven, until gilded.

How to store them?

They are good to eat freshly baked, however you can store them in a paper bag for a couple of days.

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