Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What to eat Wednesdays - Potato focaccia bread

This potato focaccia recipe is the best use for leftover mashed potato I've found. It's from Annabel Langbein's latest cookbook, The Free Range Cook, and is just divine.

My husband, Paul can't get enough of this bread. Luckily the recipe makes two large loaves, so there's plenty to go around.

Focaccia dough
  • 1.5c warm (not hot) water
  • 1.5t dry yeast granules
  • 1c packed mashed potato 
  • 1/4c extra virgin olive oil
  • 4.5c high grade flour
  • 2t salt
  • 1-2T extra virgin olive oil
  • 2t fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2t sea salt

1. Place warm water in a large mixing bowl (a breadmaker or electric mixer with a dough blade is ideal if you have one). Sprinkle yeast over the water and allow to stand for 2 minutes.

2. Mix in the mashed potato and the 1/4c olive oil.

3. Stir in the flour and salt and mix until the dough just starts to come away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and using lightly oiled hands knead about 30 times (or for 3-4 minutes on the dough cycle of a breadmaker).

5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with muslin or a tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 3-4 hours or until it has doubled in bulk. You can also leave it in the fridge, covered, to rise slowly overnight.

6. When ready to cook, place a baking stone on the centre shelf of the oven and preheat oven to 220°C.

7. Turn the risen dough onto a lightly floured board, divide in half and shape each half into a ball. 

8. Roughly flatten one ball onto a tray lined with baking paper, pressing the dough out to an oval shape about 25 x 20cm. Use your fingertips to press dimples into the top of the loaf. 

9. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.

10. Slide the baking paper with the dough on it off the tray and onto the preheated baking stone. Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes, until golden. 

11. When cooked the bread will sound hollow when tapped (I used a wooden spoon to tap test). Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking stone for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

12. Slice and serve slathered with butter or drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. This is a delicious accompaniment to soup, eg. Butter Chicken Soup, Pumpkin Soup, Tomato and Tamarind Soup or Spinach and Feta Soup (to name a few of my favourites).

Repeat steps with the other ball of dough, unless you want to save it for later. In that case place it in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean cloth and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours. It also freezes well. Thaw before pressing out and baking.

I've shared this recipe over at Your Recipe My Kitchen.


  1. Yum, this looks good. Mashed potato doesn't usually last long enough for left overs around here! I would have to cook some specially!

  2. Yum! Next time I'm at the supermarket I'll have to get yeast and make this! Thanks for posting!

  3. Hey Louise, the last time I made mashed potatoes I purposely cooked up an extra couple of potatoes and mashed them so I could set aside a cup for to make this bread.

  4. You're welcome Michelle. I'd love to hear how it turns out for you.

  5. Just a side note - I have the Annabel L Free Range in the City book and it's not in there? Was this recipe from her first book? Anyways, about to make it :)

    1. Hiya, yes it's from her other one, The Free Range Cook. How did it turn out for you?

      I'm about to experiment with adding some caramelised onions and Parmesan cheese on top. Looking forward to that!


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