This yeast dough made with mashed potatoes yields two large focacce or 4 smaller ones. These are thicker than focaccia seen in other parts of Italy. It is best to make this in a stand mixer.
2 medium all purpose potatoes, peeled, and diced
1 teaspoon dried yeast
6 to 6 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon wheat gluten (optional)
1 1/2 tablespoons fine sea salt
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
5 or 6 large plum tomatoes, cut into small chunks, or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
4 tablespoons extra virgin-olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
Put the potatoes in a pot and cover them with cold water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and boil them until very tender. Drain, and reserve the water.
Mash the potatoes and set aside. You should have approximately 2 cups
Add enough cool water to the reserved potato water to make 3 cups in a large bowl or pour into a stand mixer.
Stir in the yeast and the mashed potatoes. Or use the paddle attachment on the stand mixer to blend the ingredients.
Mix 5 cups of the four with the wheat gluten and salt, and add it to the yeast mixture with the olive oil; blend or mix to form a soft dough; add additional flour as needed but do not make the dough too dry.
Place the dough in an oil sprayed bowl; cover with plastic wrap and allow it to rise about 1 hour or until nearly doubled.
Preheat the oven to 375F
Brush each of two baking sheets (12 x 15 1/2 inches) with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Knead the dough for a few minutes then use your hands to stretch each half onto the baking sheets. The dough does not need to fill the pan. Divide and scatter the tomatoes over the dough, sprinkle 1 tablespoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of oregano evenly over the top of each dough. Drizzle the top with 1 tablespoon each of the olive oil.
Let the focacce rest covered with a towel for 20 minutes.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges and bottom crust are nicely browned.
Cut into pieces for serving.
Variations for toppings can also include oil cured olives, grated cheese, and herbs.
Want More Recipes? See My Latest Book:
Mary Ann returns to her family's humble beginnings to bring us a treasure trove of more than 200 time-honored recipes.
Buy it now from Amazon for just $24.00
A Testimonial From Mario Batali:
This collection epitomizes the tradition and love that goes into all of Mary Ann Esposito's cooking. Like her award-winning TV series, this book will live on for years with all of those who cook her delicious recipes. My kids love everything Mary Ann cooks!"