Thick Pugliese FocacciaClick to Play

Thick Pugliese Focaccia

Massa Focaccia alla Pugliese

Mary Ann Esposito

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.

DOUGH

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

TOPPING

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

DIRECTIONS

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.

item recipe is featured in Episode 1604 of Season 16.

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