Monday, 21 October 2013

Focaccia from episode 8

This week I made potato and rosemary Focaccia which was made by Beca on the show. It tasted very nice but I would not put potatoes on top of it again because I don't like potatoes on my bread. Just a bit weird.  The actual recipe was quite easy but it took ages to make because of the proving. 

Here is what you need:


  • 300g/10½oz Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and chopped (about 380g/13oz unpeeled weight)
  • 300g/10½oz white spelt flour
  • 1 tsp dried-active yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary for the dough, plus 4-5 sprigs freshrosemary, for topping
  • 3-4 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for kneading
  • 15-20 baby new potatoes
  • about 100-150g/3½-5½oz gorgonzola cheese
  • sea salt, to taste

    First you boil your potatoes. When they are cooked, you drain them over a bowl to reserve the cooking liquid. Next, you mix together the  flour, yeast salt, sugar and rosemary and then mash your potatoes with olive oil, and add them to the flour mix. It did seem a bit strange adding mash potato to flour and yeast but I'm kind of used to the unusual ways of baking now.

     Next you add 130ml of the reserved potato water and combine the ingredients into a ball.

    The instructions then said, put a little olive oil on the surface and knead the dough. It was going fine for a while and then it was sticking badly to the work surface so I added some flour. And then more oil. And then flour. It was still sticking a lot but I kneaded it for 10 minutes, of a fashion. You then put the dough in an oiled bowl for over an hour to prove.

    During this time you par-boil the new potatoes and keep to one side for the topping (I would not do this if I made the bread again). No-one wants potatoes in their bread and on their bread, except the Italians apparently.

    Preheat the oven to 220C. Grease a baking tray and tip the risen dough on to it. Then you have to spread the dough out with your fingers, so that it fits the tin, and do this over 30 mins. I sat on the sofa prodding at this dough for half an hour - bizarre.

    Before the prodding

    Looking bedraggled by the baking

    After lots of prodding
     After this you put more olive oil on the dough and poke sprigs of rosemary into it - oh and squish in the potatoes. Bit of salt and Gorgonzola on top then in to the oven.

    Bake for 25-30 mins.

    The focaccia turned out fine - had a good taste and was bready - but it took a long time to make as usual and I think I prefer making pretty deserts rather than ugly potato bread. Only two more bakes to go and it is the end of the Great British Bake Off! I want Kimberly to win - she has been consistently good and doesn't make a big song and dance about anything. Go Kimberley! 

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