Potato & Rosemary Focaccia
Many moons ago, when my then boyfriend (now husband) and I first made the big move from Perth, Western Australia to come and live in Adelaide, South Australia, we did a lot of exploring. One of our favourite places we discovered was the beautiful Saltram Estate in Angaston (Barossa Valley). We had many a long lunch sitting in the sun on the deck at the restaurant there, Salters. It was at Salters that we fell in love with the combination of flatbread, potato, rosemary and olive oil generously seasoned with salt and pepper. Without fail, every time we went there we would start with the potato flatbread! We ended up getting married at Saltram and yep, you guessed it, had the flatbread served at our wedding. Thanks for the inspiration Salters!
Potato & Rosemary Focaccia
makes 1 | prep + cook time: 1.5 hours + resting time up to 2.5 hours
300g bread flour
200g fine semolina four
2 tsp instant dried yeast
12g fine salt
400g lukewarm water
3-4 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced into rounds approx 3mm thick
2tbs of finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4tbs pecorino or parmesan cheese, grated
salt & pepper
Place all dough ingredients into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. Start mixing on low speed until all ingredients are incorporated and then gradually turn up to high speed. Now, this is the part where you need to stay close to your mixer! As the gluten develops in the flours, you will find that your mixer may start jumping around. If this happens, either turn it down a bit or just hang on to it. You need to continue mixing until the dough is smooth and elastic and the dough has ‘cleaned’ the sides of the bowl - this will take around 10 minutes. Whatever you do, don’t walk away from the mixer (i made this mistake before and have the cracks in my kitchen tiles to prove it! Lucky they make Kitchen Aid mixers tough!). Once the dough is mixed, scrape it out into a well oiled bowl and put it aside to proof in a warm place until it has tripled in size and has lots of gassy bubbles on top - this will take around 1-2 hours depending how warm or cool it is in your house.
When the dough is ready, prepare a deep baking dish by oiling it generously. Using a dough scraper or a spatula to tease the dough away from the sides of the bowl, gently pour the dough into the baking dish - being careful not to tear those beautiful strands of glutenous goodness. Using oiled fingers, gently push the dough towards the edges of the dish. Cover with a tea towel and put the dough in a warm place again for around 30 minutes.
Whilst the dough has it’s 2nd proof, prepare your potatoes. Place the potato slices into a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add the cheese and chopped rosemary and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Mix until the potatoes are well coated.
Preheat oven to 200C.
Once the dough is ready (it should have nicely filled your baking dish by now), arrange your potatoes on top, slightly overlapping each other. Cover the dish with foil (this is going to help to not only cook your potatoes without browning too quickly but will create steam which will in turn give you an amazing crust on your focaccia). Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes remove foil and give it another 25 minutes in the oven to brown nicely before removing it and resting in the dish for 10 minutes before lifting it carefully out of the dish. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting. No really, you do need to wait. But once that 30 minutes is up, it’s fair game - eat it allllllll!!!