Potato, caramelised onion and thyme focaccia

Potato, caramelised onion and thyme focaccia

By
From
The Potato Cookbook
Makes
1 loaf

Sometimes I think I make this bread just because the house smells so heavenly as it bakes. It goes without saying that the bread tastes wonderful, too. Serve as a side for soup or slice through the middle to make fabulous sandwiches.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 medium waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes, about 350 grams
1/4 teaspoon salt, for the cooking water
1 teaspoon honey
7 grams dry yeast
450 grams bread flour
150 grams wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
70ml olive oil, plus extra to grease the bowl
15 grams unsalted butter
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons polenta
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. Put the potatoes and salt in a small saucepan and cover with 500 ml of cold water. Bring to the boil over medium–high heat and boil until very tender, about 8 minutes, testing with the point of a sharp knife. Drain the potatoes, reserving the cooking water, and return them to the saucepan over low heat for 1 minute to ensure any excess water has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  2. Measure 400 ml of the potato cooking water into a small measuring jug, stir in the honey and cool to lukewarm, about 40–42°C. Sprinkle the yeast over the cooking water and stir gently. Set aside until the top of the water is foamy, about 5–10 minutes.
  3. Combine the flours, thyme, sea salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and water mixture and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  4. If using a stand mixer, insert the dough hook and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Or, turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Grease a large mixing bowl with olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  5. While the dough is rising, caramelise the onion. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil and the butter in a small frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until there are touches of gold on the onion, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium–low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and golden, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in the potatoes and onion until evenly distributed. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for a further 30 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Sprinkle a baking tray with 2 teaspoons of polenta.
  8. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Using your hands, pat it into a rectangle about 30 x 25 cm and transfer to the baking tray. Brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise again, about 30 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and use your fingers to create dimples in the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 20–25 minutes. When cooked, the loaf will sound hollow when tapped. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Tags:
Potato
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