So one day when I knew she was coming over I thought I'd give it a try. It was easy enough, only a few minutes work and time does the rest. The focaccia was soft and fluffy and we loved the toppings.
Now Livia doesn't love cheese, so I reduced the amount of cheese I put on my focaccia. I also only added cheese on top of the potatoes to half the focaccia, it was still absolutely delicious, just less cheesy. So that is why I say add cheese to taste.
You can use thyme instead of rosemary or spring onions instead of shallots.
You can also make this with my overnight focaccia recipe. Just take it out of the fridge 45 minutes before you continue with the recipe.
This is a great filler when you have kids at home, it's better than a sandwich, cheaper than a bought pizza.
Makes 1 focaccia
500g white bread flour
420g warm water
6g instant yeast
15g extra virgin olive oil
10g fine sea salt
125g-175g shredded cheese, use a combination of gruyere, mozzarella, provolone, and cheddar, to taste
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 sprigs rosemary, remove stalks
1 large baking potato
extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
flaky sea salt, to sprinkle
freshly cracked black pepper
In a large mixing bowl, add the warm water, yeast, honey and extra virgin olive oil. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add in the flour and salt and mix together until you have no dry patches. Sometimes I find using a damp hand, I give the bread 5-6 kneads, just to incorporate the flour better. The dough does not stick to a wet hand.
Cover the bowl with beeswax wraps or plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Now it's time to stretch and fold the dough. Release the dough from the side of the bowl, using a damp hand. This will deflate it. Perform a set of stretch and folds on the dough. To do this, wet your hand, then take a section of the dough furthest from you and stretch it up and fold it onto itself towards you. Rotate the bowl 90° and repeat the process. You need to do a total of 8 stretch and folds. You will get the dough roughly shaped like a ball.
Cover the bowl again and leave to rest for 15 minutes.
Repeat the stretch and folds again. After this stretch and fold, using damp hands, gather your dough and place it seam side down into the bowl, so the top is smooth.
Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 1.5 hours at room temperature.
Prepare your 22cm x 33cm baking tray. Put a teaspoon of oil in your tray, spread it around. Scrunch up a piece of baking paper that is cut larger than your tray, unscrunch it and place it in your baking tray, pressing into the corners.
Pour 2-3 tablespoons of oil into the centre of your pan.
Place dough in your prepared pan. Now, oil your hands and fold one side of dough towards the middle of the dough. Repeat with the other side, like folding paper into thirds. The flip the dough so the seam is at the bottom and spin it so that the long ends are parallel with the long sides of the tray.
Let it sit to proof, at room temperature for about 1.5 hours. During this time the dough will puff up and fill up the tray.
Meanwhile prep your toppings:- Thinly slice your potato using a sharp knife. Place potato slices into a bowl filled with cold water and let them sit for 15-30 minutes.
Shred your cheese, slice your shallots.
Preheat oven to 220C/200C fan forced. Place your oven rack in the second from the bottom position in the oven.
Once the dough has fully proofed, remove the potatoes from the water and dry them completely. Coat the potatoes, shallots and rosemary lightly with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Drizzle the dough with a little bit of olive oil and dimple it with your fingers. Scatter 3/4 of the shallots evenly across the top. Top with 2/3 of the shredded cheese. Sprinkle over the rosemary.
Place the thinly sliced potatoes in one layer over the entire focaccia.
Sprinkle with the remaining shallots. Top with a good sprinkle of flaky sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven and quickly sprinkle on the remaining cheese.
Return to the oven and finish baking for another 10-12 minutes. The bread and topping should be golden brown with the potatoes and cheese crisping up on the edges.
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