Loaded Potato Focaccia Recipe + Pinterest Breadmaking Workshop

Monday, March 31, 2014

A moist potato based focaccia topped with cheese, chives and crispy bacon. This Puglian classic is stone baked and best served warm from the oven!
Loaded #Potato #Focaccia | I love that she uses potatoes to make the bread! From Anyonita Nibbles
Yield 12 square slices

Loaded Potato Focaccia

As far as focaccias go, I'm a bit of a staunch traditionalist. Ordinarily, I can't turn down a warm-from-the-oven slice of focaccia flavored with garlic and rosemary and drizzled with olive oil. Resisting the urge to throw garlic and rosemary at this dough was difficult, but worth it!

There's mashed potato in the dough, which helps to keep it moist and the focaccia recipe only calls for four other ingredients, which helps to keep it simple! Although I added fresh chives, cheese and bacon, you could very well top this potato-y focaccia with your favorite jacket potato toppings instead. I also used this authentic 00 Italian pasta flour from Nifeislfe.com. The flour is so soft and pillowy; I was surprised at how big of a difference there is! And the flour was delivered to my door along with a box of other Italian groceries so it was insanely convenient.

Cut loaded potato focaccia from Anyonita Nibbles

I made this focaccia on a day when Callum was at nursery, so Wayne and I snuggled up on the sofa and devoured the entire tray, warm from the oven at one lunchtime sitting. Maybe you'll be able to practice a bit more restraint? Truthfully, I doubt it. This bread has that classic spring back thing going on. When you pinch a piece between two fingers it's all, "You can't keep me down!" and boings back into place. Don't worry; your dough isn't some edible Slinky hybrid; it's meant to be springy.

Focaccia made with potatoes and topped with cheese, chives and bacon from Anyonita Nibbles

Today's post is all about the bread. (Oh, my poor gluten sensitivity!) I was invited by the Pinterest UK team to attend a bread making workshop just a few hours away, down in Birmingham. You can find photos and a bit more information about that at the bottom of this post. Let's get back to that focaccia!

Ingredients:

For the loaded potato focaccia
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
2 tsp active dry yeast
140 grams mashed potato
390 grams 00 pasta flour or strong bread flour
extra virgin olive oil

For the topping
bacon
shredded cheese
chives

Cheese and bacon potato focaccia with chives from Anyonita Nibbles

Instructions:

Loaded Potato Focaccia
  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and stir until creamy and thoroughly combined.
  2. Combine the flour and salt and place into a food processor with a knife blade attachment.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes and yeast and pulse to combine.
  4. Continue to pulse until the mix comes together to form a ball.
  5. Remove onto a clean, dry surface and use a dough scraper to bring the dough together.
  6. Knead for about three minutes until the dough is smooth and soft to the touch.
  7. Lightly grease a rectangular stone baking tray with a bit of olive oil. 
  8. Add the dough to the stoneware and stretch gently until it covers the entire base of the tray.
  9. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
  10. Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel and leave to rest 30 to 90 minutes or until the dough is twice the size it was.
  11. Once risen, use your fingers to make dimples on the surface of the dough. Brush with a bit more olive oil and top with cheese and bacon.
  12. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the cheese begins to color. Serve warm from the oven.
Stone baked Loaded Potato Focaccia by Anyonita Nibbles


Snazzy little Pinterest Breadmaking Workshop 

The workshop was held at Loaf in Stirchley, Birmingham. Loaf is a rustic, eclectic bakery and social enterprise with a cookery school attached to its premises, just a five minute walk from the Cadbury factory. I swear, if I lived anywhere near that area, I'd be in for a world of pain. Artisan loaves on one side of the bridge and nothing but pure chocolate delight on the other? Pfft. Self restraint, be damned. 

Tom Baker of Loaf in Stirchley, Birmingham
That's Tom Baker. Hedgehoggin' his rye sourdough.
The fab ladies charged with managing the UK Pinterest community invited about two dozen foodie pinners to the premises to engorge on lovely warm bread with locally produced honeys and chutneys. And to have a go at making some bread ourselves! Tom Baker (talk about having a calling for something since birth!) the laid back bread lover and founder of Loaf put us through our paces with fellow baker Andy. 

Together, they showed us dozens of techniques and instructed us on how to produce some pretty tasty loaves. We made all manner of gluten-filled goodies including pittas, pizzas, mini rye sourdough loaves and impressive fougasse. This was after they served us from a cutting board overflowing with warm bread. 

Fresh loaves from Loaf, Stirchley Birmingham

The entire experience, from the first slice of a seeded rye sourdough loaf to tucking the two sourdough starter pots Tom gave us into my fridge, was pleasant and knowledgeable. Meeting other food obsessed pinners was also lovely, too. The best things were all the baking tips we received like how to shape bread rolls, how to work with and shape rye sourdough and a really cool and super easy French technique for kneading dough. Here's Andy doing it like the French:

Andy from Loaf demonstrates a French kneading technique
And here are two of my creations from the workshop: a fougasse and my delicious seeded rye sourdough:
My fougasse! Made at Loaf Cookery School in Stirchley Birmingham
Seeded rye sourdough made at Loaf Bakery in Birmingham

Thanks to +Lizzie Gold at +Pinterest  for the invite & to Tom & Andy for all the bread & baking tips!

21 comments:

  1. Oh brilliant. Just love the idea of adding potato to focaccia. I'd have loved to gone to this workshop, but Brum is just too far away!

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    1. I think I prefer potato-y focaccia now! Oh, it was a lovely workshop, but yes, I can understand it being a little far to travel from the sunshine coast! Ha. :)

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  2. You've made me so hungry now! Literally going to to grab some early lunch in a second - haha!

    http://lilykitten1.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. Oh my goodness this looks amazing. I am also very hungry now!!! xx

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  4. this looks soooo good! i might have to try this out, I've only ever dabbled with pizza dough as far as bread making goes but I might give this a go as it doesn't seem too scary! haha

    Kat xx

    rainbowcrush.com

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  5. Anyonita, your focaccia bread looks and sounds like it would taste amazing, I love me a loaded baked potato! I bet you had a great time at the bread making workshop, it sounds like a lot of fun and such beautiful breads!

    Heather
    MySweetMission.net

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  6. I absolutely LOVE this recipe! Bring on the bread :)

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  7. This bread looks fantastic!! Can't wait to try it!

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  8. Ooh, potato focaccia - this sounds sooooooo good!

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  9. Oh my goodness this bread looks amazing! Pinning for later, thanks for the recipe!

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  10. The potato will add something just a little extra. Thanks for the idea!

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  11. This would make my husband SO very happy!

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  12. I remember a few years back seeing how you could add flour and seasonings to leftover mashed potatoes to make a breadsticks out of them. I tired it and the kids who were there that day immediately scarfed it all down using my homemade spaghetti sauce for dipping. That got me thinking recently about a big pot of Potato Leek Soup I had made. I know a lot of soups thicken up overnight, but when I saw how thick the leftovers were, it made me think of that "bread." I didn't make it at the time but instead froze the soup. Now I'm thinking of thawing it out and going this route instead. :) [#TastyTuesdays]

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  13. This focaccia looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday.

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  14. G'day! This looks delicious and is now on my list to do Anyonita! Thank you!
    Cheers! Joanne
    http://whatsonthelist.net

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  15. Looks soooo delicious! yum yum YUM

    Follow me too? Oh So Gawjess

    xXx

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  16. How gorgeous is this!! Thanks so much for sharing and please check out this week's Wonderfully Creative Wednesday as I have featured your dynamite recipe!! Warmest, Nic

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  17. The overall recipe looks so delicious! I must try to write up on a new version of this Loaded Potato Focaccia. Follow my blog? Vorrei Italian Food

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