Preparation / Directions:
For the dough
1. Boil 1 quart water in small saucepan; add potato and simmer until
tender, about 25 minutes. Drain potato well; cool until it can be handled
comfortably and put through fine disk on ricer or grate through large
holes on box grater. Reserve 1 1/3 cups lightly packed potato.
2. Meanwhile, in large bowl of electric mixer or workbowl of food
processor fitted with steel blade, mix or pulse yeast, 1/2 cup flour, and
1/2 cup warm water until combined. Cover tightly with plastic wrap (or put
workbowl lid on) and set aside until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Add
remaining dough ingredients, including reserved potato. If using mixer,
fit with paddle attachment and mix on low speed (number 2 on KitchenAid)
until dough comes together. Switch to dough hook attachment and increase
speed to medium (number 4 on KitchenAid); continue kneading until dough is
smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. For food processor, process until
dough is smooth and elastic, about 40 seconds.
3. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat with oil, and cover
tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough
is puffy and doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
4. With wet hands (to prevent sticking) press dough flat into generously
oiled 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan. Or, halve and flatten each
piece of dough into 8-inch round on large (at least 18 inches long),
generously oiled baking sheet. Cover dough with lightly greased or
oil-sprayed plastic wrap; let rise in warm, draft-free area until dough is
puffy and doubled in volume, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
5. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to
425 degrees. With two wet fingers, dimple risen dough at regular
For the topping
6. Drizzle dough with oil and sprinkle evenly with rosemary and coarse
salt, landing some in pools of oil.
7. Bake until focaccia bottom(s) are golden brown and crisp, 23 to 25
minutes. Transfer to wire rack to cool slightly. Cut rectangular focaccia
into squares or round focaccia into wedges; serve warm. (Focaccia can be
kept on counter for several hours and reheated just before serving. Or,
wrap cooled focaccia in plastic and then foil and freeze for up to 1
month; unwrap and defrost in 325-degree oven until soft, about 15
Follow Master Recipe for Rosemary Focaccia, through step 1. In step 2, mix
starter ingredients with wooden spoon in large bowl; cover and let stand
20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups flour to starter, then beat with wooden spoon
for 5 minutes. Add 1 1/4 cups flour along with remaining dough
ingredients; continue beating until dough comes together. Turn dough onto
floured surface; knead in remaining 1/4 cup flour until dough is elastic
and sticky. 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer dough to oiled bowl as in step 3 and
follow remaining instructions.
Follow Master Recipe for Rosemary Focaccia, adding 1 tablespoon chopped
fresh sage leaves with other dough ingredients in step 2 and substituting
24 whole fresh sage leaves (one per oil-filled dimple) for rosemary.
Follow Master Recipe for Rosemary Focaccia, substituting 2/3 cup grated
Parmesan cheese for rosemary and coarse sea salt.
FOCACCIA WITH BLACK OLIVES AND THYME
Follow Master Recipe for Rosemary Focaccia, substituting 1 teaspoon fresh
thyme leaves and 24 pitted large black olives (one per oil-filled dimple)
Makes one 15 1/2 by 10 1/2-inch rectangle or two 8-inch rounds
Rapid-rise yeast reduces the preparation time by more than an hour. If you
use an equal amount of regular active dry yeast instead, let the sponge in
step 2 develop for thirty minutes rather than twenty, and increase the
first and second rises to one and one-half hours each.