Potato Rosemary Focaccia with Coarse Salt

Focaccia is a thick, crusty flatbread that can be baked in a sheet pan on top of a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven. It’s good eaten dipped in olive oil or as part of a meal with cheese or salad. Instead of the all-purpose flour called for in the recipe I used King Arthur’s Artisan Flour which is a European style flour used for bread baking. This recipe is from a cookbook, Kneadlessly Simple by Nancy Baggett, which features hassle and mess free no-knead bread recipes. There’s a lot of information about rising, cooling to room temperature and refrigerating the dough in the original recipe that I’m not repeating here in the interests of keeping it simple and straight forward.

2 & 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more as needed, I used King Arthur’s Artisan Flour
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 medium baked Yukon gold potato, skin removed and cut into small pieces
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon instant, fast-rising yeast
1 & 1/3 cups plus 1/2 teaspoon ice water, plus more as needed
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus more as needed
3/4 teaspoon coarse crystal salt

First Rise: In a large bowl, stir together flour, rosemary, sea salt and yeast.Vigorously stir in the water, scraping down the bowl and mixing until the dough is blended. Vigorously stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. If the mixture is too dry to blend together, stir in just enough ice water to make it easy to mix, but don’t add to much because the dough should be slightly stiff. Brush the top lightly with olive oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 3 to 10 hours. Then let rise at cool room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.

Second Rise: Brush a 15x10X1-inch baking pan with olive oil, then line with baking parchment. Brush the parchment with olive oil. With a spatula, turn the dough out onto the pan, trying not to deflate it anymore than necessary. Drizzle the dough with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. With well oiled hands, lightly pat and press the dough until it is evenly thick and extends to within 1 inch of the Pan’s edges. Tent the pan with spray coated plastic wrap.

Choice of Methods for the next Rise: If you want a regular rise, let the dough stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours. If you want an extended rise, put the dough back in the fridge for 4 – 24 hours, then set out at room temperature. Just before baking, with oiled fingertips, make dimples all over the dough. Sprinkle evenly with the potato pieces and the coarse salt.

Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven and preheat to 500°. Reduce the heat to 475° and bake on the lowest rack for 20-30 minutes, until golden brown, turning the pan from front to back about half way through. Bake for 5-10 minutes longer to be sure the center is done. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Lift the bread onto a cutting board to cut into servings. Focaccia is best when fresh. Cut into rectangles and serve drizzled with additional olive oil or serve more for dipping.

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