You might be thinking why there is a sweet potato next to the focaccia...
Well, that is because this is actually the secret ingredient for today's recipe!
A good friend of mine shared this recipe and she told me that this is the way they make focaccia in Napoli. Just by adding a hand full of mashed potatoes will make the bread soft and fluffy. I tried with both potatoes and sweet potatoes for a healthier option and both work perfectly!
I wasn't sure how much to add to the recipe but I decided 100g of cooked potato ( about a medium sized potato) will be my "hand full" size.
By adding the sweet potato, your bread will also become a touch sweeter. It's really a (baking) life changing experience, there is no way you will not try this if you love baking! I haven't tried this with sandwich bread but my guess is that it will work well in that too. Basically, if you want your bread to be soft and fluffy, add a mashed potato!
Happy Baking :)
Sourdough Focaccia Napoletana
(Makes a loaf about 600g )
175g, Sourdough Starter
300g, Strong bread flour
100g, Sweet Potato or a Potato, cooked and mashed
25g, Olive Oil (For the dough)
2 Tbsp., Olive Oil (For baking)
1 Tbsp., Molasses
2 tsp., Dried Thyme
1 tsp., Natural Salt
Toppings (what every you like! It's optional)
Fresh or Dried Herbs
Cherry Tomatoes, cut in halves
Olives, cut in halves
Course Salt or flavored salt to sprinkle on top
- Make sure your sourdough starter is fed and it is bubbly and active.
- Peel and mashe your sweet potato (or potato) so that you can mix this in the dough.
- Mix all ingredients except the toppings in a bowl with a spatula until it is well combined.
- Keep mixing and "fold" with a scraper or stand mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic. If you're using a stand mixer, this should take about 5 minutes on the lowest speed using the spatula attachment. If you're folding by hand with a scraper, you'll need 12 to 15 minutes.
- Lightly oil the bowl and cover it so that it doesn't dry out and let the dough
- ferment in room temperature for 1 hour.
- Gently fold the dough for 3 to 4 times and let it ferment for another 1 hour.
- Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the center of a large sheet cake pan.
- Transfer the dough to the pan and flip it over to coat the surface with the oil.
- With your fingers, gently stretch the dough into the edges and corners of the pan. As soon as the dough begins to shrink back, cover it, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat the stretching until the dough fills the pan.
- Cover the pan and let the dough rise in the refrigerator for 14 to 16 hours (overnight) (or in room temperature for 2-3 hours)
- When ready, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it thaw in room temperature (30 - 60 min). Then, preheat the oven to 220°C.
- Before baking, gently put dimples into the dough with your fingers. Press down firmly but not too strong that the Focaccia will deflate.
- Another options is to push in the tomatoes or olives into those dimples. Drizzle the flavored olive oil of your choice and then sprinkle with herbs and coarse sea salt.
- Bake at 220°C for 20 to 25 minutes until light golden brown. If you can bake the first 10 minutes with humidity, that will be even better.
- When ready, remove the focaccia from the oven onto a rack and allow it to cool down so that you can handle it with your hands (about 10 to 15 minutes).
Serve the focaccia warm!
it's best to eat it the same day it is made. You can slice the focaccia and freeze it if you want to save it for later on. Reheat the frozen slices at 180°C in the oven or you can put it in a toaster.
Here are some ingredients recommendations.
For beautiful organic dried herbs, we have a selection form Greece.
Also these flavored salts are perfect to sprinkle on top of the dough before baking.
If you are a heavy user of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, go for this 5L tin. The tin will help to keep the oil fresh for a long time as it will not allow any sunlight in.
And for the toppings, organic pitted olives will make your life easier ;)