Potato Focaccia

Potato Focaccia

For the dough:

 1 envelope dry yeast

 1 1/2 t. sugar

 1 C. lukewarm whole milk

About 2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour plus more for dusting work surface

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl and baking sheet

3/4 t. kosher salt

For the topping:

For the topping:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

3/4 cup diced pancetta or bacon (about 1/4 pound, cut in 1/2″dice)

1-1/2 cups peeled and diced new or russet potatoes (about 1/2 pound, cut in 1/2″dice)

2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to coat the baking sheet and the dough

Combine the yeast, sugar and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 1/2 cup of the flour. Stir well, cover with a tea towel, and let rest in a warm place for about 25 minutes.

With the dough hook, mix in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Knead until well incorporated. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough adheres to the hook. It should remain soft and slightly sticky. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.

Shape the dough into a ball, flatten slightly, and put into an oiled bowl. Turn to coat. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and put in a warm place to let the dough rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Heat the pancetta and olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook slowly until crisp. Tilt the pan to collect the fat against the side and scrape the pancetta into the fat. Cook for another minute to make sure the pancetta is very crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain. Reserve the pancetta and fat separately.

Put the potatoes in cold salted water to cover and bring to a boil over high heat. cook until tender about 8 minutes. Drain well and put in a bowl.

Pour the pancetta fat over the warm potatoes, add the crisped pancetta, 1 teaspoon of the rosemary, salt and pepper to taste, and the lemon zest. Toss well and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Oil a baking sheet with olive oil.

Lightly flour the dough and punch it down. turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth. (The dough may be wrapped well at this point, and frozen for up to 1 month.)

Roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12 x 10 inches. Brush off any excess flour, and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Brush the dough with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and let rise for 30 minutes.

Sprinkle the potato mixture onto the dough and press it in with the flat of your hand. Press your stiff fingers into the dough to make evenly spaced indentations all over the surface, being careful not to puncture or tear the dough. Scatter the remaining teaspoon rosemary over the dough.

Bake until the potatoes are golden brown and the bread is crisp on the bottom, about 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan to room temperature.

Makes about 1 1/4 pounds dough.

Serves 6.


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