1 russet potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into large chunks
1 1/2 teaspoon active yeast
1 cup warm water (about 100 °)
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the baking sheet
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 tablespoon coarse ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°. When the over comes up to temp, turn it off. This will give you a nice place to allow your dough to rise.
- Cover the potato with water and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and allow to cook for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Drain and allow to cool. When the potato is cool to the touch, grate it on the large holes of a grater. You will need 1 1/2 cups of lightly packed grated potato.
- Whisk the yeast into the warm water and allow to dissolve.
- Whisk together 3 1/4 cups of flour, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture, grated potatoes, and 2 tablespoons of oil. Stir with a rubber spatula until dough comes together and looks raggedy.
- Turn the dough out onto a well floured surface and knead adding the addition 1/4 cup of flour as need to bring the dough together. Knead for 10-15 minutes or until the dough is a smooth round ball with some elasticity to it. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Press the dough into a well-oiled 12 by 18 inch rimmed baking sheet. Wrap loosely with greases plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until it has double again in size and springs back when poked, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Adjust the oven rack to the lower middle position and preheat to the oven to 425°. If you are using your oven as your warm rising place, be sure to remove your dough before pre-heating your oven to this high temp.
- Press the dough with your finger tips to dimple it and brush it with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle evenly with the sea salt and coarse ground pepper.
- Bake until the focaccia bottom is golden and crisp, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Slide bread onto a wire rack and let cool slightly before cutting into squares.