For my first post, I would like to take it back to the very beginning… #throwback #Italian
For as long as I can remember, I have been in the kitchen. My family you can say was very traditional, and old-fashioned. The women stayed home , and men were the bread winners type thing (no point intended ha-ha). I am grateful for this, because it is what first started my love and passion for Baking. My heritage is Italian so naturally, when baking with my mother and grandmother, all the recipes were from their hometowns in Italy. A very popular bread My Nonna (grandmother in Italian) made was focaccia. All my family members and neighbors lined up at the door when she made this. Learning how to actually make it was a surprise to me, because my grandmother never measured anything. When I got old enough to make it with her; she would walk me through each step, and I would interpret my own measurements with what I saw her doing by eye. Today I can now call it a Pietrantonio Original.
Yield: 1/2 sheet pan
Prep time: 4 hrs
Cook time:45 minutes
Dough: 8 cups All-purpose flour
2 Tbs salt
2 Tbs instant yeast
1 Tbs sugar
3-4 cups Warm potato water
1 Tbs oil
Tuscan Topping: 1 Pint Cherry Tomatoes
I tsp Salt
1 tsp Black pepper
1 tsp fresh Copped Thyme
1 Tbs fresh Chopped Parsley
1 Tbs Fresh Chopped Rosemary
1 Tbs Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Directions: Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, this one will be kneaded by hand until all the ingredients are well incorporated.
- Boil 1 Idaho potato in 5 cups of water (leaving the skin on the potato will help prevent it from getting water locked). Boil the potato on high for approximately 12-15 min, or until you can stick a fork inside, and it slides right out. Let the potato cool down for 1 hr, and reserve potato water in the fridge.
- Mix the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and mashed potato together till well incorporated.
- Slowly stream 1 cup of water at a time, and mix it untill its incorporated (the dough should be very wet).
4. Drizzle 1 Tbs of olive oil on top. Cover with plastic untill it doubles in size (approximately 3 hours).
5. Grease a half sheet tray with oil, and line it with parchment paper. Place and spread the dough in the Half sheet tray. With your fingertips, poke and jab the dough a couple times sporadically. Let proof for 45min-1 hour.
6. Place Tuscan blend on top of the dough. Make sure not to weigh the focaccia down with too much topping. Just put enough to cover it evenly, and sprinkle one last pinch of salt (If you have maldon salt to sprinkle on top thats a great addition).
7. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-55 minutes. Rotate pan at 25 mintes.
8. Let the focaccia rest for 20 minutes before cutting into it! Congratulations you did it!!