Recipe: Sourdough potato focaccia with black garlic

Spend a few minutes on social media and you’ll quickly discover that we’ve entered the new golden age of sourdough, with home bakers trading proofing advice and starters being distributed like precious commodities.

While crusty loaves of perfectly aerated bread deserve every one of their moments in the spotlight, we’re just as excited about our precious starters’ many other uses, like homemade crumpets, cinnamon scrolls and, of course, focaccia.

This rich sourdough focaccia, given heft with a secret ingredient (a mashed potato… shhhh…) is spiked with specks of black garlic and slathered with Australian extra virgin olive oil, delivering sweetness and aroma, and making the freshly baked slab of crisp-shelled bread just as good by itself as it is dunked into homemade toum or hummus.

If you haven’t got a starter, some of our stores currently stock dehydrated sourdough starters (contact your nearest store for more information). Can’t find sourdough starter? We’ve included a variation using instant (dried) yeast. Happy baking!

Ingredients

Serves 10
170g sourdough starter
440g 'Type 0' bread (bakers) flour View
225g warm water
1 boiled potato, mashed (approximately 150g)
7g salt View
3/4 tsp sugar
20g extra virgin olive oil View
1 tbsp finely chopped black garlic
Additional olive oil and salt

Feed your starter 4 – 8 hours before use, depending on how warm your kitchen is.

Combine the flour, water and starter together well in a bowl, and leave for 30 minutes (this process is known as ‘autolyse’).

In a seperate bowl, stir together mashed potato, oil and sugar. Add to flour mix and knead for 10 – 15 minutes. The mix will be very wet and will stick to your hands and your tabletop/bowl, but lifting it with a pastry scraper and slapping it back onto itself with force for up to 15 minutes will properly activate the gluten.

Leave dough to settle for 30 minutes, then use a pastry scraper to carefully lift the edges and fold the dough over onto itself. Repeat this process every 30 minutes for up to three hours. Carefully transfer the dough to a well-greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight.

In the morning, remove dough from fridge and allow it to return to room temperature (approximately 90 minutes). Transfer dough into a greased high-sided roasting pan, stretching it to the edges. Leave to prove for three hours.

Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius.

Use a wet finger to poke holes into the dough at regular intervals, then drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with the black garlic and a good pinch of salt flakes.

Bake focaccia for around 25 minutes, or until browned and crisp on top. Transfer to a baking rack and serve warm.

 

Non-sourdough variation:

Ingredients

500g ‘Type 0’ (bakers) Bread Flour
250g warm water
1 boiled potato, mashed (approximately 150g)
10g salt
1 tsp sugar
3tsp instant dried yeast
20mL extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp finel chopped black garlic
Additional extra virgin olive oil and salt

Method

Combine the yeast, sugar and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and leave for 5 minutes.

Add flour, potato and salt, then knead with dough hook on low speed for 6 minutes.

Remove dough hook, cover bowl with a tea towel and leave for two hours (or until doubled in size).

Grease a high-walled baking pan well with olive oil, transfer the dough into the pan and stretch until it fits to the edges.

Cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for another hour.

Preheat your oven to 230 degrees Celsius.

Use a wet finger to poke holes into the dough at regular intervals, then drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with the black garlic and a good pinch of salt flakes.

Bake focaccia for around 20 minutes, or until browned and crisp on top. Transfer to a baking rack and serve warm.

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