Potato Sausage Focaccia
Don’t make this recipe unless you’ve got a crowd on the way, or you’ll end up eating way too many slices of this addictive, potato sausage focaccia. Don’t say I didn’t warn you when you have to loosen your belt buckle. Seriously, if you’ve never had the combination of potatoes on pizza or focaccia, you’re in for a treat. Years ago, I posted a recipe for Jim Lahey’s potato pizza, and it’s delicious but a whole different texture – thinner and crispier. This recipe is thicker and uses potatoes that are cooked, along with sausage and mozzarella cheese. Are you salivating yet? Well, let’s get started first by making a very shaggy dough. I start it the night before I bake it, allowing the dough to rise slowly in the refrigerator overnight until it’s more than doubled in size and looks bubbly like this:
Then I punch it down using a silicon spatula (hands are good too).
Then plop it into a buttered and oiled baking sheet. Don’t try to spread it out now or it will fight you. Let it rest for an hour or more and then come back to it.
It will have spread part way all by itself. Using your fingers dipped in some olive oil, spread it out to the edges of the pan and make dimples in the dough.
After an hour or more, it will rise further in the pan like this:
Spread some cooked potato slices, and bits of raw sausage on top, along with a drizzle of olive oil, minced rosemary and some sea salt. Place it in a preheated 450 degree oven for twenty minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle on some grated mozzarella. Bake it for another ten minutes, or until the cheese is melted and browned on top.
It will be hard to resist, but wait a few minutes to cut into it.
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- 1¼ oz. envelope dry active yeast (about 2¼ tsp.)
- 2½ cups lukewarm water (from 105 degrees to 110 degrees)
- 2 tsp. honey
- 4-5 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt or 5 teaspoons table salt
- 6 Tbspns. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for hands
- 1 large baking potato
- 1 link of Italian sausage
- a few tablespoons minced rosemary
- kosher or coarse sea salt
- butter to grease the pan
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Whisk the ¼ oz. envelope of yeast with the honey and 2½ cups lukewarm water (temperature of water can be from 105 degrees to 110 degrees)
- Let the yeast sit for 10 minutes or so to see if it activates in the water.
- If it doesn't look creamy or foamy, your yeast is dead.
- Start adding the flour and salt, adding only 4 cups to start.
- Add more flour if needed, but what you want is a shaggy dough, with no streaks of flour.
- Put 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a bowl, turn to coat the dough, and cover with plastic wrap.
- Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- If you're in a hurry, let the dough rise at room temperature.
- Meanwhile, boil the potato in water until it's cooked nearly all the way through.
- Don't let it cook past that point since it might fall apart in the water.
- it's actually better if you slightly undercook the potato.
- Let the potato cool, then peel and slice it thinly.
- Generously butter a 13" x 9" baking sheet, for thicker focaccia, or a 18" x 13" rimmed baking sheet, for thinner, crispier focaccia.
- Dump the dough into the pan and let it rise a second time before trying to stretch it out to fit the pan.
- After it has risen another hour or two, grease your fingers with olive oil and spread the dough across to the corners of the pan, dimpling with your fingers.
- If you want a thicker focaccia, you can let it rise another ½ hour to an hour.
- Otherwise, slice the potatoes and layer them gently over the focaccia.
- Sprinkle with salt and rosemary, and spread pieces of sausage all around.
- Drizzle with a little more olive oil.
- Bake at 450 and check after about 20 minutes.
- Add the grated mozzarella and bake another ten minutes or until browned on top.