The Bread Baking Babes are back again and this month Elle has us making Potato Focaccine. The general impression is that Focaccine are smaller versions of Focaccia or mini-Focaccia. Try Google Translate and it will tell you that Focaccia is flat bread and Focaccine are muffins! I’m going with mini Focaccia for now until I find an Italian to explain this better.
You would know I like to dig up the stories behind recipes. I understand Potato Focaccine or Focaccine di Patate are typically made with mashed potatoes in the dough. Potatoes add softness to the dough. The practise of using potato in Focaccia or Focaccine dough is common in Italy especially in the Puglia/ Apulia region of Southern Italy. Potato Focaccine are generally considered a snacking bread, best eaten the day they’re made. They’re good for a day longer if wrapped in paper bags. These little flat breads are made much like Focaccia is, and flavoured with herbs, olive oil and sea salt.
November has been pretty busy here, with Diwali preparations. I just didn’t have very much time to make bread as well. We do like Focaccia very much so I did want to make these. They were also a welcome change from the festive food this season. So, let me tell how good these little breads are. I was baking them around lunch time and my daughter had just finished her lunch. She picked one off the cooling rack and ate it, declaring them very, very good. She might or might not have a second one right after!
Potato Focaccine are good as they are, warm from the oven with coffee or tea. These flat breads are usually eaten with wine in Italy, and is perfect picnic food too. You could make them with cherry tomatoes too, Apulia/ Puglia style. Italians might consider this sacrilege but try them with a sprinkling of Za’atar, if you’re game.
The choice of herbs for Potato Focaccine is usually rosemary or thyme but I used dried mixed herbs. I thought garlic went well in this mix though this is not typical for this bread. I always proof my yeast so my dough isn’t wasted because of inactive yeast. You may use instant yeast and add it directly to the dough.
I watched a couple of videos of people making Focaccine and they shape them by first rolling out the dough. Then they cut out small rounds using cookie cutters. Maybe this is why Google Translate dubbed them muffins. I found it easier to shaped them into rounds and press them out with my fingers. This also meant no left over dough scraps. I couldn’t get a read on the size of these breads. So I made mine a little under 1/2-inch thick and about 3 1/2-inches in diameter.
The Bread Baking Babes are –