Potato and Herb Focaccia
Yukon Gold potatoes gave the focaccia color and texture, and didn’t require peeling. Their starchy, herb-infused cooking liquid added flavor to the dough. We liked a combination of rosemary and thyme, but oregano and bay leaves worked, too. After the dough comes together, you may need to add more cooking liquid (up to ¼ cup) to achieve the proper texture; the dough should be very soft and sticky, and just barely clear the sides of the bowl. Let the dough rise in a warm area. If your kitchen is very cold, it may need more than an hour. The focaccia is delicious with a sprinkling of herbs and black pepper, but Kalamata olives and Parmesan cheese were welcome additions. Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, was a nice touch, as well.
ounces Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 small or 1 large), cut into ¾-inch pieces
01In a medium saucepan over high, combine the water, potatoes, herb sprigs, garlic and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the potatoes are tender, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid. Discard the herb sprigs, then return the potatoes, garlic and any loose herb leaves to the pan. Use a potato masher or fork to mash until smooth and creamy. Measure 1 cup of the potato mixture, discarding any excess, and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment; let the cooking liquid cool until just barely warm, 20 to 30 minutes (it should register no more than 115ºF). Meanwhile, oil a large bowl.
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