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POTATO FLATBREAD FROM PUGLIA

 

Ingredients for 2 loaves:

2 teaspoons dry active yeast

1 cup warm water (85 degrees)

3-1/4 cup unbleached white flour

1-1/3 cup lightly packed riced potatoes (peeled, diced and boiled)

2 teaspoons granulated sea salt or kosher salt

Topping:

2 tablespoons tomato oil (from a bottle of sun dried tomatoes)

1 teaspoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

 

Directions:

Stir the yeast into 1/3 cup water and let it stand until foamy, up to 10 minutes.  Stir together the flour, potato and salt in a mixing bowl or the workbowl of an electric mixer.

 

By hand: Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour in the yeast mixture and remaining water.  Gradually stir in dry ingredients into the wet.  Turn the shaggy dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead until the dough is soft and elastic, 5-8 minutes. Add more flour sparingly as need.

 

By mixer: Stir the dry ingredients together with the paddle attachment.  Mix in the yeast and remaining water until a dough forms.  Exchange the paddle for the dough hook and knead the dough until it is springy and soft, 3-4 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board to rest for a minute or two.  Knead by hand briefly until the dough is taut.

 

First rising: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover and let rise in a warm (70 to 80 degree) spot until doubled in size, up to 1-1/2 hours.

 

Shaping and second rise:  Knock down the dough and cut it into two pieces and roll each into a ball.  Set them in generously oiled 8" Pyrex pie plates.  Flatten the dough balls out with your hands, pulling the dough out to the edges. Apply a light coating of olive oil.  Cover the plates and let the dough rise until it fills the plates.

 

Applying topping and baking: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (for 30 minutes if you have a baking stone).  Uncover the plates press your fingers lightly into the risen dough.  Brush each bread with a mixture of oil and tomato paste.  Lightly sprinkle with oregano.  Bake for 30 minutes.  You can remove the loaves from the pans and bake them directly on the stone for the last 10 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

 

Yield: 2 round loaves

 

This recipe is adapted from Carol Field's, The Italian Baker (Harper and Row, 1985)