Daily Archives: Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Wild Variation on Potato Focaccine (BBB November 2020)

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BBB November 2020 summary: recipe for Wild Focaccine; playing with the recipe; wildly divergent; fixing the hydration; deciding between sage and oregano still growing in the garden; we’re harbouring a thief; information about Bread Baking Babes; Who me?? Late again? But, but, but… I baked and ate on time!!

Bread Baking Babes (BBB): Potato Focaccine

On the instant a score of the famished brutes were scrambling for the bread
– Jack London, Call of the Wild, Chapter III

Wild Focaccine

Okay, so there aren’t 20 people living here. And we’re not exactly famished. But when it comes to seeing warm bread on the table, well….

This month, Elle chose potato focaccine for us to bake. Here is what the inimitable Carol Field has to say about focaccine:

Focaccia […] is sometimes shaped into small focacce, or focaccine, little discs made just to fit into the palm of the hand. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, since these little breads were originally baked as a simple treat for children, hungry bystanders, or for the bakers themsleves on the one day of the week that country women produced the family’s bread. […]
      No one knows who invented the first focaccia, but the contribution, like the discovery of fire or creation of the wheel, has enriched the experience of the civilization that followed. […]
      There are two distinct types of savory focaccia in Italy: low chewy ones that rise to about 1/2 to 3/4 inch, and much thicker ones from Puglia that get their height and soft texture from the presence of mashed potatoes in the dough. […] [T]his fragrant rustic bread […] is meant to be eaten at any hour of the day, and its flavors satisfy in their simplicity, for they come from the best that nature has to offer. […] LET THE BAKING BEGIN!
– Carol Field, Focaccia: Simple Breads from the Italian Oven | Introduction, p. 17

Both Carol Field’s recipes for focaccine and the BBB potato focaccine recipe call for commercial yeast. But during this extended time of semi-house-arrest, we have been thrilled with our Jane Mason starter. I couldn’t NOT use it. Besides, our commercial yeast expired and had to be tossed into the compost bin…. (continue reading )