Sweet Life Sweet Potato Focaccia

Image: Sweet Life Sweet Potato Focaccia.
National Festival of Breads Finalist
Jessie Grearson, Falmouth, ME

Prep Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1 large focaccia, 24 slices

Ingredients

Dough 
1 cup warm water (100°-110°F) 
1 teaspoon honey 
2 teaspoons active dry yeast 
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 
1 teaspoon Penzey’s Italian spice or Italian Seasoning 
½ cup mashed sweet potatoes 
1 ½ teaspoons salt 
1 cup King Arthur Traditional 100% Whole Wheat Flour 
1 cup King Arthur Italian-Style Flour 
1 – 1 ½ cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, divided 
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 

Topping 
1-2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal 
1 large clove fresh garlic, finely minced 
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary 
3 tablespoons shredded Asiago cheese 
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
Dash of cayenne red pepper, if desired 
1 – 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
Coarse salt, to taste

Instructions

1. In medium bowl, stir together warm water, honey, and yeast; let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Add olive oil, rosemary, Italian spice, sweet potatoes, salt, whole wheat flour, and Italian-Style flour. Stir vigorously for about 2 minutes. 

2. Gradually stir in enough all-purpose flour to make a soft dough. Turn out on lightly floured surface and knead in enough of the remaining all-purpose flour to make workable dough; knead 5 - 8 minutes. (Dough will be slightly sticky, but workable). Place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover; let rise 1 ½ hours in a warm place, or cover dough and let rise six hours or overnight in the refrigerator. Allow dough to warm at least 30 minutes before shaping. 

3, Line one 18 x 13 x 1-inch pan with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently press dough over the cornmeal-dusted paper, stretching dough into a 15 x 11-inch rectangle. Cover with a towel, and let rise 15 to 20 minutes. 

4. Preheat oven to 400°F. Dimple the dough vigorously with your fingertips, leaving indentations that are as deep as ½ inch. Sprinkle garlic, rosemary, Asiago cheese, black pepper, and cayenne pepper over top. Drizzle lightly with olive oil; sprinkle with salt. 

5. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information

One slice provides approximately 110 calories; 2 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 6 g fat (1 g saturated); 1 mg cholesterol; 24 mcg folate; 1 mg iron and 157 mg sodium.

Additional Notes

This focaccia includes extra nutrition and fiber through its use of sweet potatoes, which adds a glowing, golden color to the dough and a subtle flavor. This recipe is unintimidating, simple to make and incorporates flavors (olive oil, rosemary, and garlic) I often use with sweet potato dishes. This is delicious warm, but it’s also enjoyable sliced horizontally and toasted as a sandwich bread.