National Festival of Breads Finalist
Jessie Grearson, Falmouth, ME
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.
Prep Time: 4 hours
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 1 large focaccia, 24 slices
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
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.