picnic food: potato and thyme foccacia

11 Jul

Patate! You’re a potatoes!

Ta gueule! Your mouth!

Though keen to speak English, my pupils were never that good at translating their insults. Cute though. And I do like “your mouth” for “shut up”, a much ruder insult in French.

Let’s be polite, I used to suggest. Let’s say, “May I have…” It worked some of the time.

Instead of diplomacy, try fresh bread, warm from the oven. A pillowy white crumb and a crisp brown crust, toasted potato slices enlivened with thyme and parmesan.

Guaranteed to shut up your children / partner / flatmate for at least five minutes. No insults required.

Potato foccacia

from the Wednesday Chef

2 medium potatoes (approx 200g)

280g flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp yeast

160ml tepid water

3 tbsp olive oil

fresh thyme

grated parmesan

Stab one potato with a fork several times. Stick it in the microwave on medium high for about 5 minutes. It should be soft but not falling apart. Peel it and mash it, leave to cool.

In a mug or glass mix the yeast and sugar with water that is just body temperature. Stir and leave to dissolve.

In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeasty liquid and 2 tbsp olive oil. Stir with a fork until combined, then use your hands to bring it together into a ball. Knead for a minute or two, until smooth. (In practive this means folding the ball in half along a horizontal line, squashing it down, then folding again along the vertical. Continue.)

Leave the dough to rest covered with a clean tea towel for 1 hour. Then gently press the ball into a flat disc. Place in a greased round cake tin. Slice the remaining potato as thinly as you can. Cover the dough with thin slices of potato, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan and thyme. Leave to rise for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 200C. When the dough is ready, bake the foccacia for 40 minutes until puffy and golden-brown. Let it for 20 minutes before devouring it all.

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