Nov 062011

Olive oil and potato flat bread in chunks
This is the second weekly Short and Tweet Challenge based on Dan Lepard’s new recipe book Short & Sweet. This olive oil and potato flatbread is crisp and flavoursome on the outside and moist & chewy on the inside.

Amongst the bakers taking on the Challenge, there’s been some discussion about flour types and handling techniques. Also some discussion on twitter about how using oil during the handling of the dough can make it a bit oily for some tastes. And some more thoughts here on the nature of flatness of flat bread and Lou’s difficulties with trying to save some to give to the family here.

I found the dough with its added grated potato only marginally more difficult to handle than my normal focaccia dough.

It’s definitely not as tricky to handle as a full-on ciabatta dough I think.

My sourdough ciabatta

I’ve heard Dan joke about people following his recipe to the letter: “Except… except… except…” I made one change in handling the dough and added some flavouring to the top to match the dish I was eating the bread with.

We really enjoyed the bread. On the day it was made and the day after too. The potato really does make a pleasantly moist crumb.

Get the book for the recipe. I used Shipton Mill’s Organic Ciabatta flour and No 4 Baker’s flour.

Olive oil and potato flat bread prior to baking salamoia applied
I made a salamoia for the topping. Salamoia is Italian for ‘brine’ and is an emulsion of extra virgin olive oil, water and salt. It’s designed to give a nice crisp crust and moist interior. I added crushed fennel & coriander seeds to match the flavours of the cold slow roast pork I served it with.

To handle the dough, Dan recommends the use of oiled hands and dough. While I did the handling in an oiled bowl I used wet hands and a wet dough scraper to handle the dough and so I suspect did not end up with such oily dough as other Challengers.

A great recipe and a nice introduction for me to use the potato in the dough. One of the reasons I like Dan’s books is because he leads you through different techniques in very gentle ways. Now I have made this, potato is one of the ingredients I can add to my repertoire and experiment with.

 Posted by at 14:31

  7 Responses to “Olive oil and potato flatbread”

  1. Sexy breads as always Carl! ๐Ÿ™‚ Very nice!
    Oddly enough, we’re currently baking a potato, rosemary and parsnip foccacia for our bread selection – one of my all time favorite! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. The potato was interesting wasn’t it? I loved it – gave it an extra taste and chewiness.
    Your bread looks just perfect. Thanks for telling us about the salamoia!

    • Hi Lou

      Thanks for popping by. It certainly did. And I’m still laughing at your description of how easy it was to eat in advance of your meal… ๐Ÿ˜€

      I’ve added a link to your blog post for anyone who would like it.

      Buon appetito

  3. Hi Misk ๐Ÿ™‚

    I did that yes for the reason that you give. It also makes it slightly less messy to handle at the table, although finger licking and juice mopping is part of the fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’m going to study every aspect of what I did on my 2nd try, and hopefully I’ll produce something worthy of Dan’s recipe on my 3rd try.

      • I admire your tenacity in sticking (no pun intended) to it. I think the wet hands/scraper gives a bit more confidence in handling and less oil incorporated in the dough which should help you.

        The other major variable as you’ve discovered is the flour types. If I wanted a ‘flatter’ flat-bread I would use plain flour instead of the ciabatta flour. I thought that the combination of flours I chose would give a good mouth-sized+ chunk when cut ๐Ÿ™‚

        Good luck with the next one…

  4. Did you set your dough on parchment paper rather than oiling the pan? I think I went slightly overboard with the phrase “generously oil the baking sheet”. With the oil used for stretching, plus that added in the pan for baking, plus more on top, mine ended up too rich for my tummy. The crust and crumb were good though.

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