Tuesday, April 10, 2012
There has been a lot of soup eaten in this house recently. You see, after a glorious week in Seattle snuggling my new nieces (who are unfathomably adorable) my usually tough immune system took a hit. I guess these years on the east coast have weakened my ability to handle the Northwest chill, and I came back with a cold. Well, P and I both came back sniffling and sneezing. So, when we got home to NYC my first order of business was a trip to the grocery store for soup fixings and some lotion fortified tissues.
I whipped up batch after batch of soup and over the next week we slurped our colds away first with chicken and rice, his garnished with nutmeg and mine with a healthy dose of lemon juice. Then we moved on to tomato with roasted veggies and since soup needs a worthy accompaniment for dipping I pulled some slices of this focaccia out of the freezer and toasted them up. It is hearty from the rye, slightly sweet from the potato with a hit of tart from the chopped preserved lemons (my newest culinary obsession, they are good in everything from salad dressing to pasta sauce) and of course, a sprinkle of salt to top the whole thing off.
Rye Focaccia with Sweet Potato and Preserved Lemon
yield, one 15x10 loaf or two smaller circular loaves
For the Dough
1 1/3c cooked, mashed sweet potato cooled to room temperature (steamed or roasted)
1 1/2t instant yeast
9oz all purpose flour
8.5oz rye flour
1c warm water (about 110º)
2T olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/4t salt
For the Topping
2T olive oil
1/2 of a perserved lemon, cut into 1/4'' pieces
1t flaky salt
1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer combine the yeast, 1/2c all purpose flour and 1/2c warm water. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside until bubbly, about 20min.
2. Add in the rest of the dough ingredients and mix/knead with the dough hook on your mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly oiled bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise until the dough has doubled in volume, about an hour.
3. Oil a 15x10 baking sheet or two smaller pans if you are going to split the dough and gently press the dough into the pan. Cover and let rise again for 45 min or until the dough has doubled in volume again. While the dough is rising, heat the oven to 425º.
4. After the dough has risen, gently use two fingers to indent the top of the dough, drizzle the dough with olive oil and sprinkle with the chopped preserved lemons and flaky salt. Bake until the bottom is golden, about 25min. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly and serve warm. This bread freezes and reheats well if you manage not to demolish the whole thing in one sitting.