Overnight Potato Focaccia

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The fluffiest overnight potato focaccia! Made with mashed roast potato & the crispy skin then cold proved overnight for next level flavour.

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overnight potato focaccia

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I’ve spent the last couple of weeks working on this focaccia recipe. Well, it’s finally been perfected & I’m super happy with how it’s turned out!

Thanks to a high level of hydration & a long, cold prove this bread has an incredibly soft & fluffy open crumb plus it’s baked at a high temperature so the top is nice & crispy as well. We’re not stopping there though, we are also incorporating mashed potato & crispy potato skin into the dough which makes it even softer & adds a subtle, roasted flavour.

Pair all of this with a homemade rosemary & garlic oil & we’re onto a real winner. A classic flavour pairing, packed into a batch of bread. You really can’t go wrong!

What Is Focaccia?

Originating from Italy, focaccia is a yeast leavened bread that is typically baked in a tin which gives it its’ flat shape. Containing plenty of olive oil, focaccia dough makes a great base for adding in other flavours. These can be either sweet or savoury which means that this bread can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Why Add Potato To Focaccia?

Adding mashed potato into focaccia increases the starch content which means that more liquid can be incorporated into the dough. This increases the hydration level without making the dough difficult to handle. A high level of hydration also means that the focaccia’s crumb will be super soft & fluffy!

baked focaccia

Ingredients Used

The secret to incredible focaccia is a long, cold prove in the fridge & the great thing is, you only need a few ingredients to make it…

Strong White Bread Flour

For this recipe, you’ll need a strong white flour that has a protein content of around 14-15%. I use a Canadian white bread flour from Shipton Mill in the UK.

Yeast

We’re using dried active yeast for this bread. As we are giving the dough a long, cold prove, we only need to use a small amount of yeast.

Water

This focaccia has a hydration level of more than 90% which is how we get that soft, open crumb. It is important to measure the temperature of the water with a digital food probe before making the dough so that it ferments properly.

Salt

Salt is an important ingredient in bread because it adds flavour & strengthens gluten strands. Make sure to use a good quality sea salt like Maldon for best results.

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a classic ingredient for focaccia so it’s good to use a decent one. To add extra flavour to our dough, we’re making a rosemary & garlic infused oil which will be added to the top before it is baked.

How To Make Overnight Potato Focaccia

Step 1 – Roast The Potatoes

The first step is to roast the potatoes until the inside is cooked & the skin is nice & crispy. You’ll need a couple of large potatoes for this recipe & they need cooking whole which means that they will take at least half an hour to cook.

Once cooked & cooled slightly, we scoop the flesh from the skins then push it through a ricer, to make mash. With the skin, we chop it up into small pieces then leave it to cool to room temperature along with the mashed potato.

Step 2 – Autolyse

The next step for this focaccia is a quick autolyse. This is where the flour & water is mixed then left for at least half an hour. This hydrates the flour & kick starts the gluten formation.

As we’re only giving our focaccia a quick autolyse, we’re also adding the yeast in at this point as well.

Step 3 – Mixing The Dough

Once the dough has autolysed & the potato is cool, it’s time to mix the dough. To do this, we add the mash, skins, salt & olive oil into the dough then knead it until it passes the windowpane test. You’ll know when it’s ready because the dough will stretch thin enough for you to see through it. This will take around 10-15 minutes of kneading in a stand mixer.

Step 4 – Coil Folds

Before we stick the dough in the fridge, it needs to sit at room temperature for one hour. During this time, we give the dough a set of coil folds every 15 minutes. For more info on how to coil fold dough, take a look at my step by step sourdough guide.

Step 5 – Cold Prove

Next, we place the dough into the fridge & leave it there for at least 24 hours (and up to 48). The longer the dough is left in the fridge, the more flavour will develop. Keep this in mind if you prove the dough for more than 24 hours.

It’s also important to note that the temperature of your fridge should be between 1°c-5°c (34°f-41°f) for the best cold prove.

Step 6 – Final Rise

After the cold prove, it’s time for the dough’s final rise. For this, we tip the cold dough into a lined & oiled baking tin then leave it at room temperature for 2 hours. After this time, the dough will have risen slightly & will be super bubbly!

Step 7 – Dimpling The Dough

Once the dough has risen, we drizzle over some homemade rosemary & garlic oil (more on this below) then use our fingers to dimple the dough all over. This spreads the dough out to the corners of the tin & gives the focaccia its’ signature dimpled top.

Step 8 – Baking

A good sprinkle of sea salt & the focaccia is ready to bake. It only needs 20-25 minutes in the oven & will be a deep, golden colour once baked.

Once it comes out of the oven, we brush on some more of our rosemary oil then leave the focaccia to cool in the tin for 30 minutes. After this, we transfer the bread to a cooling rack & leave it to cool completely, at which point the focaccia is ready to serve!

bubbly focaccia dough

Rosemary & Garlic Oil

Rosemary, garlic & potato is a classic flavour combination, which makes this oil perfect for our overnight potato focaccia! To make, simply combine fresh rosemary, garlic cloves & olive oil in a dish then bake in the oven until the garlic is soft. This is then left to cool then the infused oil is passed through a sieve.

The rosemary & garlic oil can be made several days in advance & any leftover oil can used to dip the bread in or for another dish.

garlic rosemary oil

Overnight Potato Focaccia Tips & Tricks

  • Use slightly wet hands when handling the dough, it’ll stop it sticking!
  • Use a good bread flour, I use a Canadian one from Shipton Mill in the UK.
  • Give the dough enough time when kneading. It needs to pass the windowpane test.
  • Make sure to use active yeast.
  • For a soft, open crumb, use a high hydration & a long, cold prove.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the focaccia have to be proved in the fridge?

This dough only contains a small amount of yeast so needs a long, cold prove.

Do I have to add in the potato skins?

If you’d prefer to leave the skins out, feel free. It will still taste great!

How long will focaccia stay fresh for?

Kept in an airtight container, this focaccia will keep for 2-3 days.

What potato should be used?

We need to use a starchy potato for this bread. The best type to use are Maris Pipers.

Cooking Focaccia In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook the overnight potato focaaccia in an Aga, place the grid shelf onto the floor of the roasting oven & place the focaccia on top. Cook as above.

Equipment Used

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Overnight Potato Focaccia

The fluffiest overnight potato focaccia! Made with mashed potato & the crispy skin then cold proved overnight for next level flavour.
Prep Time45 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Proving Time1 day
Total Time1 day 55 minutes
Course: Bread, Lunch
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 6 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Stand Mixer
  • Potato Ricer
  • Dough Scraper
  • 9" x 13" Baking Tin
  • Cooling Rack
  • Small Ovenproof Dish
  • Sieve

Ingredients

Focaccia

  • 2 Potatoes (Around 300g In Total) See Notes
  • tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 475 g Water 25.5°c/78°f
  • 4 g Dried Active Yeast
  • 530 g Strong White Bread Flour
  • 14 g Maldon Sea Salt
  • 20 g Olive Oil

Rosemary & Garlic Oil

  • 120 g Olive Oil
  • 6 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 6 Cloves Garlic Peeled

Instructions

Rosemary & Garlic Oil

  • Preheat an oven to 160°c/140°c fan (320°f/285°f).
  • Place the olive oil, rosemary & garlic into a small ovenproof dish, cover with foil then bake for 20-30 minutes or until the garlic is soft.
  • Leave to cool completely then pass the oil into a container, through a sieve.
  • Store in the fridge until ready to use.
    The oil can be made several days in advance & should be stored in the fridge.

Focaccia

  • Preheat an oven to 200°c/180°c fan (390°f/355°f).
  • Place your potatoes onto a baking tray, drizzle with the vegetable oil then bake in the preheated oven until the skin is crispy & the inside is soft. This will take around an hour.
    Use a sharp knife to check that the potato is cooked all the way through.
  • Let the potatoes cool slightly then cut in half & scoop out the flesh. Use a potato ricer (or fork) to mash the potato then weigh out 185g.
    Chop the crispy potato skin into small pieces then add into the mash potato. Leave to cool to room temperature.
  • Next, add the yeast & water to the bowl of a stand mixer then whisk together.
  • Add in the flour, mix with the dough hook until just combined then cover & leave to autolyse for 30 minutes.
  • Next, add in the potato, salt & olive oil & mix on a medium speed until the dough passes the windowpane test. This will take around 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled mixing bowl & leave at room temperature for 1 hour. During this hour, coil fold the dough every 15 minutes.
  • Cover the bowl with clingfilm & place in the fridge for at least 24 hours (no more than 48).
  • Next, grease & line a 9”x13” baking tin then pour in 2 tbsp of the rosemary oil.
  • Tip the dough into the tin & gently spread it out with your hands. Don't worry if it doesn't completely fill the tin at this point.
  • Cover the dough loosely with clingfilm (or an upside down tin) & leave at room temperature for 2 hours. At which point the dough will have risen slightly & will be very bubbly.
  • Preheat an oven to 220°c/200°c fan (430°f/390°f) around an hour before you cook the focaccia.
  • Once the dough has risen, spoon 2-3 tablespoons of rosemary oil over the focaccia & use your fingers to dimple the dough all over, making sure that the dough reaches all corners of the tin.
  • Sprinkle the focaccia with a generous amount of Maldon salt then bake until a deep golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
  • Once baked, brush the focaccia with 1 tbsp of rosemary oil, leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before serving.

Notes

To cook in an Aga, bake the bread on the grid shelf which is placed on the floor of the roasting oven. The bread will take 25-30 minutes to cook.
To get 185g of mashed potato, we’ll need to cook a couple of raw potatoes that weigh around 300g in total. This ensures that we will have enough, any extra can be eaten or saved for something else.
This dough has a high level of hydration which means that it will seem very sticky. This is normal & the dough will get easier to work with as it is kneaded. – I recommend using a stand mixer.
For the best flavour, make sure to give the dough at least 24 hours in the fridge, but no more than 48.
You can use either fast action yeast or dried active yeast for this recipe, the amounts are the same for both. I’ve found that dried active yeast produces a more active/bubbly dough.
For most of my bread recipes, I use a Canadian strong white bread flour from Shipton Mill. You can use any bread flour but I get the results using this.
The tin I use to cook the bread in, is a 9”x13” Nordic Ware tin. Any tin of this size will work, it’s best to use one that is at least 2.5” deep.

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