Requires: Stand mixer and potato ricer
Place the potato into a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook for 25 mins or until the potato is very tender. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Use a potato ricer to mash until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large stand mixer bowl, combine the 00 flour and 0 flour. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add ¾ of the water, sugar and salt. Crumble the yeast into the well. Attach the dough hook on the stand mixer and where applicable, secure the clear pouring shield. Mix on the second speed, add the remaining water as it mixes until combined. Add ½ of the olive oil in a slow stream. Set aside the remaining 30ml of olive oil. Allow the mixer to knead on speed 2 for 15 minutes or until the dough is elastic, adding the mashed potato in the last 2 minutes of mixing. It should be hydrated and sticky!
Tip: I love using my KitchenAid stand mixer (in Empire Red) for making focaccia dough. It gives great results every time! If you don’t have a stand mixer, you can also make focaccia dough in a food processor or kneading by hand is also an option however it is a very sticky dough to work with.
Place the focaccia dough into a large bowl (allowing for the dough to double in size). Cover with a cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Tip: the ideal resting temperature for the focaccia is 28° for best results.
Preheat oven to 210°C fan-forced (230°C conventional/ 446°F /Gas 8). Brush a rectangular non-stick baking tray, 14×10 inches (35.56 x 25.4cm) in size or slightly larger with canola oil to lightly grease.
Transfer the focaccia dough to the greased baking tray and press into the pan. Set aside in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes. The focaccia will raise slightly to form a thicker crust.
Use your fingertips to make dimples on top of the dough. Drizzle with the remaining oil, sprinkle over rosemary and freshly grind sea salt. Press the halved tomatoes, cut side down into the focaccia.
Bake on the very bottom of the oven floor for 10 minutes, then transfer to the middle grove of the oven to cook for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature – buon appetito!