This Easy Potato Focaccia Bread Recipe looks pretty fab, and tastes EVEN better. Thick and crusty, with slices of potato on top mixed with rosemary sprigs. It makes the perfect slice for dipping in a thick marinara sauce or tucked in a bowl of fresh soup.
Spelt Focaccia Bread Recipe
This is NOT a gluten-free focaccia bread recipe. While a lot people believe that Spelt is gluten-free I’m here to burst their bubble, it’s not safe for celiacs. While it’s not technically wheat it’s very similar and comes from the same family.
What is Spelt?
Spelt is one of the old grains that’s been around for a long time. It looks like wheat and has gluten, but its got a tough outer shell that protects the nutrients. It’s nutty in flavor and makes a hearty loaf of bread when you aren’t allowed to use wheat. Wheat has been a modern bread-making favorite but good old spelt never gave it up.
You can sometimes use Spelt for someone who may not be a celiac but needs a grain that doesn’t cause inflammation. Be sure to check with friends or family before feeding it to them.
Spelt is perfect in those situations where you can’t use wheat
Which is what happened in Collection 2 of The Great British Baking Show in the quarter-finals. The directive for the Signature was to make a loaf of bread that didn’t contain wheat. And that’s what our GBBO Bake-Along Bake is for the week!
Beca made a Potato Spelt Focaccia that looked amazing. She used spelt has her grain of choice, added mashed potatoes, AND some of the potato water for the liquid. I mean YES PLEASE, bread with potatoes in it and on it?! My teen was in heaven when I tested this recipe.
Where to get Spelt Flour
I found it at a local grocery store, local to Alaska, Three Bears, in their small but might natural foods area. I did look at the local Kroger, in the natural foods sections, and I didn’t see it there. You can buy it online here’s a Bob’s Red Mill 4 pack on Amazon.
About the potatoes in this recipe
The original recipe called for Maris Piper potatoes which we don’t have here. These were used for the mashed potatoes portion of the recipe. Research told me that we don’t get those in the United States. So I subbed in Yukon Gold, and they worked perfectly.
I ALSO use them on top of the bread as the potato slices. The original recipe on PBS Foods called for 15-20 new potatoes for the sliced potatoes on top of the bread. But looking at the actual photo of the bread Beca submitted, it didn’t have 30-40 slices of potatoes. So I used Yukon Gold and they were fine as well.
A couple of notes on this Potato Spelt Focaccia:
- Give the yeast a fair amount of time to work, proving took longer than I expected
- Once you’ve placed it on the baking sheet, do not flatten it out, let it gently spread
- use oiled fingers to work it out to a rectangle shape, roughly 9×13 inches
- let it rest on the pan while you cook the potatoes for the topping, this gives it time to rise and you can gently manipulate it into shape
- 20 ounces of potatoes, divided
- water to cook them
- 2 cups+Tablespoon Spelt flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- 3 Tablespoons chopped dried rosemary
- olive oil to brush over the top
- sprigs of rosemary to decorate the top of the bread
- bring a small saucepan of water to a boil
- wash, peel, and chop HALF the potatoes for mashing
- add them to the water when they're chopped, and cook until soft for mashing
- meanwhile put the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer
- when the potatoes are cooked drain into a bowl to retain the cooking water, let it cool
- get the potatoes really dry by shaking them in a colander
- put them back in the saucepan, add the 3T olive oil, mash until smooth
- let them cool until they come down to just warmer than room temperature
- then add them to the flour mix
- stir with the bread hook to combine, then add just enough cooking water to make a dough--be aware the dough comes together quickly so don't add a LOT of the water
- once the dough is formed let the mixer do it's magic for 2 minutes
- then remove the hook, cover the bowl, let the dough rise until doubled in size
- once it's doubled grease a 9X13 baking sheet, and gently pour the dough out on it
- pat it out to roughly the size of the pan, let cover lightly and let it rest-it will expand as it rests, don't knock the air out of it
- preheat the oven to 425˚
- bring a small pan of water to a boil
- wash the remaining potatoes, then peel, and cut in large pieces
- parboil in the water until just barely soft
- drain and slice
- remove the cover on the bread, add slices of the potatoes
- brush the whole thing with the extra oil
- add extra rosemary as desired
- bake 20-25 minutes or until the bread is cooked through and a lovely brown
- cool on a baking rack, slice or tear to serve