Potato Zatar Focaccia

For the first time in the history of my blog, almost two years this March(!) I created two posts in one afternoon.  It’s official, I am now feeling like a highly organized woman.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t go that far but it felt pretty good to have a baking/cooking extravaganza in my kitchen and walk away at the end of the day with two almost completed posts.
This focaccia recipe is a little different from the way I’ve made it previously.  I added a cup of milk which  makes the crumb more tender than using only water and olive oil for the liquid ingredients. The crust stays nice and crusty like it should, puffed up around the filling of Yukon Gold potatoes, herbs and spices.  The potatoes are precooked by steaming them whole before slicing and mixing with olive oil, spices and herbs.  I leave the skins on but toss the ones that pull off the slices when stirring to mix in the olive oil and spices, so as to include just a few of the thin attached potato skins.

I tried Zatar sprinkled on baked olive oil brushed pita bread for the first time last Summer and loved it.  When I found it at the new Penzeys Spices in Santa Rosa before Christmas I knew I could not leave the store without it.  Zatar is a blend of spices from the Middle East.  The Pensey’s Zatar has sumac, thyme, white sesame seeds and salt.  I also picked up Sumac, another spice used in Middle Eastern cooking.  It has a kind of fruity sourness to it and adds a beautiful soft red color to sauces, salads, poultry and drinks.

I sliced my focaccia into approximately 4×4 inch squares and than into one inch strips stacked on platter with a bowl of hummus for dipping.   This makes a hearty appetizer or would be nice served with a variety of salads for a meal.

Ingredients and Directions for Potato Zatar Focaccia
Yields one 11×17 inch rectangle
1 tablespoon or 1 package of instant yeast
4 & 1/2-5 cups all purpose flour
1 & 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water
1 cup hot milk
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
5-6 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cooked ,sliced and sprinkled with Olive oil,  Zatar, Sumac, fresh thyme, sea salt and Black pepper
Olive oil for oiling bowl and brushing on focaccia
Fresh thyme
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In the bowl of a heavy duty standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast, salt and 2 cups of flour.  Add the hot water, hot milk and 1/4 cup olive oil.  Beat for about 2 minutes until combined.  Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough forms that leaves the sides of the mixing bowl.  Scrape all the remaining dough down the sides of the bowl and coat with a little olive oil.  Cover the bowl loosely with a tea towel and let rise for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 11×17 in size.  Spread and gently pull the dough to flatten and shape to the size of the pan.  Brush olive oil over the top and evenly sprinkle on the cooked potato mixture.  Sprinkle the top with more Zatar and fresh thyme leaves.  Let rest for about 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
If you have one, use a pizza stone in the oven.  Place the pan directly on top of the pizza stone and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, turn the oven down to 350 and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a metal rack.  Remove from the pan, slice and serve at room temperature.
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  1. Potato focaccia..wow…I really fancy the idea! Those squares look fabulous.

  2. Love your new photo and look! Very nice! Zatar is one of my favorite seasonings, especially on breads. The focaccia sounds teriffic. :)

  3. Patty,
    I love your blog header. Very vibrant.

    I also love the sound of this recipe. I was due to make focaccia with the seitan chorizo sausages I made last week, but i have to admit, this is just as tempting.

  4. Ooh, so this is what Focaccia looks like…well, a suped up version. Look at the baking amateur in me, talking about a beautiful piece of bread as if it were a car. Haha. I love your addition of the potatoes. I've never tried Zatar before, but I just googled it and it sounds lovely. Such an interesting spice. Your picture looks gorgeous with the potatoes nicely nestled into that delicious bread and the Zatar gently sprinkled over top. Next time I make potatoes, I'll have to give this beauty a try. Thank you for sharing this recipe, Patty. Hope you're having a great week!

  5. Hubby and I frequent Middle Eastern restaurants and grocery stores quite a lot, hence Zatar is familiar to me. However, I never thought of adding anything on my potato and caramelized onion focaccia other than familiar Italian spices and herbs. Ohhh, was I being narrow minded…I think so!!! Next time I'll think of you and Mr. Zatar. LOL
    Great tip about using hot milk and water…made a quick note about it ;o)

    BTW…I'm so very envious of your highly organized self today Patty ;o) What got into your milk. LOL

    Ciao for now,

  6. Patty, this focaccia is lovely and I love that you incorporated potatoes. I bet they give it such a hearty flavor. I love making focaccia – so easy, so impressive, and perfect for any sandwich. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! I look forward to exploring your recipes more!

  7. Drop dead gorgeous if you ask me! What a great blog you have.

  8. You are the third person I came across this week who makes focaccia! What's going on? Do we all crave for the same thing? hehe

    This looks absolute delicious and I like a potato yukon as a filling. I think I can smell fresh thyme!

    PS: wow almost 2 years? time flies fast!

  9. I love potatoes and focaccia so this recipe is screaming my name.

  10. Two posts in one day is very impressive, I've been having a hard time coming up with two a week!
    The last time I made focaccia it was a little tough. I'm going to try your version with milk.

  11. Mmmm…just like a potato pizza. :) Two posts in one day- I'm jealous of your organization skillz!

  12. This focaccia sounds wonderful with potatoes and such excellent flavors with zatar!

  13. Two in one afternoon? That's very impressive — and so is your focaccia!

  14. Yippee! Two posts in one day… It's hard enough to post regularly. I do love foccacia – I've never heard of zatar though. I'll look for it the next time I'm at the spice store. I get the feeling when I smell it, I'll recognize it though.

  15. Oh Patty! I've never tried potato focaccia, but boy do I ever want to! We have guest coming over this weekend and this is now going on the menu!

  16. I love how you spiced this delicious focaccia with zatar! And the potatoes are a great addition too. I would be happy with this and a big salad for dinner. :)

  17. I just purchased a pizza stone for my bottom oven and I have long wanted to make my own focaccia bread. Now I have a great recipe to try! Thank you for sharing and stay dry up in the North Bay! :)

  18. Potatoes on focaccia sounds like a winner to me, especially with the zatar and sumac! I just bought a container of sumac and some harissa at a new market that opened nearby – can't wait to try them.

  19. Very nice and exotic flavored focaccia! I love to make focaccia and have for dinner sometimes instead of pizza;)Very impressed with how you organized two posts. It's so much work:)Happy weekend, Patty!:)

  20. Two posts in one day is worth admiration! What a unique focaccia recipe…I can only imagine how delicious those potatoes must taste with that flavorful foccacia. Thank you for sharing your heart and this bread. I hope you have a blessed Saturday!

  21. Hi Patty, my you are quite the baker! I always seem to drop in when you've made something from the oven! I have a real fear of making dough and baking bread…maybe the real fear is once I learn I know I won't stop (eating it, that is!) I love the Middle Eastern spices and especially the lemony sumac. Lovely on hummous. Potato focaccia is one time when I'll embrace the carb on carb action! Looks divine! Now, dare I try this myself?! EEEK!

  22. Your facaccia with zatar sounds very flavorful! What a wonderful idea to stuff it with potatoes. This would make a lovely lunch with a small salad.

  23. Wow this is the most wonderful and flavorful focaccia I have ever seen. This would be perfect as a main with a small salad. Fantastic!

  24. Yummy, I've been looking all over for zatar in my tiny town and finally found some the other day! Now I know what I will try first with it. I love those yukon golds. Hope you are enjoying your weekend. Good idea to get ahead on posts.

  25. Any chance you can pass on some of that impressive organisation to me, Patty? No? Well then I'll just settle for a big hunk of that focaccia :D

  26. I am such a Focaccia addict, so your recipe is a must for me. I love all the different spices you used, must have tasted fantastic. I can't get 2 recipes cooked and typed in one day, I need to get some of your organizations skills my way:)

  27. This is a very interesting twist on focaccia Patty, and it sounds great !! First time I hear about Zatar…one never stops learning..Thanks!

  28. Oh! This potato focaccia looks yummie. I still have to try to make focaccia :-) Thanks for sharing such a great recipe Patty!

  29. i've tried different focaccia recipes but never a potato one. love using Za'atar in the kitchen and pairing it with potato and olive oil sounds so very tempting. Thanks for sharing Patty

  30. You know, I love Focaccia bread so much I don't know why I don't make it myself. I am sure it's so much better than the store-bought kind and the variety…the sky's the limit. Love your idea with potatoes!!

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