BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Pretty Please, with Potatoes on Top?

48 Comments

Long gone are the days of carb-fearing, Atkins-style grain avoidance, but deep within the American psyche, some subconscious resistance still seems to remain. Just mention a meal combining two starches and even the most well-grounded eaters lose their composure, if only for a moment. Rice and corn? Iffy, but passable. Bread and potatoes? Not unless you want the health food police to arrive on your doorstep, handcuffs ready to snap shut over the guilty cook. And yet, it’s perfectly fine for potatoes to be integrated into the bread, but should they separate, it’s a downright culinary crime. Enough of this nonsense, I say; Let loose, have your bread and potatoes together, and eat them, too!

Truly, it’s a damned shame that this traditional “wisdom” has kept the two apart for so long. Since Thanksgiving is essentially the biggest carbohydrate-bomb of a meal one will consume this year, it seemed the perfect opportunity to sneak this underdog dish in. Rather than serving two individual courses to satisfy the need for both tuber and grain, save yourself the trouble and time with a single side. Magical things happen when you top a chewy loaf of focaccia with thin slices of golden-fleshed potatoes and a handful of red onions. Crispy and golden brown around the edges but still tender on the inside, the sheath of potatoes creates a topper that sets an otherwise simple flat bread apart from the rest.

There is a secret ingredient, however, kneaded deep within the strands of gluten. Sauerkraut brightens up the flavors of the wheat with a much-needed hit of acid, those tangy notes perfectly in tune with the heartier starches. You might even be able to get away with saying that a slice packs in a serving of vegetables in, too!

Sauerkraut and Potato Focaccia

Starter:

1/2 Cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Barley Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Dry Active Yeast
1/2 Cup Water

Dough:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Rye Flour
1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tablespoons Dark Brown Sugar, Firmly Packed
1 Teaspoon Table Salt
1 3/4 Teaspoons Dry Active Yeast
2 Cups Sauerkraut, Drained
3/4 Cups Water
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Topping:

1 Pound Red-Skinned Potatoes
1/2 Medium Red Onion, Thinly Sliced
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt or Coarse Sea Salt

The day or night before hand, mix together all of the ingredients for the starter in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and leave out in a warm place at least overnight, or for 8 – 24 hours. The longer amount of time is better for developing flavor in the bread, but a minimum of 8 hours with certainly suffice.

Once the starter has sat for as much time as you’re willing to give it, start working on the main dough by combining the flours. Take your drained sauerkraut, squeeze out as much extra liquid as possible, and toss it in the flour to coat. Add this mixture, along with the remaining dough ingredients into the bowl of starter. Mix thoroughly, and install the bread hook attachment in your stand mixer once the dough has come together. Allow the machine to knead on a slow speed for about 10 minutes. This makes for a fairly loose, sticky dough, so don’t panic if it seems fairly wet.

Transfer the dough into a lightly-grease, clean bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and lightly grease a 10 x 15-inch jellyroll pan.

Punch down the risen dough gently, and scrape it out onto your prepared pan. Use your finger tips to press it out evenly into the jellyroll shape, leaving nooks and crannies as you go. Set aside while you prepare the topping.

A mandoline will make the process go faster, but you can also use a very sharp knife (and a decent dose of patience). Slice the potatoes to approximately 2 mm in thickness, and then slice the onions just slightly thicker since they will cook faster. Toss both in the olive oil until thoroughly coated, and apply the topping in an even layer over the unbaked focaccia, trying not to overlap slices of potatoes. Sprinkle lightly with salt.

Slide your loaf into the oven, and bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until golden brown all over, the potatoes are fork-tender, and the onions are slightly crispy around the edges. Let cool before slicing.

Printable Recipe

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Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

48 thoughts on “Pretty Please, with Potatoes on Top?

  1. Was loving this idea from the beginning of the post, then I saw the sauerkraut and it pushed me over the top. Holy moly Hannah!

  2. That was looking Delicious

  3. Perfect! Savory baking is one of my favorites.

  4. This looks so pretty with the potatoes on top. I’ve seen potatoes on top of pizza but have never tried it. I like the sauerkraut that you added to the dough. Must try.

  5. Have no fear – carbs are making a comeback, so this bread should go over nicely!

  6. I was just reading about the “Skinny Bitch” take on the Atkins Diet, which was quite entertaining. I’ve always thought it was a load of crap. As long as your eating whole foods and whole grains, feast away on some carbs. Love that this recipe uses rye. Sounds delish!

  7. I think my favourite sandwich fillings as a child were potato salad, my grandma’s potato stuffing, and ham and crisps. I remember once having a potato salad and crisp sandwich…good times.

    I had completely forgoten about them until I read this. I guess it’s become a combination which just doesn’t happen.

  8. Very nice! I’m intrigued by the sauerkraut. Do you ever make pizza on your focaccia? Apparently it’s the best, but I’ve not had it myself! I might just have to try it soon. ;-)

  9. HA take that carb fearers!
    I’m with you! carbs are supposed to make up most of our diet, so as long as we have our veggies/proteins/healthy fats with our carby amazingness, whats the problem? Looks amazing, as always <3

  10. Wow this all my favorite foods combined: potato, bread and saurkraut. You’ve truly outdone yourself, Hannah!

    Have you tried adding thinly sliced potatoes to pizza yet? I make Pioneer Woman’s Bacon, Leek and Potato Pizza (sans bacon) and it’s delicious!

  11. This post reminds me of dinner with my dad – whenever we had mashed potatoes, he would spread a layer of the mashed potato onto a piece of bread and we would all be so disgusted! I like your version of potatoes on bread better than my dad’s version, though! :)

  12. Hmmm yummy! I love this idea, I am a huge carb lover!

    Long live carbs!

    -Sophia
    http://whatyourmommadidntknow.blogspot.com/

  13. whoa. i’m wiping up some drool right now. this is such fun twist and i’m happy to participate in this carb-indulgence. and with kraut? i’m in heaven.

  14. This sounds wonderful, in fact it quite reminds me of a recipe for seeded flatbread by heidi swanson (http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/seeded-flatbread-recipe.html). My boyfriend is extremely fond of both bread and potatoes in one meal, so I’m sure he’ll appreciate this!

  15. Sauerkraut?! On foccacia?! I’m in love! Seriously, it’s like pierogie foccacia :)

  16. It looks like a perfect brunch treat. I have no problem combining potatoes and bread (home fries and toast?). I even admit to maybe, possibly adding french fries to a sandwich. (No more than once or twice, of course.) :D And the sauerkraut is very appealing.

  17. Sadly, I’ve never had a potato pizza/flatbread, but that’s simply because of my mum’s wheat allergies than fear of the carb police! I’m still too scared of yeast to make this, but you’ve inspired me to make that other tried-and-true carb combo – pasta genovese, with potatoes and pasta :)

  18. Hola,me parece excelente la idea, nunca he probado pan con patata.
    creo que combina muy bien con chucrut. Voy a experimentar. :)
    Muchas gracias.
    Besitos.

  19. Seeing as how I AM training for an endurance running event, I think it’s absolutely NECESSARY for me to make this. Carb loading at it’s finest.

  20. AMAZING! That looks awesome!

  21. You know, normally I’m not a big carb mixer, either – probably because I’m used to cooking for my gluten-free mom – but this looks pretty darn good, especially with those onions on top. I’d still feel the need to have a big side of veggies to make up for it, but I love having lots of veggies at Thanksgiving. Bring on the beans and squash!!!

  22. Wow, I could just eat this as my whole meal, it looks so good. :-)

  23. love this photo! looks beautiful!

  24. They look fantastic! Beautiful photos!

  25. Pingback: Food Blog Digest – Baked! | FriendsEAT.com

  26. bread plus potatoes… what’s not to love!! bring on the carbs!!!

  27. i love this idea. potatoes on pizza is de rigeur at this house but cutting out everything extraneous to the bread and the potatoes definitely appeals. such a delicious way to break the rules. plus sauerkraut, it can’t get better than that!

  28. This bread is so creative Hannah! I would have never thought to do slivers of potato atop foccacia, but why not! I’m thinking a version with caramelized onions and a little rosemary would also be fantastically delicious.

  29. Sauerkraut in the dough, wow! Sounds really tasty! Great comfort food, I really love potatoes sliced and lightly fried in this way. This would be great served with soup instead of the all-too-often cornbread. :)

  30. What a GREAT idea!!! I’m making this very very soon!

  31. this looks so yummy:) thanks for sharing this. cant wait to try it out soon.

  32. Hannah, saeurkraut and potato…my mouth is watering over this focaccia…SO SO tasty :-) beautiful pictures as always!

  33. Oh my bread and potaotes..I’m in, perfect with a great bowl of soup

    sweetlife

  34. I love this idea!! Sauerkraut in the dough?!?! YUM!!!

    A friend of mine recently made a vegan baked potato pizza, and it was to die for! So delicious.

  35. Love the sauerkraut in the dough!!!!!!! We love our fermented foods :) We usually eat it on top of things but now inside – amazing!! Though I did make sauerkraut crackers before that turned out great so having it in focaccia is even better!!! Thanks!!! :)
    ~Lori

  36. fantastic…. i love the addition of sauerkraut in the dough. i could see some braised arichoke hearts topping the tangy bread as well.

    i really need to get comfortable baking so i can make all these great baked things.

  37. Oh that just looks delightful! I’ve been really into caramelized onions so I’d some of that on top too.

  38. Wow this looks simply amazing

  39. I always say that as an Irish woman, potatoes and bread are in my DNA. Got a little German in me, too, soooo the sauerkraut works :-)

  40. Hannah, looks like we both made foodpress.com :) What an amazing combo for a foccacia..LOVE LOVE the sauerkraut in the dough..brilliant! Bookmarked!

  41. hi hannah! just wanted to let you know we featured this post on FoodPress.com today! :) looks unique and delicious! :) thanks! jane

  42. Interesting bread, very unique. Looks yummy as well.

    Raymund
    http://angsarap.wordpress.com

  43. I like the sound of the saurkraut layered in your bread.
    I became quite notorious at school for taking in my favourite potato sandwiches. Yummy with mayonnaise and mint jelly.

  44. AHAY, YUMMYY !!

  45. Potatoes and bread?! Oh yeah, potato bread… duh! We are so wierd sometimes. This looks so yummy with the onions too.

  46. I’m obsessed with potato pizza from grandaisy bakery (nyc). I’ll have to try this recipe!

  47. Wow I’ve never thought about incorporating sauerkraut into a dough!! Very interesting. I love potato topped breads/pizza mmm.

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