What a lucky sod I am. Let me count the ways.
After the recent extended period of cold snappiness, today was a beautiful, crisp, sunny day and I had the health to enjoy it. I also had running water so that I could shower and not sully the day with smelliness. Not to mention being able to make my morning coffee, so that I didn’t have to subject anyone to excessive early morning grumpiness (at least not any more than usual).
And time. I had time to contemplate the creation of some olive oily, potato-y bread. And time to contemplate what had been going on elsewhere in the universe this week.
A week where my brother’s bedroom ceiling fell in when pipes froze and burst in his attic. Where a friend was seen on national news toting buckets of water as the water supply to her housing estate has been gone more or less since Christmas. And, yes, Haiti (I’ve been taking English Mum’s lead on that and giving a bit for Shelterbox).
Relative to all of that, there’s really not a lot that’s topsy turvy about life Spud-side. In fact, the topsy turviest thing today may possibly have been this potato upside down bread. Potatoes, then onions, garlic and olive oil, then some soda bread dough, inverted once baked, so that the potatoes come out on top (as is only right and proper). It’s kind of like a deep-dish potato pizza or a potato-topped focaccia, while not being exactly the same as either. I guess I could have started with the dough on the bottom to begin with, and the results wouldn’t have been wildly different, but it was an upside down kind of day.
Potato Upside Down Bread: A Soda Bread Focaccia
The inspiration for this comes from that baking course I did last year with Rachel Allen. I loved the idea of her cheat’s focaccia, made with white soda bread dough, rolled flatter than normal and topped with lots of olive oil, salt and whatever else you feel like using – a simple savoury bread that can be in the oven in minutes.
For this bread, you have some white soda bread dough, with added parmesan and thyme, layered on top of potatoes, onions, garlic and olive oil. Use a nice, fruity olive oil if you’ve got it (I used the last of my Hartleys stash). You bake the bread, then invert the pan when you’re done. The potatoes may stick to the pan and need some persuasion to break free but, not to worry, it’ll still taste good. Needless to remark, if you have a non-stick pan, this would be a good time to use it.
For the dough:
- 200g plain flour
- 0.5 tsp baking soda
- 0.5 tsp salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 0.25 tsp dried thyme
- 25g grated parmesan
- 125-150ml buttermilk
For the filling:
- 200g potato (one medium-sized specimen)
- 75g onion, finely sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, cut into fine slivers
- 3 tblsp olive oil, divided, plus more for brushing the pan
- 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
- salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper
You’ll also need:
- Heavy pan that can be used both on the stovetop and in the oven – non-stick if possible (I used a 24cm round cast iron pan). You’ll also need a plate that is wider than the pan onto which you can invert the bread once it’s baked.
- Preheat your oven to 200C
- Scrub your potato and, leaving the skin on, slice thinly (use a mandoline if you have it).
- Brush the base of your pan with olive oil (about a tsp should do) and arrange the potato slices in a single layer in a circular or spiral pattern, overlapping the slices as you go.
- To prepare the dough, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and a couple of twists of black pepper.
- Add the thyme and parmesan and stir to mix.
- Pour in most of the buttermilk and, using one hand, mix together gently to form a soft dough. Add a little more buttermilk if the flour has not been completely incorporated, using just enough so that the dough binds together – it should not be too wet or sticky.
- On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a circle the same size as your pan.
- Now, place the pan with the potatoes on a medium heat and bring them to a sizzle.
- Remove from the heat, scatter with the sliced onion, slivered garlic, 2 tblsp of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and a couple of twists of black pepper.
- Top with the dough, pressing it down into the onion layer and pricking all over with a fork. Brush with another tblsp of olive oil.
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until nicely browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before turning out onto a plate. You may want to try loosening the bottom of the bread before doing so, especially if the pan is not non-stick. Even if the potato layer doesn’t come away cleanly, just remove whatever is left in the pan and reunite it with the rest of the bread.
- Cut into wedges and enjoy along with some green salad and a glass of vino if you are so inclined.
- You could certainly add a few sliced olives and perhaps some capers on top of the onion layer.
- One cake of potato bread, would serve 3-4 as a lunch, along with some green salad.
While you get the sun, I got the rain that will be here for the rest of the week. I ain’t complaining though. I love the rain. Fantastic bread!
And let’s top up your glass with a little more of the bubbly and pass around the tray of Potato Upside Down Bread! Thanks dear Spud-buddy for baking this great bread for my BBD Birthday Party! I love it! And I, too, am a kind of upside down person so it’s perfect. I must try making this very cool, yummy bread! Cheers!
Thanks for the link, Spudness xx
(Ps, your word verification was ‘the gabbiest’ – trying to tell me something?)
Waw!! This dish looks so tasty, Daily spud!
MMMMMMMM,….easy to make too,….Yum!
Bread and potatoes – my two favorite things in one!
OMG – about your brother’s ceiling! I live in a very old (I guess 150 years old is not so “old” in Europe), but am always dealing with faulty pipes and leaks. It has been a topsy-turvy start to the new year in the goings on in the world and personally too. Puts things in perspective and again am reminded that the most simplest things like potato bread sometimes provide much needed comfort!
Your potato bread looks wonderful. Served up with a steaming hot cup of coffee, perfect. A comfort to this insane Winter weather.
I hope by now, your brother’s ceiling has been patched and repaired.
I love crispy layers of potato, this sounds total comfort food.
jenn: good job you like the rain – for once I’m not jealous of your L.A. weather :D
Jamie: Cheers m’dear – you get the glasses topped up, I’ll get the tray of bread and away we go :)
English Mum: I had nothing to do with that word verification, honest! And as far as links go, you’re heartily welcome, least I could do.
Sophie: that it’s so easy to make is even better of course :)
gastroanthropologist: I couldn’t believe it when my brother described the state that he found his house in, though he was entirely philosophical about it because he said (a) it wasn’t Haiti and (b) he was insured. Still, the general state of things lately does call for comfort food all ’round.
Velva: I hope the ceiling has been repaired too – I must check in!
Sarah, Maison Cupcake: love crispy layers of potato too (is there anyone who doesn’t? :) ) – it’s comfort food big time
Snappy, smelly, grumpy are no proper adjectives to describe a Spud Sunday – so happy to hear it was none of those! Hopefully, this upside-down bread is a signal that in time, things will right themselves. Anyway you slice it, a piece of this would put a smile on my face!
Sounds delicious and easy! Perfect for rainy day baking!
Now that’s looks like something breaking a diet for. Love the picture too,
I like the look of this! Have this bookmarked as something to help me increase my baking confidence.
What a treat Spudsy! I might have to make some gravy to slather mine in! Okay now I am really hungry!
This bread is like a party in carbotown!! It combines two of my favorite foods: bread, and potatoes! Will have to make this very soon.
Mmmm, great idea! And so quick and easy – thanks!
Yum! I love the idea of a potato upside down bread, sounds super delicious! Wish I had a slice right now with my morning coffee!
Gimme, gimme, gimme some….I NEED to do more potato bakes!!!!!!!! I’m always worried they won’t be cooked through but….I have confidence to try harder. Thanks for the spudeilicious recipes ( I’m bad at spelling non-dictionary words!)
The whole sound of this has me intrigued! It really sounds delicious and so special! I’ve never had anything like it.
Tangled Noodle: You are quite right of course, nobody wants a grumpy Spud Sunday – not least I! Now then, one slice of potato upside down bread coming right up :)
jami: Welcome! Yes, it is indeed a nice easy one…
Angela@SpinachTiger: Thanks! Worth breaking a diet for indeed :)
aoife mc: I reckon it’s probably a good one to try baking-wise – it’s not too complicated and should have a tasty result.
Chef E: you go get the gravy on, I’ll keep the bread warm :)
Clare: if you like the combination of potatoes and bread then I will definitely have to introduce you to the joys of the chip butty when you get to Ireland!
Lindsay: you’re welcome and thanks so much for stopping by
Natasha: good with morning coffee or at any other time of day, I’d say :)
Kitchen Butterfly: Spudelicious sounds good to me :) And do have a go at more potato bakes, you’ll not be sorry!
Reeni: it’s certainly worth a try and would love to know what you think if you do
Bread and potatoes, the staff of life, I think. Followed you here from Life’s a Feast. I am enjoying your writing and your posts.
Hi Katy and thanks so much for following me here from Jamie’s lovely blog. Glad you’re enjoying it!
Hi! I’ve visited this blog for the first time and I find this beautiful food image… :-)
I love potatoes and I cook it in every way, I will try to cook this receipe this evening or maybe tomorrow!! I will let you know!
Hi Simona and welcome! Hope you liked the potato bread :)