Celery Root Focaccia Bread

Celery Root Focaccia Bread
Don't expect the flavor of celery root to jump up and down, screaming its name with each bite of toasty focaccia bread. In fact, you might not even be able to identify the presence of its deep earthy taste.  Like most potato based breads, the flavor given up by the root vegetable will just be a subtle suggestion. A hint, if you will, of something slightly unique.

Using a straightforward potato focaccia bread recipe as a guideline, I subbed in a cup of my celery root and potato puree for the plain mashed potato that the recipe called for.  I also swapped all-purpose flour for Italian 00 flour (a super fine Italian-style flour), of coarse not a necessary substitution but I found that it yielded a nice tender bread. For the top, I helped accentuate the earthiness of the celery root with tendrils of rich caramelized onions, crushed rosemary, shreds of sharp provolone cheese and then finished everything off with coarse Maldon sea salt and a light shower of olive oil.

Once I laid the round of dimpled dough onto the hot pizza stone in my oven, it wasn't long before my apartment was perfumed by the aroma of fresh baking bread.  The bread itself had such a beautifully natural scent, I wished I could have bottled it up to save for later. Fresh out of the oven, the bread was crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside with slight hints of something special.  The topping was a great sweet and salty compliment to the bread.  Cut into a big square, this focaccia would make a terrific panini or r it would make a great addition to a fresh salad or a hot bowl of soup.  You could even take it one step further by cutting it into little cubes and toasting it to make flavorful breadcrumbs.  Or, if you're like me, you can just enjoy it plain and simple, fresh and hot from the oven.

Check out the recipe after the jump!

Celery Root Focaccia Bread
Recipe adapted from Serious Eats

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, or Italian 00 flour, plus extra for kneading and shaping
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine kosher salt or sea salt
  • 1 cup celery root and potato puree
     2 medium sized onions, thinly sliced
     1 cup sharp provolone cheese, or other cheese 
     2 TBS unsalted butter
     1 tsp dried rosemary
     Maldon Seas Salt (to taste)
     Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
     Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water, and stir until creamy. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the celery root puree and the yeast, and, using fingertips, bring in a little of the flour. Gradually add 2/3 cup warm water and bring in the remaining flour as you go along. Knead briefly to make a rough ball of dough.  Dust a work surface with flour. Sprinkle the ball of dough with a little extra flour and knead for 8-10 minutes or until dough gets very smooth and elastic.  Let rise, covered, in a warm area until doubled in size. 
Meanwhile, warm a pizza stone in a 425 degree oven.  Punch down the dough and then roll it into a flat and round circle. Cover dough loosely and let rise again until double in size. Use your thumb to make dimples in the dough and generously brush with extra virgin olive oil. Transfer the dough to hot stone. 
For the topping, caramelize the onions slowly in a low heat pot with two TBS butter.  Once very soft and brown (this will take a while, approximately 45 minutes - hour) add the rosemary.  While the dough is hot from the oven, sprinkle cheese on top then add the onion-rosemary mixture. Sprinkle salt and pepper, drizzle olive oil and eat when warm. 


Molly said...

Ooh, another great-looking celery root recipe! I can't wait to try this one next time we have pizza night.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

How creative! I'm really into breads these days. This is a great one to try!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

This looks simply wonderful Katie!

Elizabeth said...

I once roasted celeriac on its own and I was not a fan. If only I'd known to do something like this with it. So impressed with the stuff you keep making.

MichellePC said...

Potato and pizza just belong together. This looks fantastic!

Megan said...

Very cool. I wouldn't think to use celery root in this way.

Maggie said...

Very nice!

Alicia said...

what a creative way to use up your puree leftovers! looks so satisfying!

Medifast Coupon Code 2011 said...

Very nice! And really looks great.

Carolyn said...

This sounds really good. I can't say I've actually knowingly tried celery root, although I may have had it in things prepared by other people. I have read lots of good things about it, though and am intrigued.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Dooooo it! Give it a try! :)

Fresh and Foodie said...

Creative idea! I've only had celery root roasted -- never like this. Love it. Looks great.

Jen said...

Yum. I wish I could have been there when you took this bread out of the oven.

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