Homemade Bread Crust Potato Tart, with shallots, thyme and grated hard cheese is the ultimate in comfort food; bread, potatoes and cheese!
What Is A Bread Crust Potato Tart?
In France, a ‘Tartine’ is an open faced sandwich; a slice of bread with a sweet or savory topping.
For the winter holidays, I wanted to create an elevated Tartine, using potatoes as my savory ingredient.
Before long, I had produced the ultimate in a comfort meal bite, without my potatoes swimming in creamy sauces.
I made a bread dough that rises in an hour. Then I layered it with blanched potato slices, drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with shallots, cheese and herbs.
Baked to crispy crusted perfection, I knew this dish would be a hit on the holiday dinner table.
A French Potato Tart
My bread crusted potato tart is simply an elevated ‘Tourte aux Pommes de Terre’; an open face potato sandwich!
The tart is baked in a removable bottom tart pan, looking almost like a fancy loaf of bread.
Who doesn’t love melted cheese, salty potatoes and a crisp bite of homemade bread, all in one bite!
Our Passion For Potatoes
Whether whipped, roasted or fried, the passion for potatoes is real!
A big bowl of mashed potatoes on any dinner table looks like a celebration, especially when we know there will be plenty leftover to make tomorrow’s Shepherds Pie.
Don’t have time to peel, slice, dice and mess with the potatoes for a fabulous meal after a long day at work?
More Potatoes To Love
Hasselback Potatoes (my most visited recipe), is a big ole, unpeeled potato, with lots of slices halfway through, jammed with goodies, wrapped in foil and baked later.
Similar to this easy to make potato is Twice Cooked Potatoes; baked with no fuss one day, stuffed with whatever the next. Often making this a complete meal in itself.
But potatoes aren’t just for the cold of winter. My Potato Salad With Homemade Mayonnaise, is another of my top visited recipes; especially the Mayonnaise.
Homemade mayonnaise is the easiest sauce or condiment to make and will make you wonder what the heck is in your store bought mayo!
The Holiday Potato
Allow me to leave you with just one more (though I have many), potato recipe that I have also elevated for the holiday table.
Potato Latkes with a Perfectly Poached Egg and smoked salmon on top. I serve this dish for my most special family brunches. Often also, you will see photos of this on my Instagram page or Facebook page for Christmas morning, fireside with a bit of bubbly!
Substitute potatoes with something else? Nope; we try but we all know that big ole spud is delicious no matter how we cook it.
A roasted cauliflower will get my attention, maybe even a rutabaga but… nah, there really is no substitution for a spud, but that’s just me.
What Is A Tart?
When we first think of a tart, we think of a dessert; am I right? But a tart is both sweet or savory.
So, what is a tart? In short, a tart is a baked dish with a filling over a pastry base with an open top, not covered with pastry. This is what a tart is, whether sweet or savory.
While I have a long list of fabulous sweet tarts in my repertoire of recipes, often using a Pie Hack for individual size tarts:
- Grandma’s Bourbon Pecan Tart
- Strawberry Tart
- Blueberry tart
- Fig tart – the very same tart I made for the finale of The Great American Recipe on PBS
I am remembered most for a television tart I made for the judges and viewers; Potato Crusted Herb Quiche.
This dish earned me praise from the judges on The Great American Recipe with PBS!
Is it a tart? We call it a quiche but in fact, it is a filling, baked inside of a crust with an open top!
Potato Tart Instead Of Potato Casserole?
I did not grow up with casseroles in my mama’s kitchen, unless it came in the form of a lasagna.
When I first became aware of what a casserole was, a bunch of ingredients tossed into one baking dish, baked and served in that dish, I was horrified.
A casserole, to me, does not look appetizing, yet I like the idea and ease of several ingredients going into a one-bite dish. The perfect solution for busy moms, I suppose.
So, I created a potato tart, with layers of finely sliced potatoes, layered with shallots, cheese and fresh herbs, baked over homemade bread dough. What a spectacular one-bite dish that looks fancy too!
Bread Crust vs Puff Pastry
Do you know what’s in a puff pastry? Lots, and lots of butter! Sure, it tastes fabulous and bakes to an almost croissant-like bread, but I didn’t want to blow all my calories in just the crust alone.
I opted, instead, for a simple bread dough that anyone could make. The secret to making a bread dough that will rise fast, is potato water; Potato Bread.
The potatoes needed to be softened in boiling water for just a few minutes anyway, which gave me the potato water for my dough.
Cost Effective Bread Crust
If you haven’t bought puff pastry in a while, you might be shocked when you see the price. Last I looked it was around eight dollars for a box of puff pastry.
Nope, I will make something more cost effective and not loaded in the calories of butter. I’ll save those calories for the cheese that will go on top of the tart!
How To Make Bread Crust Potato Tart
Since there are 3-steps in making this tart, each of the steps can be done at separate times; as it fits into your schedule.
First, the potatoes are sliced thin, using a mandolin or a sharp knife. The slices are dropped into a pot of boiling water for just a few minutes to make them tender but not yet cooked.
Remove the potatoes from the boiling water, drop them in a bowl of ice water, drain and set aside until ready to use. This step can be done a day in advance, if need be.
Second step is to use the cooled potato water to make a bread dough with yeast and flour. Once the dough is formed, it rises quickly because of the starch in the potato water.
Finally, to put it all together, the bread dough is rolled out and formed into a removable bottom tart pan. Layer the potato slices on top of the bread dough. Drizzle with olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and grated cheese and finish it with lots of fresh thyme before baking to golden perfection.
- Mandoline slicer or sharp knife
- Cutting board
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoons
- Removable bottom tart pan, any shape preferred
- Medium size sauce pan – to boil potatoes
- Slotted spoon – to remove hot potatoes from boing water
- 2 large bowls – one for making dough the other for an ice-bath
- Small bowl
- Wooden spoon – my preference for mixing bread dough
- Kitchen towel – for drying potatoes on top of
- Cheese grater – if the hard cheese has not come grated
- Stovetop and oven
- Olive oil
- Grated hard cheese
Bread Crust Potato Tart
- Potatoes – 2 medium
- Water – 2 cups
- Yeast – 1 1/2 tsp
- Flour – 1 1/2, more for dusting
- Olive oil – 1/4 cup
- Garlic – 2 cloves
- Shallot – 1 small, finely chopped
- Thyme – 1 bundle
- Salt – 1 1/2 tsp or to taste
- Grated hard cheese – 2 tbsp
- Peel and slice the potatoes paper-thin, using a mandoline slicer or a very sharp knife, cutting the potato in half first before slicing thin.
- Bring the water to a boil with a pinch of salt and carefully drop the potatoes in for just a few minutes, about 2. Have a bowl of water ready with ice in it, remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon, reserving the water, and place the hot potatoes into ice water. When the potatoes cool, strain, and them lay on a kitchen towel to air dry.
- When the potato water is cool enough to hold a finger in for the count of ten, transfer it to a large bowl. Add the yeast, 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves and stir in the flour until it forms a ball and stops sticking to your fingers. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm (not hot), place for 1 hour.
- Punch down the risen dough, transfer to a floured surface and roll the dough out to fit into your – removable bottom – tart pan, round, square or rectangle. Place the dough into the pan and crimp the edges.
- Preheat the oven to 400.
- In a small bowl, place the olive oil and garlic. Drizzle a little of this mixture on top of the dough. Layer the potato pieces across the top of the dough. Drizzle again with the olive oil mixture. Sprinkle with a little salt, the cheese, chopped shallot, the remaining garlic oil and sprinkle lots of thyme leaves across, placing a few whole sprigs of time on top.
- Bake until golden on top of the potatoes and the crust, about 25 – 30 minutes. Cool enough to remove from the pan and serve.