In this country every single “regione” has its own complete range of recipes. Some are shared by the whole peninsula, some are specific of a certain area. Some are known all over Italy but with different names, some other are known with one common name, but the recipes will be different! Believe me, it’s a mess! 🙂
Foccaccia is one of the things that belong to the last kind. Every Italian region has its own foccaccia recipe, though the name stays the same, the recipe would change wherever you go!
Since my partents were born in Bari, Apulia the heel of our splendid boot, I obviously adore focaccia Barese. I’ve been trying and trying to get it perfect and, at last I did! I had to make a lot of research because both my mother and my grandmother didn’t know how to make it and here in Rome, where I live, it cannot be found.
Now I am going to share this recipe with you, I hope you’ll like it. But, in the unthinkable event you didn’t, please, do not let me know! 😀
For a 30cm diameter baking tray:
– 360 gr durum wheat semolina
– 130 gr boiled potato
– 220 gr warm water
– 5 gr brewer’s yeast
– 7 gr sugar
– 12 gr salt
– 20 gr evo oil
For the topping:
– 10/12 red cherry tomatoes
– 12/15 black olives
– dried oregano ar
– coarse sea salt ar
– a little hot water
– 3 tablespoons evo oil
First thing boil the potatoes and let them cool completely.
In half glass of water crumble the yeast, add the sugar and stir well. Now keep it aside for about 10 minutes.
Mix together the semolina, the potatoes and the water with the yeast. I use a dough kneader but you can do it by hand if you want.
Add the rest of the water little by little, finally add the salt and half of the oil. When it’s been absorbed add the rest. Knead for about 5 minutes, you can stop when the dough is nice and smooth. Try to make it into a ball though it will be very sticky and difficult, but do your best.
With a few drops of oil, grease a bowl, put the dough inside, cover with cling film and let it rest. The ideal temperature for it to grow is 35 degrees, the best way to achieve this is to place the bowl in the oven and lit just the oven light.
In a couple of hours the volume will have doubled. Now you can transfer the dough in a baking tray that you must grease with oil very very well beforehand.
With your finger tips gently push the dough towards the edges of the tray. Cover again with the cling film and let it rest for one and a half hour.
Cut each cherry tomato in half and press each half, flat-side down well into the dough. When you’ve finished with the tomatoes, do the same with the black olives, you do not need to cut them first.
Take a little hot water (about 1/4 glass), add 3 tablespoons of evo oil, mix and pour it on the whole surface of the dough.
Now sprinkle the dried oregano and the grains of coarse salt.
Put it in the oven 220/230° for about 25 minutes, until it’s nice and golden.
The best way to eat it is warm but cold is also delicious! The secret is the quality of the ingredients, the boiled potatoe and a lot… a lot… a lot of top quality evo oil!