Thursday, 10 January 2013

Focaccia Pugliese

Credit for this recipe goes entirely to Gabriella Lapesa, who thought me by example. As any recipe that comes from family and tradition, there are no exact measurements and I've pretty much made up my own. It might take a bit of practice to bake the perfect Focaccia Pugliese, but this tasty bread is hard to get wrong.

The focaccia lasts for about a day, it's great on its own with an olive oil dip, or as bread for sandwiches with mortadella - that's a bit of a Roman touch for you ;) Enjoy!


Strong flour - 500g
Sea salt - 2 Tbsp
Sugar - 1 Tbsp
Dried yeast - 7g (1 sachet). or about 20g fresh
Extra virgin olive oil - 2 Tbsp + drizzling
Cherry tomatoes - 5 or 6
Half onion
Fresh rosemary (or dried) - [Gabriella uses oregano instead]
A pinch of coarse sea salt

In a large bowl, put 500 grams of strong flour. Add the dry ingredients, sea salt, sugar and dried yeast.

Add 1 glass of water and start working the mixture with a fork. Add more water until you obtain a wettish dough. Add 2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and work the dough with a fork for 2-3 minutes.

(If you use fresh yeast, use about 20g. Mix it in a glass of warm water and add to the mixture. Add more water if necessary.)

Cover the bowl and leave to raise for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 220C. Cut the half onion in strips. In a lasagna baking dish, drizzle some extra virgin olive oil and evenly distribute the onions in the dish.

Pour the dough over the onions and spread it to fill the dish if necessary. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and stick each half in the dough, with the cut side up. Make sure to press the tomatoes in, so that they are not higher than the dough.

Drizzle the top with extra virgin olive oil, break and add the rosemary leafs (to taste) and sprinkle with a pinch of coarse sea salt (getting a piece of focaccia with a large grain of salt on the top is one of my favourite things in the world).

Stick in the hot oven for about 30 minutes (a bit less if the oven is fan assisted) or until golden.

Wait for the focaccia to cool down a bit before serving.

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