Did you miss the Focaccia Pugliese at our café Mediterranée? Marzia’s shares the recipe (of course with Italian cooking vocabulary), so you can try it at home!
Focaccia is absolutely serious business for Italians.
Each Region in Italy has “its own” focaccia and claims it as the one and only original focaccia…and the most delicious, of course.
Focaccia Pugliese may or may not be “the one and only”, but it is for sure one of the most delicious and well known version all over the Country.
It has been probably invented in southern Puglia, as a variation of the traditional durum wheat bread [pane di grano duro]. In order to use the heat initially produced by the wood-fired oven [forno a legna] for baking bread – but not yet at the ideal temperature to cook it – bakers used to bake focaccia first.
Therefore, before cooking the classic loaves [pagnotta], a piece of uncooked bread was laid on a baking sheet, left to rest for a while, then it was seasoned [condito] and finally cooked
In its most typical version, focaccia pugliese is prepared by mixing duruum-wheat , boiled potatoes (mashed), salt, yeast and water so as to obtain a rather elastic, soft and slightly sticky [appiccicoso] dough [impasto]. The dough is left to rise [lievitare] until the dough doubles [raddoppia] its volume. It is then spread [steso] in a greased baking tin [teglia] with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and left to rise again. Finally, it is seasoned and baked [cotto in forno].
And what about the seasoning?
Three the most typical variants:
– tomatoes and/or black olives [pomodoro e olive nere]
– Sliced potatoes [fette di patate]
– Rosemary and salt [rosmarino e sale]
In all the variants the extra virgin olive oil is also generously poured onto the surface of the focaccia together with the seasoning.
The variant I have baked for tonight’s “Aperitivo & conversazione” @Café Mediterranée has an alternative seasoning that I personally find absolutely delicious: Cherry tomatoes, yellow paprika, red onions and oregano. [pomodorini, peperone giallo, cipolla rossa e origano]
I hope you will enjoy it!
150 gr. durum wheat [farina di grano duro]
100 gr. semolina [semola di grano duro]
1 big boiled potato, mashed [patata bollita, schiacciata]
Half cube fresh yeast or one sachet dry yeast [lievito fresco o lievito disidratato]
Salt 2 teaspoons [sale]
Sugar 1 teaspoon [zucchero]
E.V. Olive oil (3 tablespoons for the dough, plenty of it for the baking tin) [olio extravergine di oliva]
In a large bowl [ciotola] mix wheat, semolina, mashed potato, yeast, sugar, salt and olive oil. Add water and mix with your hand until you obtain a soft, sticky and homogeneous dough.
Let it rise until it doubles its volume.
Grease a baking tin with olive oil (generously), grease your hands too and spread the dough on the tin. Let it rise again for 30 minutes.
Add the seasoning and a little bit more of olive oil.
Heat the oven [riscalda il forno] at 180°. When the oven has reached the right temperature, bake the focaccia for 25 minutes.