Bread & Pizza Italian Regional Recipes

Apulian Focaccia

Apulian focaccia or Focaccia Barese is a focaccia typical of Puglia region, South of Italy.

Its dough is soft and pliable with a special consistency achieved through the use of durum-wheat semolina flour and potato in the dough.

It’s usually garnished with cherry tomatoes, oregano and black olives. 


Serves: 6 | Preparation time: 30 mins + 2 h to rise | Cooking time: 25-30 mins

  • Italian 00 white flour / All-Purpose flour / Plain flour: 300 g
  • Durum-wheat semolina flour: 200 g
  • Lukewarm Water: 300 ml
  • Cherry tomatoes: 300 g
  • Pitted olives, black (or green): 100 g
  • Potatoes, small sized: 2 – or even 1 medium sized
  • 2 teaspoons of dried dried brewer’s yeast (4 gr) – (alternatively 10 gr of fresh brewer’s yeast)
  • Salt: 15 g
  • Caster Sugar: 6 g
  • Oregano, dried: to taste
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: about 4 tbsp for the dough and 1 tbsp for garnishing

Method

Peel the potatoes and boil them in unsalted water until they’re soft and cooked through. Crush the potatoes in a bowl.

Mix the Italian 00 white flour (or plain flour/all purpose flour) and the semolina flour together in a large bowl; create a hole in the centre of the flour and add in the crushed potatoes.
Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml of lukewarm water.

Tip: If the water is too hot or too cold, it will not activate the yeast, and focaccia will rise not completely or not at all.

Add water with yeast just dissolved in the dough and start kneading it.

Whilst kneading the dough, gradually add the oil, the salt, the sugar and the remaining water to the mixture. Your dough should be very soft and slightly wet, with a particularly sticky surface.

Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen cloth and leave the dough to rest at least 2 hours. The dough must not be put to rest in the fridge, but rather in a place with a constant mild temperature; it should rise to double its size.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

Spread out the dough on a greased baking tray (round or rectangular), distributing it evenly: according to the tradition, this step is completed only using hands, never a rolling pin. The tip of the fingers will help create the characteristic dimples where the oil collects in little puddles.  

Distribute the cherry tomatoes on top of the focaccia, gently pushing them into the dough to ensure they adhere to its surface. Add a generous sprinkle of dried oregano, some salt grains and just a drizzle of oil.

Bake 180°C / Gas Mark 4 / 350 F.  25 to 30 minutes 

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