Wednesday, June 12 2024

The origin of the Focaccia Barese dates back to the Phoenicians who kneaded millet, barley, water and salt and cooked it on stone in a round shape with olive oil, spices and honey.

In ancient Rome, focaccia was aĀ giftĀ for the godsĀ while during the Renaissance it was consumed at wedding banquets.


The birth of the Focaccia Barese is credited to the ancient bakeries of Altamura or Laterza; it was used as aĀ variantĀ of the traditional durumĀ wheat breadĀ recipe.

One took advantage of the early oven heat, and was used to bake the bread- even though it was not yet the ideal temperature to cook it. Then they spread out the dough a bit, left it to rise, seasoned it, and baked it.

 

 

 

 

MAKES 1 Focaccia

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • ā…œ oz of active dry yeast or Ā¾Ā oz.Ā of fresh yeast
  • 1 lb of all white flour
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • 2 lbs of tomatoes and, optionally, 6-7 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of green pitted olives
  • 2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

 

METHOD

In a cup, combineĀ  dry yeast with lukewarm water.

Stir, leave for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine white flour andĀ salt.

Pour over the yeast, mix with a spoon or spatula.

Add sugarĀ and start kneading the dough with your hands.

I prefer to work the dough on the table.

Initially, it’s slightly sticky but, in a few minutes, it gets smooth, soft and not sticky at all.

Do not dust the table with flour at all during this process.

Grease the bowl with a little olive oil, transfer the dough ball back to it, cover with a towel and let rise for 1 hour at room temperature.

While the dough is rising, prepare the tomato filling.

Wash and core the tomatoes, cut into quarters or larger slices and place in a bowl.

Then, with your hands, break the tomatoes into smaller pieces, not too small, though.

Optionally, you can also add some cherry tomatoes for an even more beautiful focaccia.

The dough has risen, cut into 2 equal pieces.

Brush with olive oil 2 round pizza trays, mine are 11.02 x 11.81 inchesĀ in diameter.

Take a piece of dough and make the first focaccia. Place in the pan and press with your fingers to spread all over the bottom.

The second one (we will have 2 focaccia) is made 15-20 minutes after you shaped the first one.

Sprinkle with olive oil on top.

First, arrange some cherry tomatoes cut in halves. It’s optional, you can skip this step.

Then spread all over the top half of the tomatoes we previously prepared.

Among the tomatoes, spread some green olives, preferably without pits.

Sprinkle with coarse salt over the whole surface.

And with dried oregano, it’s a must.

Now allow the focaccia to rise in the pan for about 1 hour. Don’t forget to prepare the oven before: turn on and preheat to 480 F.

After 15-20 minutes since you made the first focaccia, start the second one as well.

After it has risen for 1 hour, bake in the preheated oven atĀ 480 FĀ for 15-20 minutes, or until evenly browned.

After baking, remove from the pan and let cool on a wire rack or kitchen towel.

If you leave it in the pan, it will get steamy and the delicious and crunchy crust will soften.

It’s great, both hot and cold. We love it.

Enjoy!

 

 

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