Monday, 22 February 2016

Fabulous Foccaccia from Puglia

Every day all over the world people are making things to eat using flour. Hundreds of types of bread, pasta, cake, pastry, dumplings, the list is endless.  
From way back, before the Romans, back to say the year 6000 BC there is evidence of people grinding cereals into flour and making some sort of bread.
Each and every country in the world will have a favourite way of mixing flour with water, oil or whatever and making something to feed family and friends.

 It is well known that Italy is the home of pizza which comes from Naples. In nearby Puglia, the last region on the south east coast, they have Foccaccia,

My friend from Puglia makes Foccaccia every week to remind her of her home. She describes the preparation of the focaccia, her eyes closed and a smile on her lips, with love and nostalgia. She tells you memories of her childhood, of her grandma and her cousins all sitting round eating focaccia on the beach in the summer.

'Oh' she says, 'la sua morte è mangiarla con la mortadella, e una birretta.' Roughly translated means that you should always eat focaccia accompanied with slices of mortadella and a small glass of beer.

So here I am following my friend's recipe for focaccia and closing my eyes and thinking of the beauties of Puglia.

Foccaccia Pugliese

1 sachet of dried brewer's yeast
500g flour,  MANITOBA
150g of mashed potato, this keeps the focaccia soft
250ml warm water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp coarse salt
20ml olive oil


1. Stir the sugar and dried yeast into the water.

2. Put into a large bowl with the mashed potato and mix well.

3. Add the flour, the olive oil and the salt and mix well, using your hands.

4. Cover the bowl with cling film and put in a warm place to rise, for about 2 hours.

5. Line a baking tin with oven paper and brush lightly with olive oil. Put your focaccia dough into the baking tin and squash it around with your hands

For the topping

cherry tomatoes
sea salt

Wash and cut the cherry tomatoes into round and put them in a small bowl with chopped garlic, oregano, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Let the flavours develop and then press the tomato rounds into the focaccia.  Add some olives if liked.

Cover the baking tin with a tea towel and leave in a warm place to rise for another hour.

Heat the oven to 200, not ventilated.

Bake the focaccia for about 20 - 25 minutes.
Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt to finish.

Hope you like it!!

Everything looks a bit white ..

One bowl for the flour and one for the potatoes and water mixture

Place the bowl of dough somewhere warm

Look how it has risen!!

Prepare the baking tin and select your topping

Slice the tomatoes and add chopped garlic if liked, oregano and olive oil

Put the dough in the tin and then press down the tomatoes and olives

scatter over some sea salt

Foccaccia, mortadella and a glass of beer

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