Hello lovely people, hope you’re doing well!
Since many of you asked me on socials how I make focaccia I made this video and I also will be leaving the recipe with step-by-step method.
I’m glad to share something that is from my home town, Bari, which is in the south of Italy, specifically in Puglia region. In the last bunch of years they have been lots of improvements as the tourism has risen quite much.
Puglia is indeed a jem of stunning places to visit. To mention just a few must-go places I reccomend Alberobello, Polignano a Mare, Vieste and Gargano area, Margherita di Savoia and its “saline”, Salento’s beaches and the historycal Lecce old town, Altamura, famous for its award winning bread, the National Park of Alta Murgia, Castel del Monte, (yep, the castle featured on the 1 euro cent coin!) and last but not least Bari, its old town center (Bari Vecchia), the seaside and its breathtaking Cathedral.
Not only Bari is packed with beautiful places and friendly people, but it is also one of the Italian food capitals. Many of its typical dishes are also vegan friendly like: fave e cicorie (fava bean pure and chicory), calzone di cipolla (onion filled calzone, though some bakeries may put cheese in it, it’s always best to ask first), sgagliozze (fried polenta), popizze o pettole (deep fried pizza dough), lampascioni alla barese (a perennial bulbous plant that resembles an onion with a very bitter taste. It’s typically boiled and served with olive oil, salt and pepper. They are also amazing battered and deep fried.), pasta e cavoli (pasta with cabbage) and orecchiette con cime di rapa (pasta with turnip greens – which is typically dressed with olive oil, garlic and anchovies, but can easily be veganized by omitting the fish and/or use capers instead).
Of corse there are many other typical dishes which are not vegan friendly, this is why I decided to dedicate a little space on this blog to share all those Puglia classic dishes with a vegan twist. So stay tuned if you’re intrested in discovering the amazing flavours of my land!
Back to today’s recipe, I cannot be more proud to start this section with one of the most classic and representing food of Bari: Focaccia Barese.
This delicious bread simply consists of a fluffly dough enriched with potatoes simply seasoned with olive oil, fresh tomatoes, olives and oregano…and baked!
The result is this crunchy, fluffy and flavourful piece of art that everybody will love.
I warn you, once you start baking it you won’t stop! Once you see how easy is to bake this treat, the temptation of trying different topping combinations is simply too high to resist! We, in fact, bake focaccia at least once a week, typically on Sunday, as our last treat to end the week with. Such a perfect endind, isn’t it??
Here’s what I use to make this bad girl!
340 gr Warm Water
250 gr Bread Flour
100 gr Wholemeal Flour
30 gr Potato Flakes
6 gr Yeast (easy bake)
5 gr Salt
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cherry Tomatoes (10)
Olives (a dozen)
Combine in a bowl white flour, wholemeal flour and potato flakes.
With a fork create a little hole in the center and pour the yeast in.
Make another hole in one corner of the bowl, apart from the yeast and pour the salt in it.
Gently add the water (please note water must be warm but not too hot, otherwise it will kill the yeast!) while mixing the ingredients with a fork (or with your hands if you fancy).
Knead the dough for at least five minutes and allow it to prove in a dry and warm place (I usually place the bowl in the microwave turned off, it proves perfectly) for at least 2 hours (up to 5).
Once the dough has risen preheat the oven at 220°C (428°F).
Pour the olive oil on the bottom of a baking tray, add the dough and with your hands stretch the dough from the center until it fills the tray (flipping it 2 or 3 times will help).
Cut cherry tomatoes in half, squeeze their juice on the dough then push each half in the it.
Place the olives pushing them a bit in the dough too, then season with pepper and oregano.
Place a ramekin with water in the oven (that will help make the focaccia crust crunchy) and bake the tray for 20-30 minutes.
Now all you need is to enjoy your homemade focaccia!
Note: Best served while still warm 😉
..and don’t forget to try different flavours combinations and shapes!
Watch the video