La Focaccia Italiana

Most requested Italian Recipe!  Dalla cucina italiana…Buon Appettito!!!    

Delicious Focaccia from Puglia!

FOCACCIA…

A thick airy crust that can be served warm or cold. Very simple to make and can be prepared by hand, or with a kitchen mixer by using the bread hook and setting the mixer on stir in 5 minutes. The dough rises only for 1 hour and is ready for toppings and to placed in the oven where it takes only 15 minutes to bake!


Ingredients needed: Flour, Sugar, Water, Milk, Boiled Potato, Salt, Olive Oil, Butter, Yeast.  Those in the states will likely use Dry/ Dry Active Yeast, while in Europe Fresh Yeast (beer yeast)  is more readily available. I using Fresh Yeast skip to part two.  

FYI:  Careful to not combine hot milk or salt directly to the yeast as they will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise. 

Part One  In a bowl combine together with a fork the following ingredients and allow the starter dough to sponge for 20 minutes.  

  • 1 package  dry yeast ( for 1 cube beer yeast se recipe below as yeast is mixed directly in to flour with no preparation)
  • 1/3 cup warm water  ( room temperature to 110 F or 43 C)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

The yeast mixture should have bubbled and increased in size.

Peel and boil 1 small potato, allow to cool.  Mash with a fork. The potato

Dough will rise to double it’s original slice and be supple to the touch

provides extra levitation to the dough and gives a nice crunch to the crust.  Potato to be added in Part Two.

Part Two

  • Yeast Starter or 1 cube fresh beer yeast crumbled,
  • 2 ¼ cup flour (500 grams)
  • 1 Potato, peeled, boiled, mashed (optional)
  • 1 c warm milk (110 F or 43 C) (or may substitute with water)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in large bowl: Yeast, Flour, Potato, Milk, Salt  May use dough hook, kneading for 5 minutes, or knead by hand. Knead dough until texture of dough is supple and elastic, not sticky, for about 5 minutes. With a small amount of oil on your hands gently spread the oil onto dough ball, place into a large bowl and loosely cover bowl with plastic wrap, setting aside in a warm area to rise for 1 hours. 

 Part Three  Pre-Heat oven to 425 F

Generously grease cookie sheet with 1 tsp of butter.

Place risen dough onto cookie sheet and extend dough into any round or square form.

TOPPINGS

  1. Traditional Preparation: halved cherry tomatoes, inverted and gently pushed into extended dough.  Sprinkle on top of dough:   1/8 tsp oregano, 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, 1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese, Drizzle ¼ cup Olive Oil.
  2. Try Focaccia with sliced onions spread over dough and gently pressed into dough with fingers. Add 1/8 tsp Oregano, 1/8 teaspoon Rosemary, 1 teaspoon Coarse Sea Salt, 1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese

Bake in preheated oven at 425 F  for 15 minutes. Before serving drizzle Extra Virgin Olive Oil over Focaccia for extra flavor.


By Kimberly Crocker

BUON APPETTITO!!!

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