Massimo’s Focaccia Barese

This delicious focaccia is a staple at Massimo Bruno’s supper club and we often make it our cooking classes here at Cucinato. It’s a typical dish of Bari, the capital city of Massimo’s home region of Puglia. Recipe reprinted from the book Pizza Cultura (images by Rick O’Brien).

here at Cucinato. It’s a typical dish of Bari, the capital city of Massimo’s home region of Puglia. Recipe reprinted from the book Pizza Cultura (images by Rick O’Brien).

Ingredients

  • 325 grams bread flour
  • 50 gr semolina
  • 200 ml tap water (cool, not cold)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 half-pound potato, boiled
  • 1/2 ounce fresh yeast or 1/2 pack dry active yeast
  • 20 gr fine sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Oregano QB

Instructions

  1. In a small glass, dissolve the sea salt in 1⁄4 cup warm water.
  2. Prepare your yeast according to the instructions on the package.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add remaining warm water and olive oil. Slowly mix in the flour and semolina, the yeast, crushed potato, and finally the dissolved salt.
  4. Keep working the dough till it becomes smooth but still a bit wet and sticky, approximately 5 minutes.
  5. Coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil and pour the dough into it. Lightly oil your hands as well to prevent sticking.
  6. Flatten the dough towards the edges of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 90 minutes in a warm place. (I use the oven with the light on, but make sure it’s not on if you do this!).
  7. 7. Preheat oven to 425°.
  8. Uncover the pan. Break the tomatoes into small pieces by hand over the focaccia, letting the juices run onto the dough. Lightly press the pieces into the dough (rather than just placing them on top).
  9. Sprinkle the focaccia with oregano and drizzle generously with olive oil. Then finish with a healthy sprinkle of sea salt.
  10. Bake for approximately 20 minutes depending on the strength of your oven. Keep a close eye the first time you make it to avoid burning—you want the focaccia to be golden brown on top and bottom.

Additional note

The dough can be made 1-2 days in advance and kept refrigerated. Keep it in a plastic bag but not fully sealed. Don’t forget to let it come to room temperature before baking!

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