Focaccia is a flat bread of Italian origin covered with aromatic herbs and coarse salt that has crossed borders. Considered the first cousin of pizza, it is prepared with flour, olive oil, salt, water and yeast, the result being crunchy, fluffy, slightly oily and absolutely delicious.
For this focaccia, I have used the dough that is made in the Puglia region and that my good friend Fede, a native of Bari, has had the detail to share with me. I’ve seasoned it with a fennel bulb and goat curler, so while the result has been equally delicious, it’s not exactly a focaccia pugliese. The Focaccia pugliese is made with the dough that I share here and with cherry tomatoes and oregano. The tomatoes are cut in half and seasoned well with extra virgin olive oil, salt and oregano. Then they are distributed over the focaccia, it is baked and ready.
Wheat semolina is nothing more than a type of wheat flour with a coarser grind. It has a yellowish color when it comes from durum wheat and is the ingredient used to make pasta. The addition of potato and semolina allows a better preservation of the focaccia once it is made. A tip: put the cheese at the end or in the middle of cooking so that it does not spice up like it happened to me.
The one to put the cheese when it touches.
For 1 focaccia
- 200 g potato
- 250 g of durum wheat flour
- 250 g of durum wheat semolina
- 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 level dessert spoon of salt
- 12 g fresh yeast or 4 g dry baker’s yeast
- 425 g of warm water
For the garnish
- 1 small fennel bulb
- 100 g of goat cheese
- A drizzle of olive oil to taste
- Salt flakes to taste
Peel the potatoes and bring them to a boil in water. Once cooked, drain and mash with a fork.
Add the flour, semolina, salt, dry yeast and oil to the cooked potatoes.
If you use fresh yeast, melt it in a little warm water instead of putting it in the previous step.
Add the water little by little to the combination of dry and oil and mix well with clean hands.
Once the ingredients are well mixed (it should be a somewhat sticky dough, and not like a bread or pizza dough), cover with a clean cloth and let it rest for 2 hours at room temperature.
Heat the oven to 200ºC. Cut the fennel into thin slices and put it in the pan for a couple of minutes to soften it. Reserve.
Coat the baking tray well with oil and put the focaccia dough on top. Stretch it gently and carefully to shape it.
Spread the dough on top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and top with the fennel and goat cheese (you can put the cheese in the middle of baking or at the end for a fresher flavor). Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Remove, cool on a wire rack and serve the focaccia seasoned with flake salt to taste.
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#Focaccia #fennel #goat #cheese