The most famous focaccia is the one from the region of Liguria, but other regions have their version of it and here’s how they make it in Apulia! Just a note that this is the Apulian version with no potato in the dough, which is traditional!
500g flour (300g Manitoba and 200g semolina)
100g natural yeast, refreshed and doubled in volume
40g extravirgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
cherry tomatoes (topping)
oregano or rosemary (topping)
coarse salt (topping)
Dough mixer (not necessary)
Container to host the first rising
Oven tray (approx. 15’x10′)
Fork or toothpick
Phase one: Dough and First Rising
Start by mixing water and yeast, and once you’ve obtained a foamy liquid, add the flour. Once the flour is well mixed in, add the slowly other ingredients, leaving the salt last. Fold a few times, and transfer the dough to the container you’ve chosen for the first rising. Cover with cling foil and punch a couple holes in it to let just enough oxygen go through. Let it rest at 26°C/78°F until doubled in volume.
Phase two: Shape and Second Rising
Take the dough out of the container and gently re-work it. With your fingers, spread the dough as wide and long as of the oven tray (it should touch the walls). Make sure that your fingers move gently downwards more than they move horizontally apart from each other, so as to avoid tearing the dough.
Once again, cover with cling wrap, punch a few holes in it and wait for the second rising at 26°C/78°F. With a healthy yeast, this process should take about 4h.
Phase three: Baking and Serving
Pre-heat the oven to 250°C/480°F. Remove the cling wrap and, with a fork or a toothpick, try to pop the biggest air bubbles in the dough. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half longitudinally and push each half deep in the dough, cut side up. I like to place them a couple inches from one another, in a regular pattern across the tray. Mix some water and olive oil and brush the mix to cover the whole surface. Sprinkle with coarse salt and rosemary.
Transfer to the hot oven and let it bake for 10 min at the bottom, then for 10 min at half. I suggest to then take it out, re-brush it with the water and oil mixture, and put it back in for 2 more minutes.
Welcome to your soft and delicious focaccia pugliese!