The focaccia is the snack for excellence of Bari. Typical of the Puglia region, there is no time of day when it is more appropriate to eat it, in fact in the city’s bakeries it is ready from the first morning and the scent it emanates spreads on the street. With a crispy edge and soft spongy centre it is unrivalled.
- 200g/2 cups plain flour
- 200g/2 cups semolina flour
- 7g/2 1/4 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 300g/1 1/2 cups water
- 150g/1 cup potatoes boiled, cubed and mashed
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 15g/2 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt, plus more as needed
- 250g/1 cup of cherry tomatoes
- 20 black olives
- 2 tbsp dried oregano
In a large bowl dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the potato and mix in into the water. Then add a drizzle of olive oil and add the salt. Mix well.
Add all the flour and mix until smooth and elastic. When it comes together, transfer it to the counter and continue kneading, for about 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into a ball, and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a cloth and let rise for about 3 hours or until doubled in size.
Coat a pan liberally with olive oil. Add the dough to the pan and cover and let rise for another 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 250C/500F.
Before putting the focaccia in the oven, brush the dough with olive oil. Press your fingers into the dough to make dimples all over. Add the tomatoes and scatter the olives as well, and using your fingers push the tomatoes and the olives into the dough a bit. Season with salt and oregano and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.