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  • Writer's picturePasta Grammar

Focaccia Pugliese | Italian Focaccia Recipe

Italy has several different varieties of focaccia bread, but this is perhaps the most beloved. The addition of potatoes creates an incredibly light and fluffy dough, topped with ripe cherry tomatoes and olives.

Focaccia Pugliese | Italian Focaccia Recipe

Watch the Pasta Grammar video where we make this recipe here:

Makes 3 focacce.

For this recipe, you will need:

- 1 large russet potato

- 2 cups (250g) semolina flour

- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting

- 1 tsp (4g) active dry yeast

- 1 1/2 cups (350ml) water

- 1/4 tbsp (5g) honey

- 2 tsp (10g) salt

- Extra virgin olive oil

- 20-25 cherry tomatoes

- 20-30 medium black olives

- Dried oregano

Keeping the skin on, boil the potato for about 40 minutes, or until it is soft enough to easily insert a fork through the center. Drain and let rest until it is cool enough to handle. Peel the potato and measure out 5.25 oz. (150g) and mash them with a potato ricer or masher. The rest can be discarded or preferably used elsewhere.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, yeast and mashed potato. Mix thoroughly. Begin adding the water gradually while mixing by hand. When roughly 2/3 of the water is incorporated, add the honey and salt. Mix thoroughly again before continuing to add the rest of the water.

Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead until it is very smooth and even. Divide the dough in three and form each portion into a smooth ball. Rub each of these with olive oil and place them into 3 liberally oiled 9-inch baking tins. Loosely cover in plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2-3 hours at room temperature, or until the dough balls roughly double in size.

After the dough has risen, flip each ball upside down before pressing them to fill the bottom of the tins. Do so by pressing down with your finger tips and working from the center toward the edges. Dips and holes are preferable, so let your fingertips sink in and create them.

Next, add the toppings. Crush cherry tomatoes over the entire surface, leaving the skins and pulp on top (you'll need about 10-12 tomatoes per focaccia). Add black olives to taste and a sprinkle of dried oregano.

Cover the focacce once more with plastic wrap and let them rest for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 500 degrees F (260 C).

After the foccace have rested, remove the plastic and drizzle each with a little olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through and the crusts are golden brown.

Serve warm. Buon appetito!

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