Two words are enough to describe this focaccia: super soft.
The recipe is inspired by the classic "focaccia pugliese" recipe, but I replaced the brewer's yeast with sourdough. I also reduced the amount of oil in the dough (so you can easily devour half a pan in two hours as I did, without too much guilt), the important thing is to grease the pan very well. This is an essential step to ensure the softness and typical olive aroma that make this focaccia incredible. Oh, and of course the quality of the oil is essential, strictly extra virgin olive oil.
The softness comes from the potato, which is boiled and then mashed and added to the dough. Calculate 6 hours of preparation in all. Other ingredients that make this focaccia different from all the others you have eaten are: re-milled semolina, a must in southern Italian recipes, and cherry tomatoes, which are mixed with oil, salt and pepper and left to macerate. The emulsion between the water from the tomatoes and the oil from the dressing is used to season the focaccia before baking.
As always, Pastamadre is not here to give you rules to follow, but inspiration and advice to find your own method. (In any case, I recommend you try this recipe because it was really good)!
INGREDIENTS PREPARATION: 6 h/ SERVING SIZE: classic baking tray 30x40 cm
Sourdough refreshment (to be prepared 10 h in advance)
40 g of sourdough starter
80 g of fresh water
80 g of flour for refreshment (I use a flour type 1050 - tipo 1)
200 g of re-milled durum wheat semolina
200 g of 00 flour (405 type)
One medium-sized potato (about 150 g)
250 g cold water, approx.
200 g of sourdough starter
12 g salt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
400 g of cherry tomatoes (I used Marzanino) seasoned with salt, pepper, EVO and oregano
Start by refreshing the sourdough with a 1:2:2 refreshment (1 part yeast, 2 parts water and 2 parts flour). Leave it at room temperature and after about 8-10 hours your yeast will be ready to be used.
Boil the potato and mash it.
Combine the two flours, the mashed potato and the sourdough in a bowl. Give it a first stir, by hand or in the planetary mixer, then add the oil and salt.
Knead until the dough is smooth and free of lumps.
Place the dough in a bowl to rise until it has doubled in size. This will take about an hour and a half or two, depending on the outside temperature.
Season the cherry tomatoes and turn well to allow them to take on flavour and release some of their water, which will serve as a dressing.
Once the dough has risen, grease the baking tray with plenty of olive oil and pour the dough over it. Spread it out gently using your fingertips.
Place the cherry tomatoes on top with the cut side up, pressing lightly to ensure that the tomatoes do not come out during cooking.
Leave to rise in the oven with the light switched on for about 1 hour.
Before baking, spread the tomato sauce evenly over the focaccia and season with rock salt and oregano.
Bake at 220°C, static mode, on the lowest rack of the oven for about ten minutes. Then move the tray to the middle rack of the oven and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the surface is golden brown.
Let the focaccia cool in the baking tray before enjoying it.
- The amount of water is indicative: depending on how well the flour is absorbed, you may need more or less, but you should obtain a very soft dough. Furthermore, if you use a more or less liquid sourdough starter, the amount of water needed in the dough may also vary.
- It is very important to observe the rising times, otherwise the risk is to end up having an over-proofed dough (flat and hard pizza) or not proofed enough (heavy to digest).
- It is essential that the oven is very hot and does not lose temperature: I advise you to be very quick when putting the pizza in the oven and never open the door during the first 10 minutes of cooking.
- Store the focaccia in an airtight container, it will remain soft for at least 3 days!