Pizza, focaccia, how many recipes do you think exist in Italy? I bet hundreds! and all are amazing and unique.
How come there might be so many recipes? Well have you heard about Regional cuisine in Italy? I wouldn’t dare to delve into that discussion, it may end up being endless! Let’s just say that every little tiny village in Italy has its own recipes, its own ideas on how you should cook this or that recipes.. well actually this also happens from a family to another, could you believe it? 😀
I know Italians are pretty much into food. Sometimes it seems that being able to cook something could be more important that any other thing. Food is at the base of many relationships, families, households. People talk about food even when they’re eating their food. It’s a constant in everyone’s life, and many would definitely start a fight about food and how it should be prepared. That’s because food is a fundamental part of our lives.
In cooking I have found a way to relax, and relieve some stress and anxiety, and when the results of my efforts are in a shape of a pizza or a focaccia like this, I feel joy and happiness!
This recipe is one of the many you will find browsing on line on how to make a focaccia pugliese (literally from Puglia), so I won’t even start by saying this is the right one, I hope you will give it a try it.
Focaccia pugliese: the best flour
Focaccia is usually made with durum wheat flour (semola rimacinata) and strong flour, this is the perfect mix for a crunchy yet moist and fluffy texture. When buying the flour I always recommend organic stone milled ones. Durum wheat flour might be very coarse, for this recipe it is used the “semola rimacinata”, meaning a coarse flour that has been milled twice to get a finer texture. If you can buy flours made with ancient grains it is even better. Those wheat variety have a different tase and the gluten contained is less strong and more digestible.
The quality of the flour is crucial in getting the perfect taste, when available use sourdough, the end result will be more digestible and with a much complex flavor.
If you cannot find durum wheat fine flour, you can us bread flour. I would try to find a flour with a relatively high fiber and protein content.
Healthy tips for easy to digest focaccia
Having trouble digesting pizza and focaccia? You can get a better product if you know a trick or two. Check my pizza recipe to see how you can reduce the quantity of fresh or dried yeast and make an easy to digest focaccia. You can also use half the quantity of the yeast and allow the dough to rise longer. The flour you use will also change the nutritional value of the recipe, if you use white all purpose flour, the focaccia will be elastic and chewy – that depends on the low quality gluten in white flour and low fiber content. Focaccia made with regular flour will like spike your blood sugar levels, and give you a crush after a couple of hours.
Preparing this dough by hands require some skills in kneading. If you are not that expert you may want to try using an electric mixer.
Focaccia pugliese recipe
- 300gr durum wheat flour
- 200gr bread flour (unbleached)
- 10 cherry tomatoes
- 2 medium potatoes (around 200gr)
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 ounce of fresh yeast or 1 packet of dried yeast – or 100gr of sourdough
- 3/4 cup of room temperature water
Boil the potatoes and peel them, then let them cool.
In the bowl of the mixer put the water in which you have dissolved the yeast (or add the sourdough to the water). Add the flour and start the machine at the lowest speed. mix well.
Add the potatoes and increase the speed of the mixer. Let the machine mix the dough for 5 minutes then add three tablespoons of oil and a large pinch of salt. If the dough is too soft, add a little more flour. Continue kneading the dough for another 2 minutes and then let it rise for 2 to three hours in a warm place. If the weather is too cold, allow the dough to rest an additional hour. It must have doubled in size.
Preheat the oven at 240°C (440°F). Grease a baking tray ( about 28cm diameter) with some oil and then spread the fermented dough on it. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in half. Put them on the focaccia, by deepen them into the doug. Add more oil on the surface. Sprinkle origano and a little bit more salt and put it in the oven.
Cook for 5 minutes at 240° theb reduce the temperature to 180° C (390°F) and cook for about 30 minutes. When the focaccia il golden brown it’s ready to be served.