this is my first recipe on this blog, so I would start with a typical bakery product of my land: Focaccia barese.
There are so many regional variants of focaccia, but the barese one is just topped with tomatoes, oil, salt, olives and oregano. It is always round shape, and often called ‘wheel’. This traditional bakery product has many variants (such as focaccia topped with potato or vegetables and white focaccia), and all of these variants passed down from generation to generation over time.
Focaccia barese, proably born as a variant of bread, is a poor food. In fact in the past, fishermen and farmers used to eat it when they went to work. Bread need high temperatures to cook and bakers didn’t want to waste time with an empty oven while waiting for the right temperature for the bread, so the dough topped with tomatoes (our Focaccia) was put in the oven before the bread.
Focaccia is also a street food, you can buy focaccia in one of the many bakeries in the city and eat a slice in the street. In summer, ‘baresi’ bring the focaccia wheel on the beach with a cold beer. Focaccia is so good that years ago, in a small city close to Bari called Altamura, a small bakery beat McDonald’s sales!!! Pretty cool example of how slow food products are usually better, especially when they are simple to prepare and fast to eat!
It is absolutely possible to make focaccia at home like barese people. I make focaccia at home in special events such as a party or fotball matches on tv (World cup, the only time when I watch football I have to admit that), or simply when I am in mood for focaccia!
If you want to try how good it is, follow this simple recipe and eat it freshly baked, perhaps accompained with a few slices of ‘Mortadella’ (or baloney meat for our foreign friends) and cold blond beer.
If you like this recipe, leave a comment and share!
PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOK TIME: 40 minutes
REST TIME: 2 hours
TOT TIME: 2 h 55 minutes
SERVES: 4 people
200 grams or 7 oz. or 1 and ½ cups durum flour (semolina)
300 grams flour or 10,5 oz. or 2 and ½ cups of all purpose flour (type 00)
2 medium potatoes (Yukon gold type)
350 milliliter or 1,5 cups warm water
25 grams or 0.8 oz. fresch active yast or ½ packet of active dry yeast
1 tbsp salt
olive oil (extra virgin)
10 cherry tomatoes
- Choose potatoes of the same size, gently wash, don’t peel them. Then boil potatoes in a pot. When potatoes become soft, (test doneness with fork) remove from the pot and let cool them.
- Remove the peel and crush potatoes with a fork.
- Put semolina flour and all purpose flour in a bowl and make a hole in the middle.
- Add in the hole mashed potatoes and a pocket of fresh yeast. Take warm water and dissolve the tablespoon of salt in. Suddenly spill salt warm water in the bowl and mix together with hands to obtain homogeneous mixture.
- Make a ball, sprinkle a little flour, cover the bowl with clean cloth and rest the mass for two hour.
- Then cover a baking tin with a drizzle of olive oil, lay the mass in it..
- Topped with half cherry tomatoes, salt, oregano and a little bit of oil.
- Put in the oven for 200 °C (392 °F) for 30/35 minutes. Serve warm with a cold blond beer and enjoy!