Which ingredients do you like in your bread? In Focaccia Pugliese, you get not only the dimpled airy bread, but also fresh cherry tomatoes and the lovely aroma of oregano.
What is Focaccia?
Focaccia is a type of Italian bread that uses the same dough as pizzas. But unlike pizza, it is topped only with herbs and seasoned with salt and some olive oil. Some variations of the recipe may have onions, cheese, and maybe meat. However, the most common topping for focaccia is rosemary.
This bread can be served as a snack, an antipasto, or as accompaniment for main dishes such as pasta or secondo dishes.
The Savory Focaccia Pugliese
Focaccia is one of the most popular breads in Italy and much like many Italian dishes, it has different versions all over the country. In Bari, which is a port city in the Puglia region, the most popular focaccia comes with lovely fresh cherry tomatoes and a sprinkling of oregano.
Other names for this type of focaccia are focaccia barese and focaccia alla barese. What’s more is that this is not just popular in the city of Bari. It is also quite a common fare all over the region, particularly in the cities of Brindisi, Lecce, and Taranto.
- Place the flour on the counter in a volcano-shaped mound
- In the middle, add the mashed potatoes, olive oil, bread yeast, salt and finally the lukewarm water bit by bit while you begin to mix the dough by hand
- Mix the dough by hand for about 10 minutes. The final consistency should be similar to that of one's earlobe -- continue to add lukewarm water as necessary
- On a large baking tray, add olive oil and lay the dough out, leaving it to rise under a damp cloth for about 2 hours
- To check if the dough has risen sufficiently, place a small piece of dough in a glass with water. If it floats, then the rising is done
- Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and press them into the surface of the dough
- Add a pinch of salt, oregano and a little bit of olive oil
- Put in the oven at 220C/430F for about 30 minutes
There are also other variations of this particular focaccia. In some versions, it has Italian olives while in others it has one or more of the following vegetables:
The one with cherry tomatoes is most common in Bari while the ones with onions and olives are from Altamura. In Lecce, it’s usually the plain version.