A friend once said
I love Italian food because is honest. The recipes contain a few ingredients, so only ingredients of very good quality can give you a delicious dish.
Focaccia di Donna Angelina
Typical Focaccia from Puglia
500 g twice milled semolina of durum wheat Saragolla (or Senatore Cappelli)
(or wheat/spelt flour)
250 g twice milled whole semolina of durum wheat Timilìa
(or whole wheat/spelt flour)
1 big potato or 4 small potatoes
420 g water
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (+ some more for the topping
8 g fresh yeast
2 teaspoons of fine salt
small fresh tomatoes
Boil the potatoes and mash them. Mix the potatoes with the yeast and the oil inside a small bowl, eventually adding a bit of the water without salt. Pour the water into a bowl, add the fine salt and mix. Mix the two kinds of flour inside another bowl, then pour a bit of the flour mixture into the water and mix with a big spoon. Now add the potato mixture and mix. Finally add the rest of the flour, little by little, and mix gently for a few minutes, using your hands when the dough becomes too thick to use the spoon. At this point pour a bit of flour on a surface (e.g. kitchen table) and place the dough on top of it. Work the dough for 15 - 20 min using your hands. When the dough is smooth and elastic, make it into a ball shape and place it inside a container with the lid. Let the dough rest for 2 - 3 hours or even an entire night.
Pour a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil onto a baking tray covered with baking paper. Transfer the dough on top of the oil and stretch it using your hands. The dough will still grow a bit, but not so much, so make it as tall as you like (we suggest 2 - 3 cm). Use a brush to transfer the excess of oil from the sides and corners to the top of the dough. Let it rest for at least 2 hours, covered by a plastic film or a wet cloth.
Using the fingers, make holes on top of Focaccia. Make a mixture of water:oil (1:1) by pouring a tablespoon of water and a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into a little bowl. Mix it and spread it over the dough with the help of a brush. Open the small tomatoes and squeeze them half way (between your fingers), so they release part of their juice on top of focaccia. Place the squeezed tomatoes on top of Focaccia, then sprinkle the salt flakes and the oregano.
Place the baking tray with the dough in the lower part of the oven at 220 °C for around 25 min without ventilation. You need to simulate a kind of baking that heats especially from the bottom. If you have a baking stone, place the baking tray with the dough in the lower part of the oven, beneath the baking stone, for the first 15 min. Then take Focaccia out of the baking tray and place it on top of the baking stone. Continue baking for 8 - 10 min, always at 220 °C. Focaccia is ready when it looks golden/brown and sounds a bit hollow when you knock on the bottom. It should be crunchy on the bottom and softer on the top. Place Focaccia on a cold grill at room temperature and let it cool down for a few min.
Cut in slices and enjoy! You can store it in a paper bag for 1-2 days or freeze it. It is best enjoyed warm.
For additional tips during the preparation of the dough take a look at the pictures and videos under the recipe Pizza ai grani antichi.