Focaccia pugliese with fresh tomatoes
- July 2019
- Serves 8-12
- Hands-on time 30 min, simmering time 15 min, oven time about 30 min, plus cooling and proving
This gorgeous focaccia pugliese recipe is brought to you by Italian food blogger Chiara Lancia. The recipe was passed on to Chiara by her godmother, who comes from Puglia in southern Italy. It’s perfect for big social occasions with friends and family and makes a stunning centrepiece studded with fresh, seasonal tomatoes.
- 5.6g (1g saturated)
- 57.4g (1.2g sugars)
- 2 medium (about 350g) fluffy potatoes, such as maris piper or king edward, peeled and cut into 3-4cm chunks
- 800g plain flour
- 1 tbsp fine sea salt
- 7g fast-action dried yeast
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
- 600ml lukewarm water
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
- 250g mixed heritage tomatoes, sliced 0.5cm thick
You’ll also need…
- Deep 30cm x 40cm baking tray, greased with olive oil, the base lined with non stick baking paper
- Put the potato chunks in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, then cook until tender (about 15 minutes). Drain, then use a potato ricer or masher to mash until smooth. Transfer to a large plate or tray and set aside to cool.
- Put the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, cooled mashed potato, 4 tbsp olive oil and the lukewarm water in a large bowl. Gently stir, using your hands or a wooden spoon, to form a dough, then knead in the bowl for 5 minutes. The dough will be very wet, so don’t worry if it looks and feels different from other bread doughs.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared tray, pressing it to the edges to completely cover the base. Cover the dough with a piece of oiled cling film or a clean damp tea towel, then leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes (see tip).
- Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Sprinkle the focaccia with the sea salt, arrange the tomatoes on top, then drizzle with the extra oil. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 minutes or until crisp and golden. Serve warm or at room temperature as an antipasto with deli vegetables, salami, prosciutto or other cured meats.
To mimic a warming oven to prove the dough, heat your oven to its lowest setting (about 50°C), then turn it off and put the dough inside to prove with the door shut.
This is best eaten the day it’s baked but will keep for 1-2 days in an airtight container.
Adding cooked mashed potatoes to focaccia is typical of the Puglia region.
A dry Italian white, refreshing and lemony, is all you need here – simple but mouthwatering soave, gavi or premium pinot grigio.
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