After the pizza recipes, we asked Cucinoteca, one of Milan’s most famous cooking schools, for pointers on how to make another beloved leavened bread: Italian focaccia, interpreted with olive oil, cheese and tomatoes. Here’s how to make it at home, with the advice of great chefs.
SOFT GENOESE FOCACCIA WITH OLIVE OIL AND ROSEMARY
1000 g (2.2 lbs) flour
350 g (11.8 . oz.) water 150 g (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
20 g (0.7 oz) salt
50 g (1.7 oz) brewer’s yeast 10 g (0.35 oz) sugar
Knead the ingredients and set aside for 10 minutes. Place the dough on baking sheets, dimple the dough with your ngers and sprinkle with a mixture of olive oil and water. Dot with rosemary. Let it rise until double in volume. Sprinkle with coarse salt and bake at 375° for about 20 minutes.
FOCACCIA DI RECCO (WITH CHEESE)
Ingredients for three small pans or one large baking pan:
(1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
250 ml (1 cup) water
salt (to taste)
400 g (14 oz) fresh crescenza cheese
Knead the our with a little oil and salt, and add the water, blending until smooth (you can also use a mixer). Set aside for about 60 minutes at a temperature of about 65–68° and cover. Split the dough into pieces of about 1 pound and roll out thinly. With your sts, toss the dough and stretch it to make it as thin as possible. Grease a copper pan and stretch the dough into it. Cut up the cheese and place it on the dough. Follow the same procedure to make another layer of dough and place it over the cheese. Seal the ends of the layers of dough and remove any dough extending from the pan. Press the dough with your ngers to make holes about 1/2” apart. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a hot oven at 520°F for about 7 minutes. The oven needs to be set so it is hotter on the bottom than on the top. The focaccia is done when it is browned on the top and bottom.
Recipe from Palma D’Onofrio www.palmadonofrio.it (Serves 6)200 g (7 oz) ground semolina
100 g (3.5 oz) boiled potatoes
50 ml (1/4 cup) extra virgin olive oil
10 g (0.3 oz.) salt
extra virgin olive oil
Mash the hot potatoes and set aside. Sift the our in a bowl and add the potatoes and sourdough starter. Knead and add the cold water a little at a time. When halfway through, add the salt. Add the oil last and knead thoroughly. Knead for about 20 minutes until smooth and elastic. Split the dough in half and grease with oil. Set aside to rise until the dough has doubled. When it has risen, grease two pans and spread the dough, using your ngers to dimple the dough. Place crushed tomatoes and olives in the dimples. Sprinkle with oregano, coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake for about 20 minutes at 480 °F.