Crispy Pugliese Focaccia


#DaringBakers April 2015
Focaccia sud Barese

I already posted my two favourite focaccia recipes  Potato-Gruyere Focaccia and Oozing Mozzarella Focaccia. They are substantially different from each other in the way of making, tasting, also in appearance, well pretty much everything and I thought that those are as far as you can go in variation, one soft and spongy, the other thin and crispy. Then, for the month of April Rachael of Pizzarossa and Sawsan of Chef in Disguise took us on a trip to Italy and challenged us to try our hands at making focaccia from scratch .

Since I didn't want to repeat what I made already I started searching for inspiration by flipping through the Italian cook books (I like the old ones, they are always bursting with ideas) and found this - Focaccia sud Barese, crispy on the surface, with the texture of a crumpet inside.


This is a completely different way of making focaccia, with a very wet dough with a consistency of wet porridge. It is best when making by hands, even if you use the dough machine at the beginning to reach the desired consistency it would be a good idea to finish the process by hand flapping the dough high up against the sides of the bowl. 

Crispy Pugliese Focaccia

1 small potato, peeled, chopped and boiled
250 g bread flour ( I used wholemeal)
1/2 tsp salt
250 ml of water (where potato was boiled topped with warm tap water)
12 g fresh yeast
generous pinch of sugar
2 tbsp olive oil

Topping of your choice,e.g -  cherry tomato and oregano,  black olives and red onion...

24 cm round tin or equivalent

Boil the potato, let it cool, mash it and reserve the water. Top up with warm tap water to make 250 ml and dissolve the yeast and sugar in it. Mix the flour with salt, add the mashed potato and yeast water and mix to combine well. Using your hand start pulling the dough up one side of the bowl. Keep pulling to incorporate a lot of air. Stop every few minutes and look at the dough. When the bubbles show on the surface and pop, the dough is ready.
Oil the bottom of the round pan, pour the dough, then cover with the rest of the oil. Put it in a large plastic bag and leave to rise for 1 1/2 hours. Add the topping before placing it into a 200 C/400F preheated oven and bake for about 50 minutes, or until  is crispy and golden brown. 

From "The Italian Cookery Course" by Katie Caldesi

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