Have you ever been in Liguria region, for example in Cinque Terre, or in Genoa? And did you try that Focaccia (in the local dialect Fügassa) you can find everywhere there, that one with the holes”? 🙂 If you didn’t I’m very sorry 😀 but it’s really a great thing and you should try it.
The original recipe is “naked”, just good extra virgin olive oil and salt, then there are versions with rosemary, with sage, with olives, with onions…but never too heavy and complicated, always simple, with few flavors. Particular is the Focaccia of Voltri, a small village close to Genoa, where they bake it not in a tray and they use cornmeal on the bottom, giving some particular crunchiness and flavor. Moreover in some recipes also a part of white wine is used to make the dough.
It’s usually served as an aperitif, or as a snack in half morning, but you can fill it as a sandwich too. Traditionally were the longshoremen working in the harbor to eat it at mid morning, with some wine, to stop the hunger and avoid the lunch, and this habit helped to create the stereotype of Genoa’s people as cheapskate/stingy people 😀
Many people in Liguria even like it for breakfast, to dip in the cappuccino 🙂 in few words in Liguria the focaccia it’s an institution, it’s good in every moment of the day and it’s everywhere. And it must be well made 🙂
A perfect Focaccia has to be crunchy outside and very soft inside (but not elastic or chewy), with a golden color, absolutely oily 🙂 with the typical holes, not higher than 2 cm, and easy to digest.
INGREDIENTS (40×30 tray):
- 450 g flour (I used 130 g Manitoba flour W360, and 320 g buratto flour, Tipo 2, W280/290)
- 250-270 ml water (55-60% hydration, depending on the flour)
- 27 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 10 g salt
- 5 g fresh baker’s yeast
- 10 g diastatic malt (but also without it will be fine)
For the salamoia (brine):
- 100 ml water
- 50 ml extra virgin olive oil
- 6 g salt
- First of all measure the water, add the malt and the yeast in it, and then the sifted flour, and start to work it. When the dough is almost formed add the salt, and then add the extra virgin olive oil, gradually, until absorbed. Work the dough until homogeneous and no more sticky.
- Take a bowl, add some oil on the bottom and place the dough inside, cover with a plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge, for at least 18-20 hours (if you don’t have this time, you can leave it 6-8 hours at room temperature, it will be good too).
- The day after take it out from the fridge, leave it at least 1 hour at room temperature, then flatten it and place it in the oven tray (previously greased with olive oil), then finish to flatten it, also with a rolling pin, until it covers all the tray. A perfectly leavened and maturated dough it’s not elastic, so it will not come back and it will be easy to spread and keep the position.
- Cover it and let it leaven another 1 hour and half. Meanwhile prepare the salamoia (brine) by mixing the ingredients in a cup.
- After this time we have to make the holes: first spread half of the brine, then start from the top and push with your fingers, the 3 longer fingers of both your hands, parallel. Then pour the remaining brine (it must not go under the dough), it has to fill all the holes (add also the fresh rosemary, if you want to use it), and add also some coarse salt. Let it rest for another 1 hour/1 hour and half.
- When it’s ready to bake, switch on the oven at static mode at 220-240 °C, and bake it for 13-15 minutes (the first 3 minutes on the bottom of your oven, the remaining time in the middle).
- When it’s ready take it out, spread some more oil with a brush, let it cool down few minutes, and then cut it and eat it 🙂 usually it’s not remaining 😀
Flour: Farina Buratto Bio, Tipo 2, W280/290 from Mulino Marino, and Manitoba flour W360 from Mulino Marino (the one in the last photo instead was made with 100% Bio Buzaliszt from Pàsztòi Malom)
Extra virgin olive oil: my father’s 🙂