This focaccia recipe is a must in your diet. In Apulia, where I come from, eating dishes full of carbs is, as you can well imagine, very common, particularly during parties or Sundays. Classical examples of carb-rich dishes are also pizza and calzone.
The variety of these dishes is so huge that you can always use your fantasy and have a different one for each occasion.
The history and types of focaccia
There is no single way to describe focaccia, and the origin of it dates back to Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Greeks. Literally, the term refers to the Latin term focus that describes how focaccia used to be cooked in the fireplace.
The term focaccia refers to too many variants but above all the Apulian focaccia and the one from Genoa are the most popular ones. They differ because the one from Genoa is thinner and without tomatoes.
When it comes to my region, Apulia, you can experience different ways of making it too.
My family has always made it the way you find it here: a bit thick, very soft in the middle, and ready to be served with cured meat or cheeses. Clearly, you can have vegetarian options or even vegan. This is what we call Apulian. With this focaccia recipe, you will have the same experience!
In Bari, the capital city of Apulia, focaccia is made very thick, crunchy, and full of tomatoes.
Yet, if we move up to the center or north of Italy, we will find dozens of different versions. This is the magic and beauty of a country with so many traditions. A different focaccia recipe for each region, or almost!
Ingredients for a perfect Apulian focaccia recipe
As you can easily imagine, making focaccia requires very simple ingredients. Like the other dry dough-based recipes, you will mostly need water, flour, oil, yeast, salt, oregano (if you wish), and some patience to let it grow for a couple of hours.
Some people prefer adding potatoes to the dough but the focaccia recipe we use here does not contain any potatoes. You are free to add them if you wish.
How to eat Apulian focaccia
As each focaccia type differs from the rest of them, the eating experience can also differ. When eating a Focaccia from Bari, with loads of tomatoes and olives, you do not really need anything else on it. When you have Apulian focaccia, which is thicker and fluffy in the middle, you can choose to eat it as is or to add cured meats in the middle, or even on top of it.
A different solution is to have cheese, generally mozzarella, or even cured meats and mozzarella together. It is really up to you. Nothing will disappoint you, but we recommend you eat at least a piece without any additional food to enjoy the simple but great taste of the focaccia itself. We usually eat mozzarella with it. Unfortunately, in Finland, we can’t have fresh mozzarella, but when you go to the South of Italy, please do not miss the chance to buy and try it. You won’t regret it at all.
How to store focaccia
If you are unable to eat your focaccia on the same day, you can place it in the refreigerator for a couple of days. As for every food, please, be careful when storing it and place it into an airight container to keep it as fresh as possible.
You are free to store your focacca in the freezer if you wish. It will be fine for 3-4 months.
Alternatives to Apulian focaccia
If you plan to make a dinner full of carbs but you are not inspired by this focaccia recipe, there are some alternatives you can consider:
- Mini focaccia, round focaccia that can be served as a starter for your meals, where you can add tomatoes or olives on top;
- Neapolitan Pizza, a recipe for a perfect Margherita pizza;
- Air-fried panzerotti, authentic Apulian panzerotti but much healthier as they are cooked in an air fryer.
Apulian focaccia recipe
Mix the wheat and the semolina flours together in a bowl.
Dissolve the yeast in 100 ml of lukewarm water. Add it onto the center of the bowl with flours.
Add the four teaspoons of oil and keep adding the lukewarm water left.The dough has to be quite sticky: this is a characteristic of the focaccia dough.
Let it rest for a couple of hours, covering the bowl with a rag.
Take a tray and cover it in abundant oil so that the focaccia won't stick. Place the focaccia on the tray, add cherry tomatoes, oil, oregano if you wish, and course salt.If you do not want a rectuangular / round tray, feel free to place the focaccia on baking paper and use the oven tray.
Let it rest for 20-30 more minutes and then put in the preheated oven for 27-30 minutes at 200°.
Once cooked, let it cool down for a moment and serve.