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Traditional Focaccia Barese, with potatoes in the dough

traditional focaccia barese-in the pan-baked

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5 from 9 reviews

This type of focaccia from Puglia, with potatoes in the dough, is not too tall, soft and spongy in the middle, with a nice crunch on the border. It is usually dressed with cherry tomatoes and black or green olives on top. 

Ingredients

Scale
  • 180 g (1 and 1/4 cups) all-purpose flour ⠀
  • 120 g (3/4 cup) semolina flour (semola rimacinata) ⠀
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) active dry yeast or 5 g fresh yeast
  • 20 ml (2 tablespoons) evo oil
  • 6 g (1 tsp) salt
  • 160 ml (2/3 cup) lukewarm water ⠀
  • 80 g mashed potatoes, about 1 medium yellow potato, boiled, mashed and cooled⠀

Topping:

  • about 2 cups ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
  • as many black or green olives as you like, pitted 
  • 2-3 tablespoons of evo oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a sprinkle of oregano

Instructions

For the dough:

  1. In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water and the yeast. Let dissolve.
  2. Then, add half of the flour mix, and blend.
  3. Add the mashed potatoes, the salt, and mix again.⠀
  4. Add the rest of the flour and while continuing to mix, drizzle the oil in. Mix until you get a smooth dough, not too sticky. Form into a bowl, cover with a towel and let sit for 20 minutes.⠀
  5. After this time, make a couple of folds in the dough. Then, oil a large bowl, place the dough in, oil the top, cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and leave to rise for 3 hours.⠀

Assemble:

  1. While the dough is rising, prepare the topping. Wash, and cut the tomatoes in half. Place them in a bowl, add the olives, dress with evo oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of oregano. Let sit to release the juices and soften. 
  2. Oil generously a 12-inch pizza pan, place the dough in the middle, and with your oiled hands streatch it to fit the pan. Make dimples in the dough with your fingertips.
  3. Before placing the tomatoes and olives on the surface of the pizza, squish the tomato halves a bit, then arrange them cut side down all over the pizza, pressing to let them sink in the dough. Then, drizzle with the juices from the tomatoes, and a little more oil all over. Sprinkle with oregano. Let sit for 30 more minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 220°C /425°F. Place the racks one on the lower shelf and one on the middle.
  5. Place the focaccia first on the lower rack and bake it for 8-10 minutes. This will create a lovely crust at the bottom and on the edges.
  6. After that, move the focaccia to the middle rack and bake for additional 8-10 minutes or until golden all over. If the top needs more color, turn on the grill for a minute or less, checking that it doesn't burn.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool a little, then slice and enjoy. It's good warm or cold.

Notes

Traditional focaccia barese has cherry tomatoes and olives on top. You can choose either black or green olives, or a mix of the two.

It stays soft for a couple of days wrapped in plastic. It also freezes well. You can reheat it in the oven and it will be as good as freshly baked.

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