Italian Food #4: focaccia!

In the world there are a lot of snacks. There snakes you can eat when you are walking on the street or snacks you can cook fast in few, very easy steps in few minutes when you are too lazy to stay in the kitchen. In the USA you have maybe donuts, in England you can have fish and Chips, in Italy you have Focaccia. In my opinion, there’s nothing as delicious and easy as focaccia.

Everyone loves focaccia in Italy, literally everyone. Together with pizza is the most loved fast food. The only people who doesn’t eat focaccia are those who are allergic to one of the ingredients. Otherwise, the others eat focaccia a lot. Why is it so loved? Because it’s delicious, veryl light, you can put on it everything you want and you can use it in very different occasions. Let’s start from the very beginning…

What is focaccia? Focaccia is a flat leavened oven-baked Italian bread. Yes, you can call it bread, because the preparation is similar to bread, but thera are two different things. For example, no one in Italy will eat just bread on the street, without something in it, but there are people who eat just the focaccia with nothing else.

How is it cooked? Before to start, better to know what to use, because people outside Italy too often try to be creative:

INGREDIENTS FOR FOCACCIA

Flour 0 470 g
Dry yeast 5 g
Sugar 16 g
Water at room temperature 230 g
Whole milk 115 g
Extra virgin olive oil 45 g
Salt up to 12 g

TO GREASE AND SPRAY

Rosemary to taste
Salt flakes to taste
Extra virgin olive oil 40 g

https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Focaccia.html (Italian viersion)

Do you have all the ingredients? Well, it’s time to make hands a little bit dirty!

To prepare the focaccia, mix together the yeast with the sugar in a small bowl. Once mixed the two ingredients pour it, together with the flour, into the cup of the planetary mixer. In the first stage of mixing use the leaf. Mix the mixture and in the meantime pour in it the milk and water that you have previously mixed together. Then add the oil slowly. Continue to knead until you notice that the dough has taken a little consistency, so replace the leaf with the hook.
Transfer the mixture onto the lightly floured work surface and give the mixture a couple of folds: lift one end and bring it to the center. Then lift the other end and bring this also in the middle and repeat once more.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl and cover with cling film. Put the bowl in the oven with the light on and let it rise for 2 hours or in any case until it doubles its volume.

After two hours, grease carefully a baking tray brushing the entire surface and along the edges.

Pour the dough inside and grease your hands to prevent the dough from sticking. Begin to spread it with your fingertips and distribute it until the baking tray surface and sides are completely covered.

Once finished, cover with cling film again and let it rise for another hour in the oven. The oven must be off but with the light on. After the time has elapsed, go to create dimples in the dough with the tips of your fingers greased with oil.

Sprinkle with oil, a few leaves of rosemary and some salt flakes.

Now your focaccia is ready to be baked in a static oven at 180 ° for about 35–40 minutes, in the lower part (check the cooking from time to time without opening the oven).

Once cooked, all you have to do is take it out of the oven and enjoy it natural or stuffed!

https://ricette.giallozafferano.it/Focaccia.html (italian version)

Yes, i know. You may say that the preparation is not so easy after all, because you need hours to cook it. It’s not true: the time you need is for the leavening. If you read carefully, it’s one of the easiest thing in the entire world: mix all the ingredient, fold a couple of times and cook in the oven.
In addition to its simplicity, you can cook a huge focaccia, cut in smaller pieces, eat what you need and the rest can be put in the freezer. In this way, you can have several lunches already done for the future, in case you can’t cook or you don’t want to.

And focaccia can be used instead of bread. At lunch or at dinner, focaccia can be used easily as bread. In italy is often done, especially in some restaurants, both because focaccia tastes better and make everyone happy. Any italian have never protested because they have focaccia on their table instead of bread.

If it’s not enough, once focaccia is cooked and it’s cooled down, you can filled with whatever you want: cheese, ham, vegetable, sauces…The only thing you have to do let your creativity and your stomach free to think and try different combination. I personally i eat focaccia with tomatoes, olives and when i was younger i ate it with tunny and mayonnaise.

For that reason we in Italy love Focaccia: it’s easy to cook, you can use it every time you need and you can fill with everything you want! Try it for yourself!

See ya

Mauro

The Ironically All-Rounder
I'm pretty sure to know everything. If thre's nothing i don't know. be free to tell me!

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