I know that every region of Italy has got their own version of focaccia, but I have never seen anything like this one from Bari called ‘Focaccia Barese’. It’s got mashed potatoes! I mean, it really is ‘carbs-heaven’!
Bari is the capital of the region of Puglia, the ‘heel’ part of Italy as they refer to it (since the entire map of Italy looks like a boot 🙂 ). One of region’s coastline is the Adriatic Sea, and if you take the train to reach Bari, 75% of the view will be the water of the Adriatic. I’m telling you, you wouldn’t want to leave once you’re there – Puglia is just BEAUTIFUL. Anyway, I will write about that on the ‘Journeys’ part once I’ve sorted out the pictures from summer. (Huh! Good luck on that!)
Back to Focaccia Barese. The dough is a combination of all-purpose flour, mashed potato and semolina – and the result is almost like a pizza. A thicker pizza, that is. The crust becomes golden and crunchy and if you serve this as an appetizer, do not serve the whole thing, otherwise you would not have any room for primi (or even secondi), you would probably end up finishing (just) the focaccia. 🙂
If you have always been wary of making homemade bread, do not worry – focaccia is one of the easiest bread to make. You can even put whatever topping you like. But for this recipe, I opted for the traditional focaccia barese, that is, with cherry tomatoes.
Unlike other variation of focaccia that I make (Basil Focaccia), we don’t even bother pairing this with anything. No salami, no mortadella – we just enjoy it as it is. Oh! We always have glass of wine with it, of course! That goes without saying, right? 😀
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MY AMAZON PICKS:
- 2 small potatoes (or 1 medium-sized), peeled
- 1 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup semolina
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup water, lukewarm
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 7 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
- 3 tsp olive oil
- sea salt
Boil the potatoes until cooked. Once cool enough, mash and set aside.
In another bowl, combine lukewarm water with yeast and set aside until foamy.
In a mixer bowl, combine all-purpose flour, semolina, salt and mashed potato. Mix.
Once yeast mixture is ready, add to mixer bowl and mix until dough become smooth and sticky.
Grease a 12-inch round baking pan (or pizza pan) with olive oil.
Arrange the dough on the oiled pan and leave enough space on the sides, the dough will expand and fill the entire pan later. If you are having a hard time placing and evening the top of the dough, make sure you wet your hands – that always work for me.
Cover the dough with a clean kitchen cloth and set aside for 1.5 to 2 hours, until the size has almost doubled.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees-C (375 degrees-F).
Place the tomatoes on top of the dough. Sprinkle with olive oil and sea salt.
Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Set aside to cool a bit. Serve.