Focaccia Genovese – Traditional
Focaccia is a treat for Italian kids as much as candy bars and soda pop are for US kids. Raffaella often speaks with fondness of going to school in the morning and sneaking into the bread store to buy a hot piece of focaccia. My daughters would do the same. When I would take them out on Saturday morning it was either briosche or focaccia. I must admit that many times I would buy a slice of focaccia as a snack and one of my favorite panini is made with a focaccia split in half, tuna and cheese then grilled for about 5 minutes.
Focaccia is a savory bread. In Italy it is wrapped in a piece of absorbent paper to keep your hands from becoming greasy. Remember that this is olive oil and not some elaborate industrial oil so it does not have the same negative effects of other oils.
When visiting a restaurant in the US the waiter will most likely bring wafer like piece of focaccia and some olive oil. Most US Italian restaurants are southern Italian cooking. A pizza without toppings and cooked in the oven will sometimes be referred to as a focaccia however it is actually Pizza Bianca, or pizza without toppings. Northern Italy refers to focaccia a leavened pizza dough, saturated with olive oil, covered with large grain sea salt and cooked in the oven. The usual height will be two to three fingers high and may be simply olive oil and salt or as elaborate as a pizza. In any case it is a favorite treat.
The basic focaccia is Focaccia Genovese or simply olive oil and sea salt. Once the dough is leavened, indentations are created by pressing the dough with your fingers. Olive oil is then poured on the dough until the all of the indentations are filled and large grain sea salt is then spread over the entire surface. A quick pat to fix the salt and the focaccia goes into the oven.
Focaccia is a perfect snack, appetizer or bread for a savory sandwich.
Medium or Large grain Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Once the pizza dough has risen for about 1 hr. longer if desired, flour your hands. Using only fingertips press firmly into the dough to create evenly spread indentations over the entire surface of the dough.
Pour olive oil liberally over the top filling all of the indentations. Be careful not to allow the olive oil to spill over the edge into the pan.
Sprinkle sea salt liberally across the entire surface. Pat the salt into the dough with minimum pressure.
Bake for 25-27 minutes.
Tags: Genova Liguria Focaccia Bread Food and Wine Travel Italy