Focaccia bread

Focaccia bread , originally from Genoa, is now one of the most popular and widespread breads in the world. And yet, despite its long history, it never goes out of fashion: many Italians remember their childhood when some focaccia would be taken to school in their backpack, wrapped in a simple sheet of paper, and how they couldn’t wait for the break between lessons to eat it. Many others will remember eating it with their grandmother, or mother, or on Sunday with the family, or at a picnic on the beach. Soft, fragrant focaccia, simply brushed with oil and sprinkled with salt, it is still the undisputed princess of Italian gastronomy. It is often modified in recipes, stuffed and seasoned in various ways: the one that we enjoy and offer in this recipe is simple, one that, when cooking in the oven, would evoke wonderful childhood memories to many Italians

Ingredients

  • Italian 00 flour 500 grams
  • brewer's yeast 25 grams
  • extra virgin olive oil 100 millilitres
  • water
  • salt
Information
200 minutes Total time
20 minutes Active time
Serves 4 persons
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Preparation

Mix the flour with the baking powder, salt and enough water and then knead until you have a standard bread dough. Let it rise for at least three hours covered by a towel; then spread it out in a rectangular baking tray, greased with a little oil, and then squeeze the surface of the dough with your fingers to form small dimples. Prepare an emulsion with coarse salt, a little water, olive oil, and fennel seeds to taste and brush the cake. Bake in a hot oven (200 °C) for about twenty minutes.

Tips
The cake should be stretched and worked exclusively with the fingertips. Before baking take care to grease it with the best extra virgin olive oil that you can find, and sprinkle generously with coarse salt.
Trivia
The Genoese have exported their focaccia practically all over the world, but there is a country where it has been assimilated perfectly: Argentina. Here, the Genoese immigrants in the early years of the twentieth century opened their first bakeries, and even today many of these bakeries still bear the simple name ‘Fugassa’ on their shop sign, a term of Genoese dialect which even appears in dictionaries. Going a little further back in time, you might be interested to know that during the Renaissance guests used to enjoy a piece of cake in the church at weddings. This gesture was considered a good omen: focaccia offered good luck for a happy and fruitful marriage.

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