26 March 2008

Focaccia Genovese
(An Italian Parenthesis)

So, I know I've been requesting American recipes, but It's funny, I recently clicked on the "Italian" category of this blog and was astonished at how under-represented is my current cuisine of residence. In fact most of the (very few) Italian recipes on this site have not even been published by me, which is pretty lame considering I've lived here for 4 (!!!) years now. So I decided to make a quick Italian parenthesis to recount a few things I learned this weekend.
Emilio and I went down to his family's vacation home on the Ligurian coast for Easter weekend. These are always culinary journeys, considering his family who loves to cook and delights in my curiosity. Zia Marghe taught me how to make Focaccia, which was (surprisingly) quick and easy, yet (not surprisingly) delicious. She says the trick is to have a really hot oven, she actually prefers to bake it in her toaster oven.

Focaccia Genovese:

Note: Zia Marghe didn't measure anything except the flour, so the ratio of water and oil might need some tweaking. Preheat oven to 250°C (450-500°F). Mix 1 cup warm water with a package of dry yeast. Stir until dissolved and set aside for about 5-10 minutes.
Add yeast water to 500 grams (about 4.5 cups) flour and stir with a fork. Add about another cup of warm water, 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp olive oil and continue to mix with your hands until well combined. Drizzle with some more oil, cover with a clean, damp cloth and let rise for about an hour.
Cover a baking sheet (or two if using a little toaster oven) with oiled parchment paper and dump out the dough on to this surface. Spread the dough out to the edges of the baking sheet pretty thinly using the tips of your fingers (coated in olive oil to avoid sticking). Make sure to leave finger imprints in the dough, that's what makes it have it's final bumpy appearance. Drizzle with more olive oil, don't be shy, this is what makes it authentic- lot's of olive oil. It should pool up in all your little finger holes. Don't worry, it will be absorbed and not greasy. Sprinkle the focaccia evenly and generously with coarse salt. Toss in to hot oven and keep an eye on it. It's ready when the top turns golden, about 20 minutes or less, depending on the oven. Eat while hot.

1 comment:

Nisa said...

Oh how I wish I was there! Great action shots!