My mother often says that when she was a child and spent the summers in Imperia, her mother's hometown not far away from Genoa, in Italy, one of her favorite dishes was focaccia, or fugassa, as called in Ligurian dialect. They were all still on the train, ready to get off at Imperia, when the cries of the bakers carrying whole pans of focaccia to the station immediately reached their ears. The focaccia thus became a wonderful welcome in this land where the intense blue sea breaks against the rocks, sometimes inaccessible and covered with sea foam. Often, focaccia was served with condiglione, the typical Ligurian salad prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green beans, basil leaves, olives and extra virgin olive oil. Today we thought of reviving these memories and traditions by proposing the recipe for Italian focaccia, made with durum wheat semolina, a product that, compared to soft wheat flours, has a greater quantity of carotenoids, which are antioxidant substances (Ciudad Mulero et al, Nutrients, 2020). The result is something unique, so tasty that no one will be able to resist it! And if you want to give your focaccia an extra note, why not add cherry tomatoes, a source of another precious antioxidant, lycopene? So, all that remains is to bring a little Italy to the table, enjoy your meal!
320 grams of durum wheat semolina
1 teaspoon of honey
10 grams of fresh brewer's yeast
200 ml of water
Extra virgin olive oil
Fine ground sea salt
Cherry tomatoes and oregano for the garnish (optional)
Dissolve the yeast in a glass of water taken from the total and add a teaspoon of honey. In a bowl, pour the flour and yeast into the water. Add the rest of the water and 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Mix with your hands, then knead until it forms a homogeneous mixture. Continue to knead the dough, even throwing it a few times against the work surface. Incorporate the salt. Put the dough in the bowl, cover with a cloth and let it rise for about 3 hours. After this time, line a pan with parchment paper and grease it with extra virgin olive oil. Using your fingers spread the focaccia dough to cover the pan. Let it rest for another hour. Separately, prepare an emulsion with 4 tablespoons of water, 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a couple of pinches of fine ground salt. With your fingertips, form the characteristic holes on the surface of the focaccia. If you wish, at this point you can season your focaccia with halved cherry tomatoes and oregano. Brush the emulsion over the entire surface of the focaccia. Bake in a static oven at 200° C for 20 minutes and serve this beauty cut into squares, perhaps with a nice Ligurian-style mixed salad prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, olives, basil and olive oil!