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focaccia barese  

oily, salty good flat bread from Bari in Puglia 

makes 2 10” rounds


2 1/2 cups (350 g) all purpose flour 

1 1/2 cups (250 g) rimacinata (very fine durum wheat semolina, run coarse semolina through or order some rimacinata from Molini del Ponte in Castelvetrano)

1 1/2 cups (340 ml) total water 

12 grams cake yeast (1/2 a cake) or follow the instructions on your yeast package

1 heaping teaspoon (5 g) sugar

1 waxy potato boiled and smashed with a fork, circa 5 oz (150 g)  

2 teaspoons (10 g) salt

1 lb (450 g) small tomatoes (if out of season let them shrivel in a warm oven, 140C / 280F for 1- 2 hrs)


20 or so green olives  

extra virgin olive oil 


Put the water on to boil.  Melt the  yeast with the sugar in a few tablespoons of warm water (take it from the pot as you are bringing the water to a boil).

Using a mixer with the dough hook attachment (or by hand in a big mixing bowl) add both flours, the smashed potato and most of the hot water (which has just boiled) and mix together for 1 minute. Add the yeast/water/sugar and mix 7 minutes.  

Add the salt and the rest of the water (which has now cooled somewhat), raise speed and mix for 7 more minutes adding 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil at the very end. 

Generously oil a sheet pan and your hands. Divide the dough into two and fold the edges under to make two smooth rounds. Cover and let them rest in a warm place for two hours (or in the refrigerator overnight).  

Preheat the oven to maximum temperature 480 F / 250 C or 500 F / 260 C.

Very generously oil the baking pans and your hands, spread each round into a 10” baking pan or onto a sheet pan using your fingers to flatten it out into an even disc. 

Top with tomatoes breaking them open with your hands so that the juice falls onto the dough. Press olives gently into the dough. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and with a lot of fragrant dried oregano. Drizzle very generously with extra virgin olive oil.  

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes in a very hot, static oven until the bottom is golden, the edges are a bit black and the tomatoes just begin to look toasty. Serve hot, warm or room temperature.

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