Ciao News24-680.com food followers:
I was just reminiscing about our last culinary tour to Bari, Puglia in 2019, and the incredible street food tour our guests enjoyed organized by our incredible tour partner, Augusto Salomone of Ad Pugliam.
Our visits always include a stop at the historic Panificio Fiore Bakery, located in the old city; famous for the BEST Focaccia Barese. Over the years, I have tried to get the recipe from the owner, Tony Fiore, by messaging via email and Facebook, to no avail. Today, happily, I discovered the recipe in a cookbook entitled Italian Street Food by Paola Bacchia. I surprisingly learned there is potato in the dough! Now I get it!
Until we travel and visit again, I share with you the recipe, and hope we can travel again to this, one of my favorite Italian destinations, in 2021! If you would like to join us for our next tour (whenever that may be), please let Chef Charlie know as there will be a lot of pent-up travel demand!
– Chef Charlie
(Panificio Fiore’s Bari-Style Focaccia)
1 medium Yukon Gold potato
250 g (1 2/3 cups/9 oz) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
250 g (2 cups/9 oz) fine semolina
6 g (1/4 ounce) dry active yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
350 ml (12 fl oz) tepid water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing and drizzling
50 g (2 oz) pitted black olives, halved
200 g (7 oz) ripe cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
Dried oregano, for sprinkling
• Place the potato in a small saucepan, fill with cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for about 30 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Drain, peel and mash or push through a potato ricer. You need 150 g (5½ oz) of cooked potato.
• Whisk together the flour, semolina, dried yeast and sugar in a large bowl. Add the warm potato and tepid water. Stir through using a wooden spoon, then add the salt. Bring the dough together, then tip onto a well-floured work surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth. Divide the dough in half and fold the dough a couple of times.
• Oil the base and sides of two 22 cm (8¾ in) cake tins. Place each mound of dough, seam side down, in the center of each tin and cover with clean tea towels. Place in a draught-free spot for at least 1 hour or until doubled in size.
• Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
• With well-oiled hands, lift the dough from the tins and flip onto the other side. Push the dough back into the tins using your fingers, so that they are covered in small indentations. Push olive and tomato halves in the indentations, then sprinkle over some dried oregano. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
• Bake for 30 minutes, or until the focaccia have risen and are golden on top. Enjoy warm.
Makes 2 – 8 ¾–inch focaccia; Serves 8 – 10
Credit to Paola Bacchia, author of Italian Street Food, who apparently WAS able to acquire the recipe from the owner!