Focaccia Pugliese makes for the perfect side to almost any Italian dish, or for when you simply wish to fill your home with the smell of fresh bread and herbs.
- 500 g (3⅓ cups) ‘00’ flour, plus extra, for dusting
- 7 g sachet dried yeast
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
- 150 ml milk
- 100 ml lukewarm water
- 300 g potatoes, boiled, mashed and cooled
- salt flakes, to taste
- cherry tomatoes and dried oregano, for topping
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 2 hours
1. Place the flour and yeast in a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the olive oil, milk, water and mashed potato and mix with a spoon until the dough comes together. Season with a generous pinch of salt, then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 2–3 minutes or until smooth. If the dough is a bit dry, add a little more milk or water if needed; if it’s too wet, add a little extra flour.
2. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 2 hours or until doubled in size.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
4. Using lightly oiled hands, place the dough on the prepared tray and gently stretch into a rectangle about 1-cm thick. Use your fingers to create small divets all over the dough to catch the juices. Top with halved or whole cherry tomatoes, dried oregano, salt and a little extra olive oil and bake for 20–25 minutes or until golden and puffed.
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