Focaccia Barese is an exquisite bakery product typical of the city of Bari and in general of the Apulia region.
It is a simple mixture of water, yeast, flour, remilled semolina and boiled potatoes that make it incredibly soft! Topped with lots of cherry tomatoes, oregano, black olives and obviously extra virgin olive oil. High, with a slightly greasy crunchy edge and a very soft consistency, the Focaccia Barese is unparalleled goodness! It is a very easy dough, which you can do by hand or in the planetary in a few minutes.
Focaccia is sold in every corner of the Apulian cities and it is consumed at any time of the day: from a snack in the street to a family dinner, from a picnic outside to a snack at school.
In conclusion, like all typical regional specialties, Focaccia varies greatly from town to town, if not even from family to family. The best way to cook it would even be in the wood-burning oven.
First of all, dissolve the yeast in room temperature water (should be a bit warm).
Boil the potato, mash it and let it cool in a bowl. As soon as it has cooled, add the two flours, coarse salt, sugar, 4 tablespoons of oil and the dissolved yeast.
Mix everything very well until the dough is well blended. The dough should not be hard, but still a little liquid (but compact) and sticky. If it is too hard, add a little warm water or a dash of milk.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover it with a cloth and a plastic shopper. Let it rise in a dry and warm place (an excellent solution is the oven at 50° or with only the light) for an hour. Then grease abundantly a baking pan with low sides and a diameter of about 40 cm and place the focaccia inside. Spread it with moistened hands (this will also leave the typical ditches of the fingers) but do not squash it too much (otherwise leavening will cause problems). Let it rise again for about half an hour.
Meanwhile, take the tomatoes, cut them in half and put them in a bowl with the olives, season with extra virgin olive oil, oregano, salt and pepper. Let it rest.
Once the time has passed, take the focaccia, arrange the tomatoes and the olives evenly on its surface, crushing them slightly. Finally a little bit of more oil to the surface, bake at 200C (392 Fahrenheit) degrees for 30/35 minutes.
To dress the Bari focaccia you can also choose onions and capers: an unforgettable delicacy. Actually, you can make many variations just like a pizza!
For higher digestibility you can use sourdough, but the leavening should last from 8 to 12 hours. In this case you can prepare the pasta in the evening and let it rise the entire night.
The focaccia can be stored for 2-3 days, covered with a cloth. It can be heated at the time before being consumed.