Focaccia alla Genovese: a Ligurian Recipe – How to Make it

fugassaGenova Styles Focaccia Bread

Known in the local dialect as Fugassa, the “focaccia alla genovese” is a simple dish full of history and tradition.

Don’t confuse it with pizza, since the Ligurians could not take that so well. Instead, let fugassa take you in a culinary journey through one of the most interesting regional cuisines of Italy!

Ingredients

• 550g unbleached all-purpose flour or farina type 00
• 7g fine sea salt
• 1 pinch sugar
• 20g extra-virgin extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for greasing the bowl and pizza pan
• 20g fresh yeast

Preparation

Mix the flour, 1 tablespoon of the salt, and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add 3/4 cup of warm (45 °) water and ¼ cup of
the olive oil. Stir with the paddle attachment until the dough starts to gather around it in a cohesive mass. Switch to the dough hook and knead 5 minutes, adding a little more flour if the dough is sticky or a little more water if the dough is dry.

Add the yeast, sprinkling it in evenly over the dough, and mix again for another 5 minutes; the yeast should be completely incorporated. The dough should be smooth and supple, and rather soft but not sticky; adjust with a little flour or water as needed. Transfer to an oiled bowl and shape into a ball. Cover with a cloth and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.

Transfer the dough to a generously oiled round 45 cm pizza pan and push with your fingers until it extends to the sides of the pan. Let rest 30 minutes, covered. Uncover the dough and dimple it with your fingers, using the pads rather than the nails so you don’t tear the dough. This is the most important step in the focaccia-making process; dimple the dough deeply for best flavor. Let rise at room temperature 30 minutes, covered with a cloth.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 240° (preferably with a baking stone in it). Combine 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil and 5g of salt with 50ml of room-temperature water in a bowl. Pour over the focaccia. Bake the focaccia on the bottom rack of the oven (or place the pizza pan on the baking stone) in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until golden on the top and bottom and lightly crisp. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

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